Entertainment & Arts

Damon Albarn to headline BBC 6 Music festival

Damon Albarn Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Damon Albarn will perform tracks from his solo album titled Everyday Robots

BBC radio station 6 Music is to stage its own music festival in Manchester, headlined by Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn and US band The National.

Albarn will perform his new solo album live for the first time at the indoor event, which takes place on 28 February and 1 March at the Victoria Warehouse.

The line-up also includes Mercury Prize winner James Blake and chart-topping singer-songwriter Jake Bugg.

Franz Ferdinand, The National, Midlake, Wild Beasts and Haim will also play.

The two-day event will feature more than 30 artists and DJs championed by the digital station, including Metronomy, The Staves, Kelis and The Horrors.

Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li, Bombay Bicycle Club, Wild Beasts and Midlake have also been selected as artists who "share the alternative spirit of the network".

Drenge, Jimi Goodwin from The Doves and Jagwar Ma will all perform, along with Brooklyn-based band The National, who will be returning to the UK in the middle of their world tour to headline the Saturday night of the festival.

Image caption The line-up also includes a series of Fringe Festival events during the day

Albarn announced this week that he would release his first ever solo album, Everyday Robots, on 28 April.

He will headline Latitude Festival in July, but the 6 Music event will be the first time he performs the songs for a live audience, when he tops Friday night's bill.

The event also features up-and-coming artists including Luke Sital Singh, Nick Mulvey and Kiran Leonard as well as acts chosen by BBC Introducing and DJ sets from Groove Armada, Peter Hook and 6 Music presenters including Gilles Peterson and Mary Anne Hobbs.

"The BBC Radio 6 Music Festival brings a wonderful 6 Music line up of performances to music fans - one which reflects the fantastic range of artists that BBC Radio 6 Music offers listeners every day," said Bob Shennan, controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music.

"And the venue is also a stone's throw from Media City, which is home to many of BBC Radio 6 Music's shows," he added.

Tickets go on sale from 12:00 GMT on Friday 24 January, with more details available on the 6 Music website.

Image caption BBC 6 Music's Breakfast Show host Shaun Keaveny kicked off a day of festival announcements on air with Mary Anne Hobbs

Some 4,250 fans per day will be able to watch acts on three stages in the former goods warehouse, which until recently was the home of the Warehouse Project nightclub.

6 Music will broadcast live performances, exclusive intimate sessions, interviews with the artists, and reports from behind the scenes.

A video highlights packages from each act will also be available on the website for thirty days after the festival, with highlights also shown on the Red Button.

6 Music's Funk and Soul Show presenter Craig Charles - who also stars in Coronation Street - will help close proceedings on the Saturday night.

"The North West music scene is vibrant and eclectic, with Manchester and BBC Radio 6 Music at its heart," said Peter Salmon, director BBC North.

"We are thrilled the network's inaugural festival with its imaginative programme is based here and shared with the nation."

A series of daytime Fringe Festival events will run alongside the music, with free tickets available through a BBC audience ballot.

They include a record fair, a photographic exhibition, a film screening area and a spoken word stage featuring artists in conversation with 6 Music presenters.

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