Monday, 11 May 2009

Radio 1's Big Weekend

Having managed to swindle tickets to the Radio 1's Big Weekend, courtesy of the wonderful Sarah-Jane Crawford, I threw myself, head, feet and fist first, into the festival spirit, as the BBC pulled out all the stops to provide all who attended with the very best experience possible. Boasting a fittingly fantastic line up that included the wonderfully talented Neyo, Snow Patrol, Dizzee Rascal, Daniel Merriweather, the notorious Prodigy, Chase and Status, Lily Allen, The Gossip, Basement Jaxx and N Dubz to name a few, the event was always going to be a brilliant coming together of eclectic music, people and atmospheres alike. With around 40,000 people attending over both the Saturday and Sunday, the weekend really was one of the best I have yet to experience, the combination of fantastic music, brilliant people and a pseudo backstage pass culminating in a head banging, fist punching, sweat dripping, rave-out to some of the best musical acts the world has to offer. Surrounded by, and even interacting with, some of my childhood heroes was a highlight, but it was the gritty festival atmosphere that really had me swooning candidly to the brilliance of the BBC as I was once again reminded of how great live music, in a vibrant atmosphere, really is.

The multitude of eclectic sounds, smells and sights was an explosive impact upon my senses, as, wooed by the delightfully deep drafts of fizzing fried foods that wafted across the park, I strode and swaggered around the tents, buzzing giddily to the constant bass that steadily shook the fielded space around me. Dizzee Rascal’s Bonkerswas only upstaged by Skream’s remixed rendition of La Rouxs 'In for the kill' as the anthem of the festival, though it took for the brilliant duo of Chase and Status to truly take the crowd to the next level of Drum and Bass induced hysteria. Dizzee Rascal was a stand out performer, yet so was the similarly talented Bashy who, on a smaller stage admittedly, displayed why his talent, energy and focus will take him as far in the game as, if not further than, the boy from Bow E3. Beth Ditto of the Gossip was a highlight - her crazy, outrageous spirit brought about a similar reaction from the crowd, whilst her infectious attitude, toned lyrical prowess and fabulously contentious style of the woman beamed her crazed, yet wonderfully talented aura and personality down from the stage like a beacon. The Live Lounge in the enclosed space of the festival was a fantastic idea by the Radio 1 team as, in smaller, enclosed surroundings, a compact crowd was given the fantastic opportunity to get close and personal with many of the stars that would otherwise have been as distant as a dustied poster bluetacked to a bedroom wall.

Being Europe’s largest free ticketed event, the BBC provided music to suit all tastes and all peoples, supporting huge stars at the top such as Akon and Kelly Rowland, to the break through artists making their way up the ladder such as Master Shortie and Wretch 32 – the weekend was a culmination of brilliant music, minds and management, a display of the BBC’s fantastic influence and affluence; hard work and determination; support and liberality. They may come in for a fair bit of stick, but they sure as hell know how to throw a party – bring on festival season and thank you to the kind folks at the BBC.

Image taken from here - sorry...

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