BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend returning virtually for 2021

Amy Johnson
·2 min read
Greg James said Radio 1's Big Weekend would be 'as fun and entertaining as possible'. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)
Greg James said Radio 1's Big Weekend would be 'as fun and entertaining as possible'. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend is returning in virtual form in 2021 across a record four days. 

There will be 100 live performances over the weekend with 50 of those brand new live sets recorded exclusively for the event, which is taking place online from 28th to 31st May across the second May bank holiday. 

Five of those new sets will be filmed in front of iconic UK backdrops. 

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It's said the event is designed to be enjoyed by fans in parks, pub gardens or from home, dependent on changes to lockdown restrictions in the UK. 

BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend's last live concert was in 2019 prior to the pandemic. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend's last live concert was in 2019 prior to the pandemic. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)

Breakfast host Greg James said: “I’d hoped everything would have been back to normal by now to be honest. But as we’ve been doing for the last 12 months, we’ll be making the May bank holiday as fun and entertaining as possible with Big Weekend 2021. 

"I can’t wait until we’re all drunk in a field again but for now, we’ll keep doing what we can to thank our listeners and support the artists that have helped make the last year easier to manage.”

Aled Haydn Jones, Head of Radio 1, added: “This time last year, the position we found ourselves in meant we had to be the first to bring the idea of a virtual festival to life. 

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"This year, we’re taking it even further, bringing the many facets of the music industry together to give listeners a huge bank holiday weekend of live music exclusive to the BBC. We can’t wait to share more details about the event very soon – it’s going to be big!”

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The full line-up is set to be unveiled in coming weeks. 

Last year's event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and was replaced with its first virtual festival. 

Performances were given by acts including Sam Smith, Rita Ora, Sean Paul, Ellie Goulding and Haim. 

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