BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend
BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, formerly known as One Big Weekend, is an annual music festival run by BBC Radio 1. Unlike most annual music festivals that have a permanent location and venue, this one takes place in a different location within the UK each time.

The inaugural One Big Weekend was supposed to take place in May 2003, but the event was canceled due to adverse weather. So the first edition of the festival was held from September 13–14, 2003 in Cardiff, Wales. The first day of the festival was dedicated to dance music and the second day to bands.

In 2005, the dance day was replaced by a second day of bands. It was reinstated for the 2013 event, but with the day of dance being held on Friday instead of Saturday (by then, the festival had got its current name and expanded to three days). In 2012 and 2018, the Big Weekend was replaced by a larger festival, named Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend and BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend, respectively.

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend encompasses various genres and styles of music (including pop, rock, dance, hip hop, R&B, grime, and more) and always features a host of new artists who perform on BBC Music Introducing Stage. Headliners perform on the Main Stage, of course. Past headlining acts have included Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Bastille, James Bay, Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Muse, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, and others.

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend is Europe’s biggest free ticketed music festival; tickets to the event are free except for the small booking fee but are typically restricted to one pair per person. Pairs of tickets are randomly allocated and given out through an online lottery, and the majority of tickets are reserved for local residents, i.e. people who live in the host city or in the area.

Past host cities have included Cardiff, Derry, Birmingham, Sunderland, Dundee, Preston, Maidstone, Swindon, Bangor, Carlisle, London, Glasgow, Norwich, Exeter, Hull, and Swansea. The 2018 festival, named BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend, was held in four locations (Belfast, Coventry, Swansea, Perth) on different dates.

In 2020 and 2021, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend

Photo: Alan Partridge



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