Glastonbury is on a hiatus this year, so people are having to go else where to get their hit of outdoor, live music this summer. One option, and dubbed as the ‘replacement to Glastonbury,’ is BBC Music’s ‘Biggest Weekend,’ which will see festivals occurring over four different locations in the UK.
Swansea, Belfast, Perth and Coventry are the four cities that will play host to BBC’s biggest ever live music event, planned over four days between 25th and 28th May. Swansea will stage the Radio 1 part of the festivities, with Florence + The Machine just announced as the headliner, marking her live comeback in the UK.
Other acts confirmed to perform at the Swansea event are American chart-topper, Taylor Swift, and homegrown sensation, Ed Sheeran. But it is in Belfast where all the big hitters of the ’80s and ’90s will perform, with the likes of electronic duo Orbital and The Manic Street Preachers are due to perform.
The duo from Sevenoaks in Surrey released their rave-anthem”Chime” in 1989. It reached number 17 in the UK charts, which lead to an appearance on Top of the Pop, during which they wore anti-Poll Tax T-shirts. They went on to achieve great success in the dance and rave scene, earning an NME Award for Vibes Best Dance Act early in 1994.
However, it was perhaps their Glastonbury set of the same year that brought the duo the most attention. Q Magazine classed it as one of the top 50 gigs of all time and eight years later, in 2002, included Orbital in their list of “50 Bands To See Before You Die.”
Also on the bill for Belfast are The Manic Street Preachers. The Welsh rock band, formed in 1986, will be belting out their hits ‘Motown Junk,’ ‘Faster,’ and ‘Little Baby Nothing.’ Throughout their career, The Manic Street Preachers have headlined all of the biggest festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park, Reading and many more.
They have also won a total of 11 NME Awards, 8 Q Awards and 4 Brit Awards. Talking about their slot at ‘The Biggest Weekend,’ the band said, “The Biggest Weekend is in Belfast, which is good in itself. We’ve played there a lot over the years, we did one of the greatest gigs ever there back in The Limelight in 1990. And then we’ve had subsequently just lots of great gigs there, just amazing ones. It is good to spread 6 Music’s message far and wide.”
Meanwhile, over in Coventry, former Oasis member Liam Gallagher will headline the Sunday evening show.
Oasis split in 2009 after Noel, Liam’s brother, accused him of cancelling their performance at V Festival because he ‘had a hangover.’ The real reason for the cancellation was because Liam had been diagnosed with laryngitis.
Liam later sued his brother for lying on that matter and demanded an apology, stating “I want Oasis fans, and others who were at V, to know the truth. The truth is I had laryngitis, which Noel was made fully aware of that morning, diagnosed by a doctor.”
In an interview in 2011, Liam told journalists his brother’s comments “went way beyond rock-and-roll banter and questioned my professionalism.”
However, the BBC have managed to do the impossible and rekindle the troubled brothers…almost.
Noel will also be playing ‘The Biggest Weekend,’ but he will be several hundred miles away in Perth. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are headlining Perth’s show on Saturday 26th May. Also playing that day are Scottish talents Amy MacDonald and Emeli Sandé.
Other ’80s and ’90s legends that are performing include UB40, Beck and Stereophonics.
Tickets for The Biggest Weekend went on sale on Monday 12 February, priced at £18 plus £4.50 booking fee. The booking process is handled by Ticketmaster – the only official ticketing agent for The Biggest Weekend.
There are over 175,000 tickets available to the public and tickets will be geographically weighted with a percentage available to each of the local areas.
Tickets are selling out fast, so if you want to get your hands on some, we suggest you do it quickly.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.bbc.co.uk/biggestweekend