Get set for Derry’s Big Weekend

Derry Journal reporter Julie-Ann Campbell pictured interviewing BBC Breakfast Show DJ Nick Grimshaw at Ebrington yesterday morning. 0402JM50
Derry Journal reporter Julie-Ann Campbell pictured interviewing BBC Breakfast Show DJ Nick Grimshaw at Ebrington yesterday morning. 0402JM50

Derry’s cityscape and the beautifully restored Ebrington Square proved a hit with BBC Radio One DJ Nick Grimshaw yesterday, with the Breakfast Show host impressed with the venue for this year’s One Big Weekend.

The vast Ebrington site will no doubt prove perfect for hosting BBC’s One Big Weekend, with at least five stages of music expected when the three-day festival runs from May 24-26.

“There were five stages at Hackney last year, so we’ll have at least five stages here in Derry including the big outdoor one here [Ebrington Square] which I went to see,” Nick Grimshaw revealed yesterday. “It’s such a great space!”

“When you do these Big Weekends, it’s usually just out of town in a field or somewhere, so here in Derry it’s in the city and it’s so great to see the city! I’ve never done One Big Weekend in a city, so it will be great to see that all around you.”

“This is the first One Big Weekend that I’ll be at the helm of since I began the Breakfast show, so I can’t wait,” the bubbly DJ went on.

“They’re always such good fun and are almost like the first festival of the summer too. I love festivals, so it’s great to start the festival season off with One Big Weekend.”

With Derry renowned as a City of Music, Grimshaw also confirmed opportunities for local artists during the BBC Radio One festival.

“There will definitely be loads of opportunities for local bands. BBC Introducing always have a stage with local artists and I’m sure details of that will come out soon.”

Yesterday wasn’t Nick Grimshaw’s first trip to the city either, as he revealed he has friends here.

“I love Derry, I’ve been here a few times before,” he said. “ One of my friends, who I’ve known for about ten years, lives here at the place they call Top of the Hill - which I always think is an incredible name!

“So I’ll be back here before we do Big Weekend to find out what’s happening.”

Northern Ireland sensations Two Door Cinema Club performed yesterday and are thrilled to be playing the Derry festival.

Kevin Baird, bassist for the band, said yesterday: “We were there for the big announcement and played an acoustic track on the show. We’re really looking forward to coming back to Derry for One Big Weekend - we’ve played the festival before and it’s always amazing!”

One of Derry’s rapidly rising stars, Soak, also performed a mesmerising live track during yesterday’s live broadcast from Derry.

Speaking afterwards, the 16-year-old chanteuse - whose real name is Bridie Monds-Watson - described the BBC Radio One gig as “pretty cool.”

“I’ve been played on BBC Radio One a few times but this was the first time I gave a live performance,” she told the ‘Journal’ afterwards.

“I was BBC Introducing Artist of the Week, and so was played on every show and Fearne Cotton said I was lovely, so that was really cool!”

The unassuming singer-songwriter impressed her BBC host too. “Wasn’t Soak amazing?” enthused Grimshaw, “I thought she was incredible!”

Ticket details for One Big Weekend will be announced in coming months, stay tuned to BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra for details.