Derry~Londonderry Bags Radio 1's Big Weekend

From May 24-26, the three-day music event will be broadcast live from the City of Culture, with headline acts to be announced in the coming weeks

BBC Radio 1’s flagship event, the Big Weekend, will this year take place in Derry~Londonderry and will, for the first time, be extended to three days.

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 May 25 - 26.

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

In 2012, the Big Weekend was broadcast from Hackney in London, and featured performances from Rhianna, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Florence and the Machine and many others (see videos below), so audiences in Northern Ireland can look forward to a star-studded event come May 2013.

The UK’s biggest free ticketed event is now 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.

City of Culture 2013 chairman Martin Bradley 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.'

In the lead up to the main event, 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 May 13 - 17, 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.'

Mayor Cllr Kevin Campbell added: 'The Radio 1 Big Weekend event in 2004 was a huge event for the city and region and we are delighted that 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.'

Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be broadcasting live on Radio 1, 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 Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra for details.