BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend UK 2020 will take place over the May Bank Holiday weekend (May 22-24) as planned, but will now be staged remotely for the first time.
Sam Smith, Biffy Clyro, Anne-Marie, Young T & Bugsey and Rita Ora are the first artists to join the bill, with all five performing new live sets. Over 100 artists will be involved, with more acts to be announced in the coming weeks.
The 2020 edition was originally planned to take place in Dundee’s Camperdown Park, but was cancelled in March of this year after restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Radio 1’s Big Weekend UK 2020 will feature 50 brand new live sets recorded by artists from their own homes, as well as bringing back around 50 of the most memorable performances from previous Big Weekends.
Radio 1 Breakfast host Greg James said: “I’m so pleased we can bring the listeners a brand new version of our Big Weekend this year. It’s our absolute favourite event of the year and we love saying thanks to our listeners for being such a big part of the radio station.
"It’ll be a great opportunity to re-live some of our favourite performances from over the years and although it’ll be a technical nightmare, having some new performances from artists' houses will be great for everyone to have something fun to watch and listen to over the Bank Holiday Weekend. And if it all goes wrong, we can just blame the pandemic and say that at least we tried.”
Aled Haydn Jones, head of programmes for Radio 1, said: “Every year Radio 1’s Big Weekend is an opportunity for us to give something back to our listeners, and this year will be no different. I’m delighted that, despite the challenging times we find ourselves in, we’re still able to host an event that brings people together. We look forward to celebrating across the Bank Holiday weekend with over 50 incredible new live performances, around 50 classic sets, five stages, and some of the biggest artists in the world, with the most exciting new acts.”
Performances will take place across five virtual stages: the Radio 1 Stage, the Radio 1 Dance Stage, the Headliner Stage, the 1Xtra Stage and the BBC Music Introducing Stage.
The Radio 1 Stage will be made up of all new performances, including Sam Smith, Biffy Clyro, Anne-Marie, Young T & Bugsey and Rita Ora, while the Radio 1 Dance Stage will feature brand new DJ sets from some of the hottest names in dance music.
The Headliner Stage will feature some of the best headline performances from past Big Weekends, including Katy Perry’s set at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Hull and Miley Cyrus’ stormer from Middlesbrough. The 1Xtra Stage will be hosted by the 1Xtra DJs and will feature a mix of new sets, and archive performances from the likes of Alicia Keys, Dave and J Hus.
The BBC Music Introducing Stage will feature new performances from over 40 emerging artists across the weekend. Each of the local radio shows that make up the BBC Music Introducing network have nominated an artist from their region to perform, allowing the stage to showcase the breadth of the new music scene across the country.
The festival will air Radio 1 across the weekend, with full sets available on BBC Sounds.
Profits from merchandise sold on Radio 1’s website will be donated to Comic Relief and BBC Children in Need as part of The Big Night In Appeal.