It has been announced this morning that Earlham Park will be the next location of Radio 1’s Big Weekend. The annual music festival, held in a different UK location every year, will take place in Norwich on 23rd and 24th May 2015. The first act to be announced is Taylor Swift. The BBC Introducing stage will provide a platform for local acts. Concrete was present at the announcement this morning at City Hall, which coincided with the announcement on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw.
It is expected that notable UEA – and Livewire 1350 – alumnus, Greg James, will return to his old stomping ground of Norwich, and will be joined by many other Radio 1 DJs and celebrities.
Talking about the UK crowd Taylor Swift said: “They are rowdy, insane, in the best way – there seems to be a lot of jumping, which I love. When I think of a UK crowd I think of a sea of people that is moving like an ocean – it’s the most beautiful site you could possibly witness and I can’t wait to come back … everyone talks about the festivals in England being the best ones you can go to. I feel like I’ve been missing out – I’m really excited.”
Tickets to the festival are famously free. For 2014’s Big Weekend, held in Glasgow, 50% of tickets were reserved for those who live within the boundaries of Glasgow City Council. This continues the BBC’s tradition of aiming to reserve the majority of tickets to those who live in the host city.
Students on campus who are unable to get tickets won’t miss out on the action. Dozens of university and union events will be going on during the festival.
Grimshaw said that the Big Weekend always has a “dream line-up”. He added: “I can’t wait to see Swifty in Norwich!”. Speaking to Concrete, he said that he was “really looking forward” to the event. “The Big Weekend always takes over the host city, and it’s great to spend some time somewhere new. I’ve been to Norwich before, but only to do DJ gigs and club nights”. He added that he: “absolutely loved Bob”, the city’s town crier (see video below), and said that he can’t wait to see more of him at the festival.
Click below to hear Oliver Sanham – Station Manager of Livewire 1350 – and Geri Scott – Editor-in-Chief of Concrete speaking to Greg James on Nick Grimshaw’s Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1.
Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra said: “Radio 1’s Big Weekend is the first big festival of the year, this is where summer begins and it’s going to be amazing. You have got to love the BBC and Radio 1 for bringing you Taylor Swift and some of the biggest names on the planet to Norwich for free!”
In the lead up to Big Weekend, for the fourth year running, Radio 1 and BBC Learning will also embark on a special week of local engagement and face-to-face activity in the area – opening the doors to Radio 1’s Academy. During the week, Radio 1 hopes to inspire local 16-19 year olds to take the next step in their careers by inviting them to attend a series of radio shows, masterclasses and Q&As.
Councillor Brenda Arthur, Leader of Norwich City Council said: “This is great news for Norwich and will give us the chance to show off this amazing city at its best. We are very proud to be hosting this prestigious national event and the Radio 1 Academy. The Academy will be working with local young people in the run up to the festival to give them an experience of a lifetime. We very much look forward to working with the BBC in the coming months and other partners.”