Girish Mahajan (Editor)

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend

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Covid-19
Years active  2003–present
Founded by  BBC Radio 1
Dates  27 May – 28 May 2017

Location  Burton Constable Hall, United Kingdom
Nominations  UK Festival Award for Best New Festival
Genres  Pop music, Rock music, Dance music, Grime, Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B
Similar  T in the Park, V Festival, iHeartRadio Music Festival, Summertime Ball, Apple Music Festival

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend (previously known as One Big Weekend, and for 2012 as Radio 1's Hackney Weekend) is a music festival run by BBC Radio 1. It is held once a year, in a different location within the United Kingdom each time. It is the biggest free ticketed music event in Europe and always includes a host of new artists.

Contents

The festival is a spin-off of Radio 1's 'One Big Sunday', where every Sunday during July and August, a different town would host the roadshow, usually next to a beach or in a large park. These were also free, but non-ticketed.

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend Coldplay headlining Radio 139s Big Weekend in Exeter with Ellie

Both the 'One Big Sunday' and 'One Big Weekend' events are successors to the Radio 1 Roadshow which toured the country during every summer from 1973 until the 1990s.

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend Radio 139s Big Weekend gains CredAbility Access Card

Originally a 'One Big Weekend' would run twice a year. The Saturday was dedicated to dance music and the Sunday to bands. But since 2005, the dance day has been replaced by a second day of bands. In 2005, the dance music took place on a second stage on the Saturday only and in 2006 it took place off site at a club on the Saturday night. The 'Saturday' of dance music was effectively reinstated for the 2013 event in Northern Ireland, but with the day of dance being held on the Friday of the weekend.

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend Taylor Swift to perform at BBC Radio 139s Big Weekend Norwich 2015

The Big Weekend was replaced by a larger festival in 2012, named 'Radio 1's Hackney Weekend', with a crowd capacity of 50,000. The event took place over the weekend of 23–24 June 2012 in Hackney, East London.

In 2013 the Big Weekend was, for the first time, a three-day event, and it was held in Derry, Northern Ireland. It was the first time that the Big Weekend had been held in the same city for a second time - having previously visited the city in April 2004.

The 2015 Big Weekend location was revealed to be Norwich on Nick Grimshaw's Breakfast show on 23 January 2015. The event took place on 23 and 24 May 2015.

The 2016 Big Weekend location is Powderham Castle, Kenton near Exeter on 28 and 29 May.

The 2017 Big Weekend location is Burton Constable Hall, near the city of Hull on 27 and 28 May.

Tickets

Tickets to the festival are, notably, free (except the small booking fee which was introduced from the 2012 event onwards) but are usually now restricted to one pair per person. Prior to 2006, a ticket booth would be set up in an easy location in the centre of the hosting city, and anybody who wished to obtain a pair of tickets would queue up, before a Radio 1 DJ gave them out (pairs of tickets for the Saturday given away on a Saturday and on the following day for the Sunday), on a first-come first-served basis. The theory there was that the majority of tickets would go to local residents, as people from further away would not make the journey. However, as more and more 'non-local' residents came to the giveaways, and the capacity at the events grew year-on-year, it was decided that a different system was needed. From 2006, therefore, pairs of tickets have been given away through an online lottery. People wishing to attend register on the BBC Radio 1 website and pairs of tickets are then randomly allocated and given out. In order to make sure that those who live locally get the majority of tickets, the applications are split into categories of 'local postcodes' and 'other postcodes' and the majority of the tickets (usually 95%) are reserved for the former.

Despite the tickets being free, some people often attempt to sell them on eBay, and in recent years this has meant that various security measures have been introduced, most notably the barcodes on tickets which are scanned at the gate, the rule that the person whose name is registered on the ticket has to be in attendance and, from 2012, passport-style pictures being required as part of the application process. Tickets are also given away as prizes via various competitions held on Radio 1 (and now 1Xtra) in the weeks running up to the event, which is usually the only way in which members of the public can obtain passes for both days of the event. For the 2013 event, no pre-registration was necessary, and instead all tickets were given away on a 'first come first served' basis - albeit still with the skewing of 90% of tickets being held back for residents of Northern Ireland. After an initial 24-hour delay due to technical difficulties, the tickets all sold out within an hour. 2014's event in Glasgow saw the 'first come first served' ticket release return with no pre-registration needed. 50% of tickets were reserved for residents within the boundaries of Glasgow City Council with a further 45% reserved for those in the rest of Scotland. However, for the first time ever, members of the public could obtain tickets to all three days of the festival. This led to complaints from some disappointed fans who were left without tickets to any day while others bagged tickets for the entire weekend.

For the 2006 event in Dundee, less than half of the tickets were given to local residents, and allegations were made of postal workers stealing tickets.

2017

For 2017, the event will be held at Burton Constable Hall approximately 9 miles (14 km) north-east of Hull. The location was confirmed the morning of 23 January, acts confirmed include Kings of Leon, Little Mix and Stormzy.

2016

The event was held in Powderham Castle, Kenton near Exeter on 28 and 29 May. Coldplay headlined the second and final night, with other acts performing including Bring Me the Horizon, Chase & Status, Ellie Goulding and Craig David. On 1 March, it was announced that The 1975 and Jake Bugg had been added to the lineup. Ticket information was announced on Monday 21 March. Tickets went on sale at 8am on Monday 4 April. As usual, the tickets themselves were free, but there was an £8.50 administration fee with each ticket. In 2016, 60% of the tickets were reserved for residents living in areas covered by Exeter City Council and Teignbridge district council. A further 35% went to residents in surrounding areas of Exeter, including those with any other Exeter (EX) and Torquay (TQ) postcodes and those with Truro (TR), Plymouth (PL), Taunton (TA) and Dorchester (DT) postcodes, whilst the remaining 5% of tickets were available to the rest of the UK. The full line-up was announced in April 2016.

Controversies

Twenty One Pilots had their set cut short due to "safety concerns". Singer, Tyler Joseph, climbed a mast whilst singing Car Radio, which prompted BBC officials to appear to cut his microphone off, and ask bandmate Josh Dun to stop drumming. They didn't continue with their set and left the stage.

2015

On 23 January, Nick Grimshaw announced on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, that the 2015 event would be held at Earlham Park in Norwich, Norfolk, next to the University of East Anglia, taking place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May. On 31 March, 50,000 tickets went on sale and sold out within 40 minutes. The full lineup for main stage and the INMWT tent was announced on 20 April, Muse headlined on the Saturday and Foo Fighters on the Sunday. The majority of acts for the BBC introducing stage were announced on 22 April with the remaining acts announced on 4 May.

Line-up

  • Due to his vocal cord operation, Sam Smith's performance on Sunday was cancelled and replaced by Catfish and the Bottlemen.
  • 2014

    On 30 January, Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora and Paolo Nutini announced that the 2014 event would be held in Glasgow to celebrate the 2014 Commonwealth Games. For the first time, the event took place in two different locations in the same city. The Friday night of the event was held in George Square and was dedicated to dance music. The remaining two days followed the traditional format of the Big Weekend and took place at Glasgow Green. Coldplay, Rita Ora, Paolo Nutini, Pharrell Williams and The 1975 performed. On 31 March, 60,000 weekend tickets for the event sold out in 30 minutes. The Main Stage lineup was announced on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show on 28 April 2014. It was announced that Katy Perry would headline on the Sunday night while One Direction and Kings of Leon would open the Main Stage on the Saturday and Sunday respectively. Local Scottish band Baby Stange performed on the BBC Introducing Stage.

    2013

    The new Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw announced that the Big Weekend would return to Derry in May 2013 to celebrate its title of UK City of Culture 2013, the same city that hosted the first of the two 2004 Big Weekends (although the actual site is different). For the first time, the Big Weekend extended to a third day - which focused on dance music. Alongside that initial announcement were the confirmation of the first two acts, Olly Murs and Two Door Cinema Club, with the rest of the line-up being announced by Grimshaw during another Radio 1 Breakfast Show on Monday 6 May. Both of the stages were in Ebrington Square - unlike recent Big Weekends there was no BBC Introducing Stage or Live Lounge Tent at this event. The '1Xtra' and 'In New Music We Trust' stages from Hackney 2012 were combined into a single venue.

    Line-up

  • Due to issues at Heathrow Airport, two acts on the bill for Friday were unable to attend the event: those being Angel Haze and AlunaGeorge. Further acts also had their performances affected by the flight disruptions but were still able to appear: J. Cole was forced to substitute his band for a backing track, and Rudimental's equipment was stuck in London, forcing them to use the equipment of Chase and Status.
  • The above tables do not always represent the stage orders - for example, Two Door Cinema Club opened the Main Stage on Saturday, as opposed to The Saturdays, who in fact performed second on the day. Similarly, 30 Seconds To Mars opened the Main Stage on Sunday.
  • 2012

    On 23 May 2011, it was announced that for 2012, Radio 1 would be replacing the Big Weekend with a 'Hackney Weekend' to form part of the London 2012 Festival, in the buildup to the 2012 Olympics. The festival duly took place on the Hackney Marshes over the weekend of 23 and 24 June 2012.

    50,000 people attended each of the two days in 2012, meaning a total of 100,000 people visited the site over the weekend: more than double the previous highest attendances (40,000 across the weekends in each of 2010 and 2011). Due to the upgraded scale of the festival, the number of stages were increased (from four to six) and, for the first time, the Main Stage was outdoors rather than inside a tent.

    Florence + The Machine were initially announced as playing on Saturday 23 June, but a double booking at another European festival meant that they actually performed on Sunday 24 June.

    The Ting Tings were initially announced as to be playing on Saturday 23 June, but due to logistical reasons beyond their control they had to pull out of the bill.

    On both days of the festival, a number of unannounced special guests performed with artists on the bill, the most noteworthy of which were Rihanna, M.I.A. and Kanye West appearing as part of Jay-Z's headlining set on Saturday; and, in turn, Jay-Z went on to return the favour and make a special multiple-song contribution during Rihanna's own headlining set the next day.

    Line-up

    Saturday 23 June

    2011

    The announcement of location and dates for Radio 1's Big Weekend 2011 was made by Scott Mills on 30 March 2011, with his breakfast show (he was covering for Chris Moyles that week) being broadcast from Trinity School, Carlisle that morning. Over 750,000 people applied for tickets to the event.

    20,000 pairs of tickets were available for the two-day event with the usual allocation policy applying. It was announced that the priority areas for tickets would be the borders of Carlisle, Cumbria, the Scottish Borders and the North East of England.

    As usual, competitions to win VIP tickets were run on various Radio 1 shows in the weeks leading up to the Big Weekend.

    TV & radio coverage

    Radio 1's Big Weekend 2011 was streamed live on the Radio 1 website. The headliners of each day (Foo Fighters and Lady Gaga on Saturday and Sunday respectively) were broadcast live on BBC Three and BBC HD. The Big Weekend was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 1. Highlights of the event were also broadcast on BBC Three and BBC HD during the week following the Big Weekend.

    2010

    On 24 February 2010, it was announced on The Chris Moyles Show that the 10th Big Weekend would take place on the Faenol Estate near Bangor, Wales on Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May 2010. Pixie Lott also performed on the show and was announced as the first act on the bill and Lostprophets was announced while they were on tour. Jaguar Skills announced on his website that he would be playing at the event, but he was not on the announced line-up. On the morning of 26 April 2010, the full main stage and INMWT stage listings were announced during the Fearne Cotton Show (which was hosted by Annie Mac, as Cotton was on vacation).

    20,000 pairs of free tickets were made available to the public for each day of the weekend. Applicants were able to register for tickets to the event on the Radio 1 website from 26 April 2010 until 3 May 2010.

    Line-up

    Saturday 22 May

    Sunday 23 May

    Live Lounge Tent

    2009

    The 2009 event was held in Swindon.

    Line-up

    Saturday 9 May

    Sunday 10 May

    2008

    In 2008, the festival was held over the weekend of Saturday 10 May and Sunday 11 May, at Mote Park in Maidstone, which can hold up to 20,000 people. 85% of tickets went to people living in Kent, 10% went to those living in areas bordering Kent, including parts of Sussex, Surrey, Essex and London, and the other 5% were handed to others living across the United Kingdom. Concern was raised after a large number of locals commented that even those living within the close vicinity of the park did not receive tickets, with some in the Medway towns winning multiple times.

    Line-up

    The full line-up (except for Paramore) was announced on BBC Radio 1 on Monday 21 April 2008.

    Saturday 10 May

    Sunday 11 May

    The national newspapers had also reported that Justin Timberlake could be a special guest - performing with Madonna. Although this later turned out to be untrue. Pendulum were hailed as one of the festivals' best acts, outshining even Madonna and packing the INMWT tent.

  • On the main stage on 10 May 2008, Paul Schrader, Chris Carmack and Rachel McAdams appeared whilst doing promotional work for Tarzan.
  • 2007

    On Saturday 19 May and Sunday 20 May, Radio 1's Big Weekend was held in Moor Park in Preston.

    For the first time in the history of the event, all tickets had barcodes and were scanned on arrival at the park. The barcodes contained information such as name and address of the winner of the tickets. Having the barcodes meant that Radio 1 could cancel lost or stolen tickets and issue new ones to those affected. In an effort to stop people buying tickets from eBay or through other mediums, the public was told they would be asked to prove their home address if their tickets were thought to be suspect. However, the BBC decided to scrap this idea on the day as they thought it would cause angry scenes if people were to be turned away.

    At the close of entry on 8 May 2007, over 450,000 people registered for a chance to get tickets for the 2007 festival. On Tuesday 8 May on The Chris Moyles Show, Chris announced that a further 5,000 tickets will be available taking the total for both days being 35,000.

    Tickets were also given away in an alternate reality game online using Radio 1 fan forums. The situation surrounded a man called Paul Denchfield who was supposedly sacked from the station. Throughout the run up to the event 'Frozen Indigo Angel' would appear in various places online and on-air, with it being the player's mission to hunt down tickets.

    The line up was as follows:

    Line-up

    Saturday 19 May

    Sunday 20 May

    2006

    In 2006, the Big Weekend was held in Camperdown Park, Dundee on 13 and 14 May 2006 and featured artists which included:

    Line-up

    Saturday 13 May

    Sunday 14 May

    Many of the BBC Radio 1 DJs including Pete Tong, Tim Westwood and Chris Moyles attended too, and held a number of competitions so that people could win tickets. In addition, Radio 1 also created a virtual festival experience in the virtual reality application Second Life. Avatars on the BBC Radio 1 islands could watch the event on live screens while the audience could see their virtual counterparts on massive stage side screens at the real event in Dundee. The event was hailed as the first ever festival with a professional line-up to take place in a virtual universe.

    2005

    On 7 and 8 May 2005, the Big Weekend was held at Penshaw Monument in Herrington Country Park, Sunderland, and featured artists included:

    Line-up

    Saturday 7 May

    Sunday 8 May

    September 2004

    On 18 and 19 September 2004, the final 'One Big Weekend' under that name - and the second of that calendar year - was held at Perry Park, Birmingham. It featured the following line-up:

    Line-up

    Saturday 18 September

    Sunday 8 May

    April 2004

    On 24 and 25 2004, the penultimate 'One Big Weekend' under that name - and the first of two in that calendar year - was held at Prehen Fields, Derry. It featured the following line-up:

    Line-up

    Saturday 18 September

    Sunday 8 May

    September 2003

    On 13 and 14 September, the One Big Weekend held in Cardiff.

    May 2003

    On 3 and 4 May, the One Big Weekend was held in Manchester.

    References

    BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend Wikipedia


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