“The biggest line-up ever” is how Radio One’s Breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw describes One Big Weekend - the BBC’s flagship festival making its way to Derry for an entire weekend of music and spectacle.
Broadcasting Radio One’s famous Breakfast Show live from Ebrington’s Ballroom yesterday, the BBC team and its host Grimshaw promised “an absolutely massive” festival for the former Barracks on the banks of the Foyle from May 24-26.
With the potential to attract up to 40,000 people to the city, this year’s One Big Weekend has been expanded to three days for the first time and looks sure to be a showstopper and a highlight of the city’s year of culture celebrations.
Pop star Olly Murs, who rose to fame following his appearance on X-Factor, and Bangor trio Two Door Cinema Club are the first named guests, and Grimshaw hinted that major international artists will be added to the bill in coming months.
“There’s so many more to be announced,” Grimshaw promised. “It’ll start trickling through bit by bit, but the line-up is going to be absolutely massive - it’s the biggest one we’ve ever done! We usually do just Saturday and Sunday, but in Derry we’re doing Friday as well - like a proper festival!”
Considering last year’s line-up in London’s Hackney featured global superstar Rihanna and Jay-Z, speculation is rife that international icons such as Beyonce or Kylie could top the bill in Derry!
Keeping his cards close to his chest, Grimshaw did admit that major names are on the horizon. “I have seen wish-lists at Radio One but I’ve been sworn to secrecy! But they are really, really good - proper popstars! The biggest line-up ever!”
Local singer-songwriter Soak performed live during yesterday’s BBC Radio One broadcast, as did Bangor’s finest Two Door Cinema Club - one of the first acts to be announced for One Big Weekend. It was also revealed that the three-day festival will be broadcast live on BBC Three.
Derry played host to the festival before back in 2004, attracting 10,000 people, and this year’s event will be twice the capacity.
Derry’s Mayor, Colr Kevin Campbell, described the announcement as “a huge coup for the city.”
“We are delighted that BBC Radio 1 has decided to come back to Derry and bring some of the world’s top performing artists to be part of our City of Culture celebrations. The return of Europe’s biggest free ticketed music event is a huge coup for the city and we are hugely excited about it,” he said.
City of Culture chairman Martin Bradley added: “There is no better place for Radio 1 to come to than here this year. It’s going to be one huge party...”