Isle of Wight festival – 2022 review

With the 2021 festival delayed and taking place late in September, less than nine months have passed since the crowds last cruised onboard the Isle of Wight for the legendary festival. It is understandable why the huge crowds flock back to the island each year and the event is often nominated for the best International Music Festival.

Festivals are no longer three day events, and those lucky enough to arrive on Thursday saw Rick Parfitt Jnr, son of the late Quo guitarist open this year’s festivities with a crowd-pleasing mix of classic covers from Kings of Leon, Prince, to his late dad’s classic singalong Rocking All Over The World.

Later and with considerably less energy, Shaun Ryder and his Happy Mondays headlined the opening night. While Shaun was no longer the energetic Madchester frontman, Bez made up for it, looking in unbelievable health with his freaky dancing and his trademark classic maracas.  Happy Thursday indeed.


Allowing everyone a nice lie-in and a great opportunity to check out the mix of cabaret, circus, dance and theatre at the Cirque de la Quirk, The Vaccines began the main-stage on Friday at a lofty 4pm with their 3-minute indie-rock singalongs.

Later, Sigrid travelled from her native Norway to warmer climates, getting the crowd dancing with some fantastic new pop tunes, with great messages emphasising in her lyrics that “when the world is on your shoulders…it’s just a bad day, not a bad life…”

Sigrid – © Graham Tarrant

Shortly afterwards, the Red Arrows flew in, before Nile Rodgers & Chic took over the party. Nile was asked how his music should be described – a heady mix of soul, funk, disco, pop and rock good tunes was the broad answer. Who needs to define musicians by genres and pigeon hole when it is this enjoyable?

Both Nile Rodgers and the next band, Madness, could easily have been headliners, as they have taken the top-slot at many other festivals in recent years.

But this year, Lewis Capaldi took the final billing of the day. He stated his own surprise to be booked in his first ever festival headlining slot after a two year absence of new material and his previously cancelling TRNSMT summer festival to write new material – but it surely won’t be his last with his breathtaking voice. Despite the often melancholy nature of his songs, his charming warm chat in between each song showed his sense of self-defacing humour, despite his top-selling songs of loss, including “Someone You Loved” and “Hold Me While You Wait”…


The main stage on Saturday included a mix of classic bands from The Fratellis with their Chelsea Dagger singalong reverberating throughout Newport, to The Proclaimers through to Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, better known as the voices from the Beautiful South.

However, the Big Top hosted an assortment of exciting new discoveries. 

Mark Owen © Graham Tarrant

Mark Owen, of Take That fame, ensured that getting anywhere near the tent was an impossible task for many in the early afternoon. As well as his new single ‘You Only Want Me’, he played what everyone wanted to hear – those old TT songs including ‘Rule The World’ and ‘Shine’ – in the front row, devoted fans had travelled all the way from Glasgow just for the day to see their pop idol up front and close in his orange suit, and he certainly showed why he’s had such incredible success with singalong tunes, smooth dance moves and one too many thrusting hips.

Later in the Big Top, Griff proved to be a highlight of the weekend. Having collaborated with the previously mentioned Sigrid, it’s clear why she won the Brit Award for Rising Star in 2021. Watch this space, as she is going to be huge – she deserves to be anyway…

Headlining the main stage on Saturday evening were Kasabian, led now by former guitarist Serge, who took over when the band fired Tom Meighan following his domestic abuse conviction two years ago. After a false start due to faulty microphone, the band launched into Club Foot – the skies opened for their set and there were frequent technical issues, but they blew the rain away, finishing with anthem “Fire”. Legendary footballer and friend of the band, Peter Crouch, joined the band onstage to pogo around, sadly no robot celebrations were demonstrated.

Over in the Big Top, Shaggy brought the night to a close. Describing himself as a reggae superstar, it was surprising just how many songs he had. As well as his “Boombastic”, “Angel” and “It Wasn’t Me“, for some reason known only to himself, he’s decided to release an album of Frank Sinatra covers in his own in inimitable style, playing “Come Fly With Me” and “Fly Me To The Moon” – entertaining, tongue in cheeky but very odd!

Shaggy © Graham Tarrant


Sunday also started with some classics from the likes of Del Amitri and Toyah, who defied her years by looking fantastic in a gold sequine dress.

Local Isle of Wight band Wet Leg played to possibly an even bigger audience than Mark Owen. Clearly incredibly nervous at possibly their biggest gig to date, the band defy the claim that music on the island is 20 years behind the rest of the UK mainland. At the end of Ur Mum they finish with the ear splitting

OK, I’ve been practicing my longest and loudest scream, OK, here we go, 1, 2, 3,blood-curdling shriek

Later, fresh from his goal-scoring and man-of-the-match appearance at Soccer Aid, Tom Grennan hobbled on stage on crutches and kicked it out of the park with his set. Stating himself he looked like a cheesy-puff in his orange shirt, the crowd loved his pop tunes, even though they all sounded as forgettable as the last. 

Throughout the day, it was impossible to avoid who everyone had come to see close the festival – the mighty Muse. T-shirts were seen on the young and old throughout the day and they didn’t disappoint. 

Coming on dressed in matching masks, Devon’s finest blew away the crowd with anthem after anthem. If you’ve never had chance to see Muse play live, they are without doubt one of the top live acts in the world. Beginning with glam rock swagger and playing crowd favourites “Hysteria”, “Plug-In Baby” and “Time Is Running Out”, the stage show was incredible, complete with the usual stereotypical pyrotechnics and streamers. Going one further, Muse transformed the stage with a huge ‘Will of the People’ mask coming to life from the new album – very 1984! Finishing with Knights of Cydonia, they brought the festival to a dramatic close singing:

Don’t waste your time
Or time will waste you…

This festival certainly wasn’t a waste of time, judging by the shattered faces on the ferry home the following day…book your ferries early next year as the island is sure to host an incredible line up again as it does each year. 

Words and photos: Graham Tarrant

Muse to headline Reading and Leeds Festival 2017

Reading & Leeds Festivals announce Muse, in a UK Festival exclusive, as the first headliners for next year’s festival, taking place 25-27 August 2017.
Stadium rock royalty, Muse are one of the most influential and revered live bands of modern times. Led by the commanding presence of frontman Matt Bellamy, the trio have taken to the biggest stages around the world with their interstellar anthems for over 22 years, and their return to Reading & Leeds promises to be yet another landmark moment in their storied career.
Muse commented:
"We’re very excited to be playing Reading and Leeds again. More news about our plans for 2017 coming in the new year."
Also confirmed for Reading & Leeds 2017 in a UK Festival Exclusive, are dancehall-rejuvenators Major Lazer. Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire have become the soundtrack of modern dance, claiming No.1 records, chart-dominating tracks such as ‘Lean On’ and ‘Cold Water’ as well as live shows packed with genre-mashing moments promising an unrivalled party atmosphere.
With a worldwide legion of fans and a catalogue of defining pop anthems, Bastille stand as one of the biggest acts on the planet. Their storming breakout album Bad Blood saw the band catapulted onto playlists, sell out venues, scooping BRIT Awards and selling over 7 million albums. With latest LP Wild World once again dominating the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, expect to witness a crowning moment as true modern titans return to Reading & Leeds.
At The Drive-In are set to bring their high-octane and powerful live show to Reading & Leeds this year, returning to the festival after their sold out world tour in 2016. Establishing an entire genre with their seminal 2000 LP Relationship Of Command, their unpredictable live shows bring a timely reminder as to why they remain such an influential powerhouse in alternative music.
Having released one of the most critically revered hip hop records of the year, Danny Brown will be bringing his world renowned individuality to the stage at Reading & Leeds Festival. Throughout his musical career he’s remained daring and distinctive when delivering his personal message, resulting in an atmospheric and emotional performance that’s not to be missed.
In terms of celebrated post-hardcore British bands, none may be as vital and influential as Architects. Through a career with numerous defiant moments, Brighton’s very own have forged a path of their own such as recently headlining a mammoth evening at London’s Brixton Academy fresh from the release of acclaimed album All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. Expect an emotionally charged return to Reading & Leeds for a UK Festival Exclusive performance of immeasurable significance.
Glass Animals continue to demonstrate why they are set to be one of the true global breakthrough artists of 2016. How To Be A Human Being was released at the end of August via Caroline International / Wolf Tone to rave album reviews, and Radio 1 and 6 music A-listed singles ‘Life Itself’ and ‘Youth’. The band have had a phenomenal live year, selling out their entire UK, EU and US tours and amassing well over 200 million Spotify streams. 2017 will see the band continue their anomalous rise, starting with Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in January, followed by the band's biggest UK tour to date, including Brixton Academy on March 16th.
One of the most recognisable voices of the past 12 months, Tory Lanez will be making an appearance at Reading & Leeds 2017. With standout single ‘LUV’ heralded as an indisputable late-night party anthem, the Canadian breakout star is on the cusp of world domination.
Powered by catchy, upbeat melodies and the strong voice of frontwoman Chrissy Costanza, Against The Current will dominate their first ever Reading & Leeds performance with tracks from this year’s debut album In Our Bones. They’ll be joined on the bill by drum and bass icon Andy C. His incredible career has seen him headline some of the biggest stages and moments in the genre’s history, most recently including his sell out shows at Brixton Academy and Alexandra Palace.  Equally as momentous will be the return of While She Sleeps, British metalcore’s undeniable DIY heroes who’ll be back in 2017 with their anticipated third album You Are We.
With hundreds of acts set to play across eight stages, Reading & Leeds is once again the unmissable festival weekend of the summer – defining and celebrating the who’s who of modern ground breaking music.
Against The Current | Andy C | Architects (UK Festival Exclusive) | At The Drive-In | Bastille | Danny Brown | Glass Animals | Major Lazer (UK Festival Exclusive) | Muse | Tory Lanez | While She Sleeps

The Adventure that was Benicassim, 2016.

You’ve all heard of Benidorm, I presume. That Spanish resort town, filled with sunburnt brits and head fuckers for breakfast, even with its own TV show about the life and times of its seasonal inhabitants.

For one week of the year, however, the brits are pre-occupied with a different kind of Beni, Festival Internacional de Benicassim. As a veteran fib goer myself (this year was the fourth) bringing along a backpack with an Argos tent, a Chromebook, a few different cameras plus their owner, the only clean clothes I had left, and flashbacks of Benicassim campsites and extreme heat, I felt well equipped and mentally prepared to tackle the biggest party of the summer, all in the name of journalism.

Benicassim itself is one of the friendliest experiences you will ever have. International is mentioned in the name because that is truly what it is. Though I felt there were considerably less Spanish goers (and noticeably a lot less Spanish acts) the multicultural vibe is definitely known, and with the gloom of Brexit still hovering over our heads there felt a definite subconscious need for camaraderie, which when you consider the amount of EU flags we saw dotted around and more often than not, wrapped around sleeping people, is a comforting thought.

The general atmosphere of Beni and it’s set up is really what makes it. Your ticket entitles you to 8 days of camping in their main area ‘campfest’ (you can also opt for glamping at a fairly reasonable price) and whilst alongside the various parties and events, the actual festival itself doesn’t start until 7pm, leaving you plenty of time to head to the beach, go into town, get your shopping done, and pregaming started, whilst not missing anything, and saving insane amounts of cash by raiding the Mercadona or the Lidl for the supplies you need to survive the night.

Financially, unlike British festivals, it won’t cost you a kidney and your first born child to enjoy Benicassim. Early Bird tickets start at 85 Euros, building to not more than 120, factor in the low, low cost of living out in the Spanish desert and even with a flight you’re still way ahead of the game, as long as you don’t mind inhaling 6 metric tonnes of dusk every time you wake up in the morning, and a hell of a lot of sun.  


Musical Highlights


Although Benicassim has become almost a rite of passage, the reason we all keep flocking to this ant infested wonderland every summer is not only for its general atmosphere but for the music. Although fib tends to have a smaller lineup (spread over 5 stages) than the majority of British Festivals, its headliners alone have enough pulling power. I’ve found over the years that a lot of the Glastonbury lineup will make a few sneaky appearances, but you’ll have to take my anecdotal word for it.


Thursday /


The shortest of all music days, but what turned out to be one of the best, Thursday boasted sets from DJ Hannah Wants and Irish rapper Rejjie Snow, however, the two main acts of the night by far were grime music artist Skepta and electronic music entity Major Lazer. Skepta, who halfway through his set worshipped the crowd as individuals, claiming he ‘hated celebrities’ became the simultaneous shunner and bringer of hype. The energy in the crowd was electric, and the growth of the London grime scene became increasingly obvious from the gigantic, international crowd that flocked to see him. The first headline act of the long weekend extravaganza, however, was Major Lazer, which gave the newbies a taste for FIB life and veterans like me a heightened nostalgia of what it’s all about. Their set was planned to the millisecond and mixed in a haul of different samples from Eurotrash, bashment and dancehall, and of course starting with Pon de Floor, the absolute tune that filled me with nostalgia and brought me back to being a fifteen-year-old getting drunk on a bottle of Lambrini. Moving forward, they started the encore with their feelgood hit of last year, Lean On, which shows just how much their popularity has grown.


Friday /


Friday saw the likes of more bands take to the stages, including the British rapping, indie, all-round shabby Rat Boy, the lo-fi garage rock Spanish girl band Hinds, now increasingly veteran rockers The Vaccines, and an emotional set from the harder rock of Biffy Clyro. Hinds played the main stage fairly early in the day, and although they started out with a small crowd it had almost quadrupled by the end, obviously attracted to their dynamic and the energy oozing from all four of them. They seem to be drawing quite a following from their various performances around the globe the last couple of years, and I’m pretty sure next year their names will be way higher up the bill. Finishing with Davey Crockett, throwing in a couple of new songs and even a Dead Ghosts cover, Hinds were one of the highlights of my weekend.

Though Friday was technically a lot more band heavy, Jamie XX took over for a disco-heavy and grime influenced set later in the evening, and the heavyweights of electronic music and putting on a fantastic show The Chemical Brothers headlined that evening. Starting with Hey Boy, Hey Girl and finishing their set with a combination of Galvanise and Block Rockin Beats, the show itself boasted spectacular lights, visuals and sound that made pretty much everyone go nuts.

This year Benicassim decided to up the ante with the dance stage, turning their previous second stage into the South Beach area set up complete with a ‘pool party’ – basically borrowing some Ibiza vibes from the another well known Spanish turn-up. Though the pool got pretty dirty after day one, the area itself was a success and saw the likes of Dan Deacon and John Talabot tear it up on the Friday.

Saturday /


If you’re a Muse fan, Saturday night was what you were waiting for. They headlined the main stage with a show-stopping two-hour set, incredible lights, showmanship and Matt Bellamy’s vocals in full force. Bringing out all the classics such as Supermassive Black Hole, you really cannot fault this band for doing what they do, and doing it heart-stoppingly well.

But on the contrary, it wasn’t just the superband that got the crowd going on that day. Disclosure followed suit on the main stage, starting with White Noise and playing a mix of tracks from Settle and Caracal, the boys radiated buzz as they always do whenever they take to the stage.

For the earlier parts of Saturday, however, it seems the indie and rock bands were out in full force, with Irish rockers Walking on Cars taking the main stage with the sun still glaring. For relative newcomers, they gathered a lot of support from a ferocious fan base, which, given the amount of Irish melodic voices heard around the festival is quite unsurprising. Bloc Party also mesmerised the visa stage, back with a vengeance and a beautifully revised selection of their catalogue, after a hiatus left them with just Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack as the original members. A brief chat with Kele himself before the show lead me to believe we can expect some new music from the new lineup very soon, and the band is sure to go from strength to strength after the writing process gets well and truly underway.

Echo and the Bunnymen and The Coral also played incredible sets, giving us a little blast from the past. For E&TBM we came for The Killing Moon but ended up infatuated with the set list, and after a five year hiatus, old time rockers The Coral perfectly matched their classics Dreaming of You and In the Morning with the release of their new album, Distance In Between, including track Chasing the Tail of the Sun, which Skelly himself thinks is the best to get the crowd going.

Although Muse did steal the show on the main stage, whilst the heavyweight rockers were letting the crowd fall in love we did sneak away for a few songs at the Visa Stage, where The Kills created an atmosphere that was lively, dramatic and addictive, even though a major amount of their fan base was stolen away. They were definitely one of my surprising highlights of fib, and deserve a medal of musical adoration in my eyes.


Sunday /


Sunday finally came around, and although I was completely shattered after running around a festival in sweltering heat, sleeping on a dusty floor of a tent and getting accidently sunburnt with the most awful tan lines you ever did see, the nostalgia was creeping in and I didn’t really want to go home. The mix of genres on this day was pretty special, Jess Glyne took the visa stage, where a surprising collection of men found themselves bobbing along to classics Hold My Hand and Rather Be. She also did a solo rendition of My Love, the Route 94 song that helped propel her solo career, as well as a collection of her own material. Following on from Glyne, Mac Demarco and The 1975 also played the Visa Stage, Demarco drawing a sizable crowd, arguably just as crazy as him. Known for his antics and his love of crowd surfers, he let good old ‘Tony’ climb his way onto the stage for a spot of light conversation before prompting his guitarist to crowd surf himself. The topless boys definitely knew how to do a show, and hardcore fans were lapping up every second, in fact every time they play they look like they’re having the best time, which is first and foremost what you want from a performer. The 1975 followed suit, again drawing in a large crowd with a pretty serious fanbase.

The main stage saw the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, who this year decided to make some festival appearances after cancelling a load of them last year. The northern rockers played a great show but I’m yet to be fully convinced of their staying power. Kendrick Lamar took the headline set that night, bringing in a gigantic crowd and a chilled vibe all across Benicassim. The setlist was perfect, with How Much a Dollar cost, B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe, of course King Kunta and after a profound, heartfelt speech that referenced the attacks in Nice, Turkey, and the need to unite at the state of the world, Lamar ended his set with the notion that we’re all going to be Alright.

DJ’s Snakehips took to the South Beach stage later that night to help bring the festival down to a close, and although I would have perhaps liked to see Lamar play the friday alongside Skepta, especially seeing grime music start to crack america, I was more than content with the set up as it was. All in all, I ended up completely delirious with sleep deprivation, but it was so worth it just to be at fib again.


Would I come again? Just try and stop me.


Full Final Bill for FIB – Benicassim!

Not long now til we, you and a stellar line up of the biggest bands in the world head to the coast in Spain for the 22nd edition of FIB Benicàssim.

The amazing 2016 line up is now complete and includes exclusive shows from some of the biggest and best names in rock, pop, electronica, hip hop, indie and beyond.

Your  only chance in Spain this summer to see very special festival headline shows from Muse and The Chemical Brothers, to witness the biggest rap act in the world right now, Kendrick Lamar liveto dance to the massive hits of Disclosure and Major Lazer or to check out the legendary Massive Attack.

Beyond these, there’s the some of the greatest new acts around like The 1975 &  Catfish And The Bottlemen, indie tunesmiths like The Vaccines and the Maccabees, the best in electronica from Jamie XX, John Talabot (Dj Set) and more. Pop? Jess Glynne. Grime? Skepta

Something for everyone including some of our favourite Spanish acts, Hinds, Dorian, La Habitación Roja…

FIB Benicàssim 2016 – 100 acts and four days and nights you’ll never forget. The greatest bands in the world and YOU at the festival of the year!


For ticket info and the timetable of acts, check out their website. 

Download Festival 2015 Review

With thousands of die hard rock fans of all ages making the annual piligmage to Donnington on Wednesday, they were met with two days of stunning blue skies over the Castle, leading up to Friday it looked set to be a glorious weekend of sunshine and Metal. But would it be DOWNLOAD Festival without the rain? 
Grey clouds formed as MODESTEP warmed up the MainStage at around 4:30pm on friday night, with a weird blend of dubstep and metal, half of their slot appeared to be a DJ set rather than a gig, seemingly out of place considering the rest of the Bill. As the heavens opened, there was still a a huge turn out for the original leaders of new wave of british heavy metal JUDAS PRIEST. Rob Halford may have struggled with some of the high vocals he’s always famous for but with hits like 'breaking the Law' was guaranteed to get older fans rocking, the motorbike and whip for the finale however needed to be left in 1969.
The anticipation for SLIPKNOT reached fever pitch, with many crowd members in masks and the boiler suits, and not even the monsoon like rain could dampen the assaulting experience of IOWAs finest export.
Any notions of them being a gimmick band with their masks and image, have been wiped since cementing themselves in Donnington history with their huge performances since 2009. Back with a New album and seemingly re-energised, the band made made their thundering riffs and singalong chorus’ wash over the adoring cult of maggots(sic) with ease and Mick Seven being one of the best guitarists I’ve ever witnessed glaring out over the audience whilst his shredding hands blurred over his guitar neck. A triumphant performance, even if it was there no doubt it would be.
Photo by Gobinder Jitta courtesy of Download Festival
With 24 hours of rain, the arena opened on Saturday half an hour later due to safety concerns, sawdust saved the afternoon from a wash out and first catching APOCALYPTA on the Encore stage was an intriguing set of classical strings and metal. 
The surprise performance of the weekend were HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD, a mutant child of slipknot and Beastie Boys hailing from Los Angeles, the group stood out with a lively Saturday afternoon slot sending the young audience into a frenzy on the main stage.
Being a Motley Crue fan, watching BLACK VEIL BRIDES seemed to be like viewing a synthetic rip off, but with a fan base bordering on the obsessive and similarities with My Chemical Romance, they seemed to have found their own niche and have to be respected for their gutsy rock and roll attitude.
MARILYN MANSON seemed to be a disappointment, with such a legendary reputation and colourful past, his limp attempts to engage with the audience were not helped by the drifting sounds of MUSE from the MainStage, who’s light show could probably be seen from the moon. Is there anywhere to go for MUSE? with album after album of space rock anthems filling the biggest stadiums around, there were no surprises amongst the bells and whistles in their massive headline performance but undoubtably they still set the bar high for British bands.
Photo by Richard Johnson courtesy of Download Festival
Waking up to blazing sunshine on Sunday, the MainStage was set for a superb line up of heavy metal legends, first catching CAVELERA CONSPIRACY sounding to me like a wall of noise, thankfully followed by BLACKBERRY SMOKE with their soothing sounds american southern Rock, like a young ZZ TOP were perfect for a Sunday afternoon and I will definitely be checking out their music again once back to civilisation.
BILLY IDOL never fails to impress, his new album material matches perfectly with his classic hits like 'White wedding' and 'Rebel Yell', and with his tongue in cheek shirtless leather jacket combo, he’s been a born entertainer since the 80s and there is still no stopping him. Followed by SLASH, the Guns N' Roses legend had a packed audience on the MainStage, with a back catalogue of hits from GNR, Velvet Revolver and now with Myles Kennedy on vocals, his blistering live performances of 'Paradise city', ‘Nightrain', and a finale of ‘slither' a highlight of how mad a crowd can go for rock and roll.
They’ve said all Bad things must come to an end, and Motley Crue on their final ever UK festival performance, smashed out their biggest and baddest hits including ‘looks that Kill’ and Girls Girls Girls  with all the vigour of it being 1981. With minimal set design they let the music do the talking and Nikki Sixx as always with the biggest grin of the weekend on his face. True legends and good to see them go out with a bang, the only down point in a faultless performance was the sorely missed ‘Home sweet home’ but you can’t have it all!
And so to the finale of KISS, with more anthems than most bands can dream of, pyrotechnics and huge circus like stage show, when confetti cannons exploded it was a perfect end to an epic weekend, for those that stuck it out to the end they were rewarded, the spirit of rock and roll prevailed over rainstorms that threatened to wash away even the most enthusiastic fans.
Photo by Andrew Whitton courtesy of Download Festival
Words by
Jack Trace

Muse set for Bestival 2015?

‎Backstage at the Snooker World Championships is clearly where the gossip's at this year, as Muse frontman Matt Bellamy lets slip that the band are set to do a headline slot at Bestival 2015. In an interview he said "We're doing Download Festival, which is like the metal festival, and Bestival in Isle of Wight later in the year, and next year we'll do our own tour obviously."
This revelation has not yet been confirmed by Bestival HQ or curator Rob Da Bank‎, but Muse have been a long requested band on the forums and with new album 'Drones' released on June 8th, it looks like Bestival could be set for a Supermassive Summer of Love.



Full Radio One Big Weekend Norwich lineup announced

On this morning's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast ShowScott Mills announced the line-up for Radio 1's Big Weekend 2015, taking place at Earlham Park, Norwich on 23 and 24 May – including Foo Fighters and Muse who will headline the event.

Some of the hottest UK and international acts will join them to perform at Europe’s biggest free ticketed festival which brings the whole nation together for one weekend of amazing live music.

Joining headliners Muse to perform on the Main Stage on Saturday 23 May alongside the already announced Florence + The Machine are 5 Seconds of SummerDavid GuettaBen HowardThe VaccinesFall Out Boy and Charli XCX.

Alongside Foo Fighters, who will headline the Main Stage on Sunday 24 May and Taylor Swift who has already been announced, Sam Smith,Rita OraGeorge EzraClean BanditOlly Murs and Imagine Dragons will also perform.

Snoop DoggRudimentalJess GlynneHozierYears & YearsElla EyreSlavesMallory Knox and Circa Waves will all perform onSaturday 23 May on the event’s In New Music We Trust Stage.

On Sunday 24 May, the In New Music We Trust Stage will host performances from Jamie TAlt-JSigmaCatfish & The Bottlemen,JungleJames BaySOAKRaury and Lower Than Atlantis.

Matt Bellamy from Muse said: “I’m very excited to play. The last time we played Big Weekend, for us it was a disaster, so I can’t wait to make up for it on this performance. I’m really looking forward to coming back and doing a great show. I’m pretty sure that we may unveil another new song that we will play for the first time which is pretty exciting.”

Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters said: “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to come out. I don’t really think we’ve ever played there before so I’m looking forward to it.”

Jess Glynne said: “My first Big Weekend in my own right and what a line up to be a part of. I can’t wait to play Norwich with my band and let you hear some of the songs from my new album. It’s going to be big.”

Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra said: “Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be fantastic – great music, great fun and a great location.”

The line-up for the BBC Introducing Stage will be announced in Huw Stephens’ show.


Florence and The Machine to return to Rock Werchter in 2015

A particularly commanding lady will again make her appearance at Werchter next summer. Florence + the Machine will perform in the Festival Park on Thursday 25 June. Other names already confirmed for Rock Werchter 2015 are Foo Fighters, Muse, Pharrell Williams and alt-J. More to follow shortly.

Florence Welch is a young woman of pedigree who has always dreamed of a musical career, full of creative twists and turns, just like that of Björk, Kate Bush and PJ Harvey. And she created a dream team to make sure it happened. The key figure is keyboard player Isabella Summers, who is nicknamed 'Isabella Machine' because of her electronic music talents. Instantly the band is much loved by the British critics and dominating the radio over here with 'Dog Days Are Over' and 'You Got The Love', a fine cover of an old soul number. In 2010 the debut album 'Lungs' (2009) led to a memorable concert at the festival's former Pyramid Marquee. The tent should have been three times bigger and was rocked so hard by the fiery Welch that it left a rip in Florence's long black dress. Two years later on the Main Stage she says 'Let's hope that happens again'. She captures the hearts of the audience with ease. It's onwards and upwards from here.

Foo Fighters & Muse to headline Rock Werchter 2015

Rock Werchter is pleased to announce Muse will headline on Sunday 28 June.  Foo Fighters will headline the festival in Belgium on Thursday 25 June 2015. 

Foo Fighters are coming by general demand. Every year we collect the wish lists from the friends of the festival and this year Foo Fighters are right at the top. To be sure of landing the band of the moment Rock Werchter is moving its dates forward a week. This is because the band is heading back to the States at the end of June to play a huge concert in front man Dave Grohl's home base of Washington D.C. on Saturday 4 July. In 2015 Foo Fighters will play Werchter for the third time in their 20 year history. They made their last appearance way back in 2005. Put together in eight iconic recording studios, the new album 'Sonic Highways' (2014) is Grohl's homage to the rich musical history of America, of which Foo Fighters are a fine example.

Muse have released six studio albums and have sold in excess of 20 million albums worldwide. Widely recognised as one of the best live bands in the world, they have won numerous music awards including five MTV Europe Music Awards, six NME Awards and six Q Awards. They have twice been awarded "Best British Live Act" at The Brits and have also been nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning Best Rock Album for The Resistance. Their last tour commenced in October 2012 and saw the band perform to over 2 million fans worldwide. Muse's sold out show at Rome's Olympic Stadium in July 13 was the first concert film to be filmed and presented in 4K Ultra High Definition. The band are currently in the studio working on their seventh studio album, scheduled for release in 2015.

Muse announced as Saturday headliner for Download Festival 2015

Muse will make their debut at Europe’s biggest rock festival as Saturday’s main stage headliner at Download 2015.

Considered by many to be the greatest live act in the world, the genre-defying trio will follow in the footsteps of Rock Gods past and present when they walk the hallowed fields of Donington Park for the first time.

On their impending debut the band said:

We're really looking forward to Download. We’ve never played the festival before so it’s going to be really special.

Main support will come from alt-funk-rap-metal pioneers Faith No More, returning to the festival for the first time since their long-awaited comeback in 2009. The return of the San Francisco five-piece to Donington also coincides with the release of their first album in 18 years, due in April 2015, with first single Motherf****r set to drop at the end of this month.

Faith No More said: 

Hard to believe it’s been five years already, but what’s harder to deny is that a lot has changed. The last time we played Download the focus was on bringing back the past; now it’s all about the present and the future. Where it should be.

Also making a long-awaited and eagerly anticipated return to Download as second stage headliner is Marilyn Manson, back on top form and, when he’s not jamming with Johnny Depp, back in the studio readying his new album Pale Emperor – which is set for its first UK festival outing at Donington.

Manson said: 

It's been a few years since I’ve been at download. The Pale Emperor will rise and I was born to cause chaos.

All these great bands will be joined by metallic pop-punk heroes A Day To Remember, playing Download for the fifth time and the first since the release of critically acclaimed album Common Courtesy.

The band see performing at Download as a sign of their progress up the rock ladder:

We have been playing download for years and I've always been proud to say I was just on the damn thing. So to be asked to be one of the main bands on one of the sickest rock festivals on the planet blows my mind. Haha we were a garage band…We in ADTR like to put on a spectacle, and we plan to do just that.

Acts already announced for Download Festival 2015 are SlipknotJudas PriestBlack Stone Cherryand Five Finger Death Punch with many more to come, including Sunday’s headliner. Can you guess who it is? Go on. I bet the answer’s on the tip of your tongue…