BBC Radio 6 Music Festival to go digital this year

With venues across the UK closed, the 6 Music Festival 2021 will be a digital event taking place on air and across the BBC, from Friday 26 March to Sunday 28 March.

Lauren Laverne announced on her 6 Music Breakfast Show this morning that this year’s festival will include nine brand new performances and 18 classic sets from past festivals made available on BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer.  There will also be highlights broadcast on 6 Music and BBC Four.

New performances will come from Bicep, Michael Kiwanuka, and Laura Marling, all filmed recently at Alexandra Palace, North London as well as from Poppy Ajudha, Black Country, New Road, Dry Cleaning, Nubya Garcia, shame and Working Men’s Club, all filmed recently in the BBC Radio Theatre in BBC Broadcasting House.

These new sets will be made available in full on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds from Friday 26 March, with highlights played out on 6 Music between Friday 26 and Sunday 28 March.

Laura Marling says: “Really looking forward to sharing the songs I performed at Alexandra Palace – thank you BBC Radio 6 Music for inviting me.”

Michael Kiwanuka says: “It feels great to be playing the 6 Music Festival this year, especially because I missed last year – I was so sad and gutted not to perform. This year is a special year because there are very few opportunities to get to play live, with the situation we’re in in the world. So it’s great to be able to express myself the way I know how and with the 6 Music family. It means a lot.”

Classic sets made available across BBC Sounds from Monday 22 March will include Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Kelis, Róisín Murphy, The Fall and many more.

Across 6 Music, listeners will be able to hear interviews and performance highlights from a variety of artists. Also, listeners can hear Laura Marling in conversation with Matt Everitt in a 6 Music Festival special of The First Time With… (Sunday 28th March, 1pm-2pm).

Listeners and viewers can join the conversation on social media as Now Playing @6Music (Sunday 28th March, 6pm-8pm) joins with BBC iPlayer for a special simulcast of Depeche Mode’s 2017 set at Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, when they returned to the venue for the first time since playing there 33 years previously.

6 Music presenters will also re-play memorable moments from festivals past in their shows, in the lead up to and across the main festival weekend, plus classic live tracks recorded at past 6 Music Festivals will be sprinkled throughout shows.

Samantha Moy, Head of BBC Radio 6 Music says: “With venues closed across the UK, we are determined to celebrate live music, as we know 6 Music listeners are missing gigs as much as we are. So, we’ve raided the 6 Music Festival archives and moved heaven and earth to record some new performances, to ensure that the festival will go on!”

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