BBC Radio 6 Music has confirmed that this year’s 6 Music Festival will take place from Friday, March 26 to Sunday, March 28.
The 2021 festival will see nine brand new performances and 18 classic sets from festivals past made available on BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer, with highlights broadcast on 6 Music and BBC Four.
New performances will come from Bicep, Michael Kiwanuka (who had to withdraw last year), and Laura Marling, all filmed recently at Alexandra Palace, as well as 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 brand new sets will be made available in full on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds from Friday, March 26, with highlights played out on 6 Music between March 26-28.
Tracks from Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Marling and Bicep’s performances will also be shown on BBC Four at 11pm on Friday, March 26.
Samantha Moy, head of BBC Radio 6 Music, said: “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!”
Pick up the new edition of Music Week for our interview with Samantha Moy.
Michael Kiwanuka (pictured with Cerys Matthews) said: “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.”
Laura Marling added: "Really looking forward to sharing the songs I performed at Alexandra Palace - thank you BBC Radio 6 Music for inviting me.”
Classic sets will be made available across BBC Sounds from Monday, March 22, with many also available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer. Acts include Anna Calvi, Bonobo, Brittany Howard, Depeche Mode, Foals, Goldfrapp, James Blake, Little Simz, Savages, The Fall, Young Fathers and more.
BBC iPlayer will also present an eight-hour stream of back-to-back new and classic sets from 2pm to 10pm on Sunday, March 28.
On 6 Music, listeners can hear interviews and performance highlights.