Music stars set for Big Weekend in Londonderry

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LONDONDERRY will be the setting for Radio One’s Big Weekend in May - as for the first time the event will be extended to three days for 2013.

The extravaganza will kick off on Friday May 24, where there will be a day focused on Dance music and BBC Radio 1Xtra plus the usual two huge days of big name acts and fresh new music on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May.

As announced in The Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw on Thursday morning live from Derry, Two Door Cinema Club and Olly Murs are the first named guests for 2013’s Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Headline artists and full line-up will be announced live on Radio 1 in the coming months.

The UK’s biggest free ticketed event is in its tenth year and will be returning to Northern Ireland after the previous visit in April 2004 to coincide with Derry~Londonderry being the UK City of Culture for 2013. Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be held at in the heart of the city this year and performances will span across two stages - The Main Stage and In New Music We Trust stage.

In the lead up to the main event, Mayor Cllr Kevin Campbell said: “The Radio 1 Big Weekend event in 2004 was a huge event for the city and region and 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.”

City of Culture 2013 chairman Martin Bradley said: “We’ve already seen a wonderful, varied, diverse programme of events unveiled with something for everyone to enjoy,” he said. “As we saw in the wonderful opening Sons and Daughters concert, Derry~Londonderry prides itself as a city of music and there is no better place for Radio 1 to come to than here this year. It’s going to be one huge party which will take the City of Culture celebrations to a whole new level over the course of a fantastic weekend.”

BBC Radio 1 and BBC Learning will also embark on a special week of local engagement and outreach activity in the area - opening the doors to Radio 1 & 1Xtra’s Academy from Monday 13 – Friday 17 May 2013. During the week young people in Derry will be invited to attend the academy and take part in a series of workshops and sessions covering a range of topics including music, journalism and business as well as getting practical advice on how to take the next steps in their career.

Jason Carter, Head of Live Music and Events, Popular Music said: “The last Big Weekend in the city in 2004 was a legendary music moment in Northern Ireland, and it’s so great to be able to return with an even bigger show second time around. The concerts will be almost twice the capacity of the previous visit, and for the very first time, the event will run across three days. I have no doubt it will be a spectacular weekend of music in the heart of the city”

Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be broadcasting live on Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra and streamed on<> from Ebrington Square and The Venue 2013. It will also be broadcast live on BBC Three with highlights from all of the acts across three huge days of music.

Ticket details will be announced in the coming months, listeners will need to stay tuned to BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra for details.