The biggest thing to hit Carlisle since... well, ever. Dane Cobain looks forward to Radio 1's Big Weekend 2011.
I’ve been living in a cave – what’s the Big Weekend?
In mid-May, 20,000 revellers will swell the population of Carlisle by a quarter to see the best in up-and-coming and established pop, dance, rock and indie. Expect all of your favourite Radio One DJs to be there too, including Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Rob da Bank and Chris Moyles.
Sounds good, where is it?
One Big Weekend is held at a different venue each year, with this year’s event set for Carlisle in Cumbria, ten miles south of the Scottish border. Featuring four stages (the Main Stage, In New Music We Trust Stage, BBC Introducing Stage and the Outdoor Stage), the festival should have something for everyone. Well, every Radio 1 listener, anyway.
Who’s playing that I might know?
Foo Fighters, The Strokes and My Chemical Romance for rockers, Tinie Tempah, Devlin and Plan B for rappers, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and Jessie J for poppers and Chase & Status, Nero and Magnetic Man for dubsteppers. And we haven’t even mentioned Bruno Mars, Ellie Goulding or Panic! At the Disco yet!
Ah, I bet it’s going to cost me a fortune!
Nope – it’s Europe’s biggest free music festival. Unfortunately, if you don’t have your tickets already, you’re too late – punters have to register online in advance for their chance to attend. Festival bosses advise fans not to risk buying tickets as they’re not on sale through any outlets and paying money for them can invalidate them. But don’t get too upset – the weekend will be broadcast online and on BBC radio and television, featuring live coverage and highlights as well as exclusive access and special performances from throughout the festival.
Wow! I have my ticket but there’s too much choice – who should I go and see?
Everyone except Tim Westwood and Panic! At the Disco. But if you have to see just five, check these out:
An obvious choice – with a capacity of 20,000, this is probably the most intimate gig you’ll ever get to see them play this summer. Dave Grohl is rock royalty, and here’s your chance to catch the latest anthems from ‘Wasting Light’ in the flesh as well as classics from the Foos’ 17-year-long career.
The young rapper has the potential to grow in to an English version of Eminem, and although he’s only released one official album, his extensive catalogue is set to bring a whole host of grime to Carlisle. Look out for guest appearances – the MC has collaborated with Yasmin on ‘Runaway’ (his highest charting single to date) and Jessie J on a remix of ‘Price Tag’.
Take the magical combination of Benga, Skream and Artwork, add a £750,000 stage rig and a mind-bending lights display and watch electronic mayhem evolve on the In New Music We Trust Stage. Cross your fingers for an appearance from Katy B, who’s playing earlier in the day on the Main Stage.
The mysterious masked DJ has gained notoriety through his eclectic mash-ups and enigmatic performances, as well as a residency at Jade Jagger’s Jezebel, which took him to Ibiza, Russia and Hong Kong. Truth is, not much is known about him except that he’s a ninja when he works the decks.
Don’t miss the queen of folk-pop-tronica as she gets starry-eyed on the main stage. In a world full of auto-tuned popstars, the young multi-instrumentalist brings a little purity back. Plus she was the only live performer at Will and Kate’s wedding reception, making this recommendation come by royal appointment.
I can’t wait until then!
Tough, we can’t speed up time. But to get you in the mood, you can check out our Big Weekend Spotify playlist here.
Radio 1’s One Big Weekend 2011 takes place from 14-15 May in Carlisle, Cumbria. Tickets were distributed online for free in advance of the event.
Click here to see the One Big Weekend line-up.