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BBC signs four-year Glastonbury deal

Paul Williams
BBC signs four-year Glastonbury deal

The BBC has signed a new four-year deal to cover the Glastonbury Festival while unveiling an initiative to highlight its music coverage.

Acting Director General Tim Davie revealed at an event to promote the Corporation's music services that the new agreement to cover the Worthy Farm festival would come with its most comprehensive coverage yet. The event, held at BBC New Broadcasting House in central London, included live performances from Labrinth, Dido, Jake Bugg and classical artist Ben Grosvenor.

"Our ambition this year is to bring aduiences right to the heart of our live coverage with our most sophisticated offering yet online and on mobile. We want to build on the success of our digital innovation at the Olympics and Hackney Weekend. We know the public is demanding  totally different levels of coverage of events now," he said.

With the London Olympics BBC TV viewers were able to select from a range of different services showing all the different sports as they happened live and, similarly, with Glastonbury the BBC will cover all the main stages live on different channels.

"You’ll be able to get into that festival and enjoy it in a way you have never seen a music festival being covered before and that will set a new benchmark," said Davie. "So simultaneous screening of the stages and we think that 50% of the audience to Glastonbury will be watching on a table or mobile, not just on the tele now, and the BBC will shape its output in that way."

The new Glastonbury broadcast deal was revealed as Davie rolled out a 2013 project called BBC Alive With Music, which he said would provide an appropriately light but important connection between the Corporation's music programming.

"Our focus as the BBC, particularly with me in charge for only 100 ex days, will be it won’t primarily be about extending reach. It’s about doing much more: exploring music, helping audiences find music, presenting people’s knowledge, letting them discover new things and explaining things is what the BBC is going to be all about, pushing into new areas of specialism and really stretching ourselves, not resting in a safe zone," he noted.

Davie said he was immensely proud of the work the BBC had done in discovering new talent and giving them a leg-up to stardom with the event's performer Jake Bugg having come through BBC Introducing while Ben Grosvenor was supported by Radio 3's New Generation Artist.

"We want to increase what we do in this area," he stressed. "It’s all tied financially, but one we want to keep finding that new talent."

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Tags: bbc, Tim Davie, Glastonbury Festival

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