BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2019 took place in Middlesbrough at Stewart Park last weekend.
Now in its 16th year and selling out in an incredible 90 minutes, Radio 1’s Big Weekend saw 64,000 people flock to Stewart Park in Middlesbrough for one of the biggest pop festivals of the year.
This year the festival delivered so many outstanding performances and featured plenty of popular and highly acclaimed artists (over 50), including the likes of Miley Cyrus, Ellie Goulding and Little Mix, and Brit Award winners The 1975.
Radio 1 says Big Weekend ‘takes artists to the cities that may not otherwise host a large scale event, shining a light on the host city and providing a major boost to the local economy’ – Which is true as Middlesbrough’s newly elected mayor Andy Preston has promised an annual music festival for the town after the success of the Radio 1 festival last weekend.
Stormzy kick started the two days of pop in the BBC Radio 1 for New Music tent with an energized set on Saturday. He performed many of his hit songs, including his new single Vossi Bop.
Despite artists being told by Radio 1 producers before heading to the stage that swearing is banned during their performance, Stormzy didn’t obey said rules.
Stormzy raged “f**k the Government and f**k Boris”, at the end of his Vossi Bop performance, referring to Tory MP Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Theresa May.
If you didn’t know, Radio 1 stream Big Weekend across TV, radio and online during the weekend for viewers around the world to watch the biggest talent perform on their stage – So we can’t imagine that Stormzy’s stunt went overlooked backstage with producers after his set concluded.
Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi packed out the New Music tent shortly after Stormzy with security being forced to step in to stop people entering the area as it become overly crowded.
Lewis told Radio 1’s Newsbeat: “I think it might be the best gig I’ve ever played in my life.
“It’s the first time I’ve played a lot of these songs in a festival set-up. It’s incredible to see people come out.
“Hearing people singing back your songs is so weird… I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.”
Sigala brought Ibiza to Middlesbrough as the rain made itself known at the Park, his DJ set featured A List collaborators that included Becky Hill singing ‘Wish You Well’, Craig David for ‘Ain’t Giving Up’ and Ella Eyre taking over the stage for ‘Just Got Paid’ and 2017’s summer anthem ‘Came Here For Love’.
Radio 1 announced half way through Saturday’s lineup that Jess Glynne had sadly pulled out due to illness so the radio station kindly upgraded Khalid’s set from the tent to the main stage – and he was the perfect replacement. If you don’t believe us, take a look at his performance of ‘Talk’ below:
US pop star Miley Cyrus brought Saturday night to a close following performances from Mumford and Sons, Anne-Marie and singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, who made her Big Weekend debut.
Miley performed three new songs (Cattitude, Dream, Mother’s Daughter) as well as her old classics on the Big Weekend stage as it was broadcasted live across Radio 1, iPlayer and BBC Two.
Miley opened with her smash hit ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’ and followed it up with ‘Wrecking Ball’ and ‘We Can’t Stop’ which featured a guest appearance from Charli XCX.
One from her new album, Miley exclusively played ‘Cattitude’, a head banger hit that features the lyrics “Turn up your gratitude / Turn down your attitude / I love my – I mean I got cattitude!”.
Miley’s new project “She Is Coming,” is set for release on Friday, May 31st.
Little Mix opened the Sunday of Radio 1’s Big Weekend with an incredible set made up of their greatest hits.
Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson took fans through a catalog of hits that included ‘Salute’, ‘Power’, ‘Woman Like Me’ and ‘Shout Out to my Ex’.
Jade told the crowd: “You actually are one of the best crowds we’ve ever had, thank you so much.
“I think it’s because they’re northern.”
‘Love Me Like You Do’ songstress Ellie Goulding dazzled on the main stage for 40 minutes while getting the crowd singing along to her biggest hits, including the likes of ‘I Need Your Love’, ‘Burn’ and the evermore popular 2019 song track ‘Sixteen’.
The singer was also heard saying “I want to say thank you for all your smiles and your happiness, it makes me really happy. Let’s go!”, before beginning to play her 2012 lead single ‘Anything Could Happen’.
Rita Ora beamed in a pink bodysuit while launching into her UK Top 10 single ‘For You’. Rita’s flawless vocals drew a lot of attention with the crowds as she continued her set with other songs such as ‘Your Song’, ‘Let You Love Me’ and ‘I Will Never Let You Down’.
The 1975 brought Big Weekend to a close as they illuminated the stage – with their set being broadcasted live on Radio 1, iPlayer and BBC Two – Like Miley Cyrus’ was on Saturday night.
Brit Award winners The 1975, played their classics, as well as new hits from their recently released album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ – Their set featured ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’, ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’, ‘I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)’ and closing with fireworks to ‘The Sound’.
Frontman Matty Healy said that the band was ‘incredibly humbled’ to be headlining Radio 1’s main stage where he grew up – As he left the stage after their 60 minute set, Matt declared that guitar music was ‘still relevant all round’: “We’re all music obsessives. There are really interesting guitar bands around like Black Midi and Pale Waves,”
“I think as long as guitar music is interesting, then it’s still relevant,” he told BBC Newsbeat.
When Radio 1 announced that Big Weekend would take place in Middlesbrough this year, we were a tad shocked but as Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Greg James rightly said ‘the listeners are the most important thing about Radio 1. Without them, we’d just be a collection of weirdos talking to ourselves in a room so we like to say thanks by pulling in some of the world’s biggest artists to do an enormous music festival for them.’
Radio 1 successfully pulled off one of the greatest festivals of pop this year, and it made headlines all around the world (for all the right reasons) thanks to the international talent that graced the Big Weekend stage.
The fact they got Miley Cyrus to perform 3 brand new, never heard before songs, in front of 30,000+ fans in Stewart Park and millions of people around the world proves that BBC will be unbeatable with their Big Weekend annual event,
and we’re already excited for next year (wherever that will be).
Our review of Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2019 is awarded 5 stars out of 5. ★★★★★