The Biggest Weekend is taking place over the bank holiday – from 25 to 28th May – and if you want to listen to it live on the radio, here’s what you need to know.
The Biggest Weekend is the BBC’s biggest ever popular live music event taking place at four sites, in four nations, over four days with performances from over 100 artists across nine different stages with over 175,000 tickets available to the public.
Concerts are happening in Belfast, Coventry, Perth and Swansea with coverage on Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, 6 Music and the internet.
Bob Shennan, Director BBC Radio and Music, says: “No one does music like the BBC – across TV, radio and online we’re bringing the UK nations together to enjoy a musical celebration unprecedented in its scope, scale and range of artists.”
On Saturday and Sunday, Radio 1 is live from Swansea bringing you performances from the biggest names in music including Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Liam Payne, Camila Cabello, Craig David, George Ezra, Demi Lovato, Thirty Seconds to Mars plus loads more.
Maya Jama and Jordan North are kicking off the backstage action with Radio 1’s Greatest Hits on the grounds of Singleton Park as the artists prepare to entertain the crowds for a weekend of incredible live music. Throughout the weekend, Radio 1 DJs will pair up to broadcast special shows live from the Swansea event, bringing the inside scoop from the artists as they hit the Main Stage to perform in front of thousands of music fans. Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson, Mollie King, Scott Mills, Chris Stark, Clara Amfo, MistaJam, Greg James, Katie Thistleton, Dev, Alice Levine, Cel Spellman, Annie Mac, Nick Grimshaw and Charlie Sloth will take listeners on an access-all-areas tour of The Biggest Weekend with exclusive artist interviews on the day as well as live performances, musical highlights from the Main Stage, Radio 1’s Other Stage and BBC Music Introducing Stage.
On Saturday, Ken Bruce, Claudia Winkleman and Sara Cox will be live backstage in the grounds of Scone Palace from 3-10pm. They’ll be bringing listeners live music from across the day, along with interviews with all the stars performing including Amy Macdonald, Emeli Sande, Squeeze, The Shires, Julie Fowlis and The Beat starring Dave Wakeling. Ken, Claudia and Sara will also learn more about the incredible history of Scone Palace before the presenters cross to the main stage for full headline sets from legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds and the phenomenal multi-platinum selling Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
On Sunday, Jo Whiley, Simon Mayo and Trevor Nelson will be broadcasting live from backstage at the War Memorial Park between 3-10pm. They’ll be bringing you live music from across the day, along with interviews with acts including local 2-Tone pioneers The Selector, Stereophonics, Jamie Cullum, Billy Ocean, Snow Patrol, Paloma Faith and UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey. Jo, Simon and Trevor will also be learning more about the area, as Coventry prepares to be the UK City of Culture in 2021. The presenters cross to the stage to introduce full headline performances from Paloma Faith and Liam Gallagher.
On Friday and Monday, Sean Rafferty will present coverage for Radio 3’s drive time programme In Tune from 5-7pm. The programme will include highlights and interviews with artists from the Radio 3 stage in Perth, including jazzer Jamie Callum, singer-songwriter Eddi Reader, percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra; as well giving listeners the opportunity to hear from artists performing on the Radio 3 stage in Coventry.
The Verb will also present an entirely Scottish edition from 10-10:45pm; followed by Music Planet at 11pm-1am and Kathryn Tickell will present recordings from Radio 3’s stage in Perth with live music from folk band Breabach, Zambian-Scottish singer Namvula and the eclectic klezmer-based outfit Moishe’s Bagel.
Katie Derham will present Radio 3 Concert live from the Radio 3 stages at Perth and Coventry from 7:30-10pm. On Friday, Katie presents a concert from the iconic and historic Scone Palace underpinned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins. She introduces a host of performances, from artists including Edinburgh-born folk singer Karin Polwart, Scottish virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, star soprano Danielle de Niese and violinist Nigel Kennedy. On Monday, listeners will hear from the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland, live from War Memorial Park as they are joined by stars from Strictly Come Dancing for a spectacular ballroom performance introduced by Katie, before Nigel Kennedy takes to the stage once more to play excerpts from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as well as his own unique tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
On Friday, Lauren Laverne kicks off the live coverage on-site from 10am-1pm before handing over to Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie at 1-4pm who will be bringing listeners the first live performances from the Main Stage. Then Steve Lamacq at 4-7pm, Mary Anne Hobbs at 7-9pm and Tom Ravenscroft at 9pm-midnight, will each be introducing more live music from the Friday line up from both the Main Stage featuring Beck, Orbital, Lykke Li, Manic Street Preachers, Courtney Barnett, Father John Misty with the Ulster Orchestra and the 6 Music Recommends Stage.
On Saturday, Lauren Laverne from 10am-1pm, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie from 1-4pm followed by Mary Anne Hobbs at 4-7pm and Tom Robinson at 7-9pm, are bringing live music from the Main Stage including Franz Ferdinand, Neneh Cherry, Goldie, First Aid Kit, Ash, Young Fathers, Little Dragon as well as highlights from the 6 Music Recommends Stage.
Plus on Sunday 27 May from 10am-1pm, Cerys Matthews will be presenting her show live from the city, followed by Soundscapes presented by Stephen McCauley at 1-2pm which will feature a piece of music about the Titanic specially-commissioned by the BBC from Public Service Broadcasting. At 2-3pm, Great Vibrations – Peel, Punk, Belfast and Beyond will be featuring conversation from a Fringe panel taking place as part of the festival; plus Ash’s 6 Music Playlist at 3-4pm with frontman Tim Wheeler sharing a selection of his favourite records.
And the BBC’s coverage doesn’t end when the last artist closes the main stage on Monday; there will be an exclusive highlights programme which will be available to watch on BBC Red Button.
See more details at bbc.co.uk/biggestweekend