BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend Norwich Sunday Review

Despite the rain falling hard and fast onsite at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich, the second day of the festival was one full of anticipation ahead of the arrival of Taylor Swift to Norwich. Perhaps perfectly timed by the universe, the clouds cleared and the sun emerged to beam down upon the incredibly large crowd just in time for Swift's performance that cemented her dominance as the biggest and best popstar in the world right now.

Having conquered the charts, Clean Bandit made sure everyone was dancing as if there were no tomorrow, playing tracks from their debut album 'New Eyes' as well as bringing out the incredibly talented Rae Morris to perform collaboration 'Up Again'. Violinist Neil Milan brought out his trademark dance moves as he bounded about the stage like he was headlining.

Rae Morris performing onstage with Clean Bandit at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend. Image from the BBC

Gaining exposure at such an early stage of an artists' career brings with it an incredible weight of exepctation, and Irish singer-songwriter SOAK showed signs of nerves as the usually chatty performer kept talking to a minimum as they delivered heartbreakingly beautiful odes that would have you think she was much older than her young years. Channelling the raw emotion of legends such as Tom Waits. 'Be A Nobody' and 'Blud' brought the In New Music We Trust stage to a stunned silence, as the audience became visibly introspective about what these songs that many had perhaps never heard before made them feel. 

SOAK bringing the In New Music We Trust Stage to a standstill 

As a self confessed pop music sceptic, it was with trepidation that Rita Ora's set was approached. But such scpeticism was unfounded, as Ora delivered one of the highlights of the weekend. However you may want to criticise artists who perhaps don't have total creative input when making music, there is no denying that Rita Ora can sing. Really sing. Her set was heavy with hits from across her already impressive career and tracks such as 'Doing It' and 'RIP' went down an absolute storm with the age spanning crowd. Pop music at it's finest.

As the sun peered out from behind the clouds, Jungle took to the In New Music We Trust Stage to kickstart the carnival atmosphere ready for the night ahead. 'Busy Earnin' 'Time' and 'Julia' amongst many others had the tent bursting at the seems with people dancing and partying their way through a set that felt very much like a victory lap for a band that experienced runaway success across last year's festival circuit.

How does one describe James Bay? Well according to more than a few people poised to see him, he falls somewhere between "the most beautiful man in the world" and "his face was carved by angels" which when coupled with his amazing voice and melodies shows exactly why he was deserving of this year's BRIT Awards Critics Choice Award. 'Hold Back The River' and 'Let It Go' erupt massive crowd singalongs that are almost loud enough to drown out Bay's own voice. 

One name has been synonomous with this year's Big Weekend. You might have heard of her before? She likes to shake it off with fellas with hella good hair and recently she unveiled an already iconic video seeing her army of powerful ladies do battle against the forces of evil. Still unsure who it is? It can only be Taylor Swift.

Introduced by a BBC Radio 1 listener who won the opportunity to welcome Swiftie to Norwich, Taylor was greeted by screams of 'TAYLOR! TAYLOR!' as she emerged in a decadent sparkly outfit to reminds us all what a star she is. Opening with 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', the next 40 minutes passed like some sort of euphoric chorus direct from the heavens. There were lifelong Swifites rubbing shoulders with recent converts following the release of '1989'. Strangers became friends over a shared love of shaking it off and that is exactly the kind of slap in the face that any present music snobs needed because in case you didn't get the memo; life's too short to be hating on someone as perfectly brilliant aas Taylor Swift. Ya hear?!

The beauty of BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, is that you don't get just one globe conquering act in a day. Oh no, you get TWO! Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters never thought he'd get to say Taylor Swift was his opening act which was greeted with thunderous cheers from a crowd who have grown up with his mighty powerhouse of a band.

Playing to a crowd of die hard Taylor Swift fans was never going to be an easy for a band who fall on the total opposite side of the music spectrum. But the appeal of the Foos is twofold – first you have the anthem after anthem back catologue of tracks such as 'Walk' and 'Congregation' and then secondly you have the heart warming personality of Dave Grohl that feels like you and he have been friends for decades. 

The euphoria washing over Earlham Park throughout 'Times Like These' induces a swelling of happiness and warmth in the heart of everybody onsite. Closing with a spectacular firework display, Big Weekend closed it's doors for another year and as the crowds poured away from the site in Norwich, there really was a collective consensus that this was without a doubt the biggest Big Weekend there has ever been.



We Are FSTVL announce BBC Radio 1’s Danny Howard!

BBC Radio 1’s dance music maestro Danny Howard has been added to what is already an incredible line up at this year’s We Are FSTVL. The UK tastemaker will bring his own brand of high energy big room house music to Upminster’s ‘Field Of Dreams’ – joining Sunday’s main stage gathering of Steve Angello, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, Amine Edge & DANCE, Heidi, Oliver Heldens and more – plus future talents Philip George, CamelPhat and As I Am also announced. 
Currently touring on behalf of his very first brand, Nothing Else Matters, and influencing the listening habits of thousands of fans worldwide across his shows for BBC Radio 1, BPM and Sirius XM, Danny Howard is a bona fide UK dance music lynchpin. Juggling a residency at Pacha, a regular column in DJ Mag and the promotion of his already #1 BBC Radio 1 Dance Anthems compilation, Howard has somehow found time in recent years to produce tracks such as ‘Spire’, ‘MUG’ and ‘Apex’ on Spinnin’ Records, as well as collaborating with the legendary Paul Oakenfold. His production talents show no signs of stopping this year, with his remix of Dr Kucho! & Gregor Salto’s ‘Can’t Stop Playing (Makes Me High)’ being released imminently on Ministry Of Sound.

Also billed on Sunday’s main stage is 21 year old newcomer Philip George – the man behind the huge record ‘Wish You Were Mine’ which peaked at number 2 in the UK chart. On the rise duo CamelPhat are also set to feature on Sunday’s Paravana stage, as well as As I Am who rounds off the latest additions.  

Keep an eye out for further news on We Are FSTVL’s 2015 after party at Studio 338 which will be revealed shortly – with plenty more surprises in store before proceedings kick off on Saturday 30th May 2015.

Line Up
Saturday 30th May

Main Stage: Carl Cox, Gorgon City, Hot Since 82, Monki, Nic Fanciulli, Second City, Seth Troxler, Solomun
Used and Abused: Loco Dice, Adam Beyer, Enzo Siragusa, Recondite (Live), Tale of Us, Yaya
What Hannah Wants: Hannah Wants, Redlight, Cyril Hahn, Friend Within, GotSome, Kidnap Kid, My Nu Leng, Oneman, T Williams, Waze & Odyssey
Defected In The House: Masters At Work, Andrea Oliva, Oliver Dollar, Cristoph, Noir, Sam Divine, Simon Dunmore, Sonny Fodera
Toolroom Live: Mark Knight, Dennis Ferrer, Tensnake, Dosem, Purple Disco Machine, Shiba Shan, Tube & Berger, Wankelmut, Weiss, Mark Storie, Pete Griffiths
Clockwork Orange: Tall Paul, Brandon Block & Alex P, Trevor Fung, Andy Manston, Tristan Ingram, Danny Clockwork & Keith Mac, 2 Good Souls, Tony Grimley
Sunday 31st May
Main Stage: Steve Angello, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, Amine Edge & DANCE, Heidi, Oliver Heldens, Danny Howard, One Bit, Route 94, The Martinez Brothers, Philip George
Cocoon: Sven Vath, Dixon, Ame, Ilario Alicante, Popof, Ricardo Villalobos, Ten Walls
Hospitality: Camo & Krooked, DK EZ, MJ Cole, Toyboy & Robin, Etherwood, Fred V & Grafix, Spy, Metrik, Logistivs, Nu:Tone, Lynx, Krakota
Paradise: Jamie Jones, Marco Carola, Claude Von Stroke, Steve Lawler, Jackmaster, Richy Ahmed, Patrick Topping, wAFF, Russ Yallop, Mark Jenkyns
MK Area 10: MK, andhim, Anabel Englund, Ben Pearce, Beckwith, Dantiez Saunderson, DJ S.K.T, Dusky Huxley, J Phlip, Kant, Kevin Saunderson, Lee Foss, Pleasure State, Shadow Child
Paravana: Camelphat, Max Chapman, Senzala, Panda, Headspace, Anthony Lowther, Ollie Mundy, Melvo Baptiste, Russ Jay, Jnr Windross, Secondself, Shane Macauley, Jedd Barry

Who To Watch At BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend In Norwich

Next week (23rd & 24th May) sees Radio 1's Big Weekend land in Norwich, bringing with it some of the world's biggest artists including Taylor Swift, Muse and Florence & The Machine all descending on Earlham Park. With three stages packed with bands and artists from all over the world, consider this your go to guide whether you are attending or watching from home.

BBC Introducing Stage

Fickle Friends – Canvassing the power of pop music, Fickle Friends wield music that was made for festival atmospheres. Upbeat and melodic synth pop oozes around the vocals of frontwoman Natti building to spectacular euphoric crescendos that have already earnt them support from the likes of Huw Stephens. Listen to their tracks 'Swim' and latest single 'Could Be Wrong' on their SoundCloud and you'll understand perfectly why Fickle Friends are set to be one of this summer's runaway success stories.


HONNE – Roughly translating as 'true feelings' or 'desire' in Japanese, Honne make the kind of sultry futuristic music that will no doubt soundtrack the conception of more than a few babies in the years to come. Still very much an underground sensation, Honne have already been compared to the likes of Drake and Frank Ocean for their low-fi high impact soundscape. Their debut single 'Warm On A Cold Night' carries on the smoothness of the 80s synth scene and carries it romantically across the threshold and bang into the 21st Century, ready for some serious vibe heavy baby-making.


In New Music We Trust Stage


Circa Waves – Having already made one of the best songs of the summer with 'T Shirt Weather', Liverpudlian lads Circa Waves have the same frenetic energy that helped Two Door Cinema Club sky-rocket to success. Their debut album 'Young Chasers' is packed to the rafters with absolute belters that will no doubt be sang back at high volumes in the Norwich sunshine. 


Hozier – He seemed to take over the world with melancholy ballad 'Take Me To Church' but for those thinking that Irish Hozier was merely a fleeting one hit wonder, he'll be on hand to prove he is more than worth his salt. He's already been nominated for a Grammy, meaning that this afternoon set is likely to be full of couples ready to soundtrack their schmoozing alongside many other music fans that fell in love with his debut record. 


Years & Years – Olly, Emre and Mikey won the BBC's Sound of 2015 Poll at the start of the year for their ridiculously upbeat and heartfelt sound. With album 'Communion' slated for release in one month, the boys already have a wealth of well loved and well rehearsed material including their number 1 single 'King' and latest ode to love 'Shine' which sees frontman Olly Alexander not only wear his heart on his sleeve, but rub it all up in your grill. If you want to hear what the future of great pop music looks like, it's here and by jove is it wonderful.


Jungle – Make sure you're not 'Too Busy Earnin' to miss Jungle carry on the party. Taking to the stage in a caccophany of rainforest sounds and noises, Norwich is set to feel more like the Amazon throughout this set. Their self-titled debut album was nominated for the Mercury Prize and are a must see even if you caught them on last year's festival circuit.


SOAK – Having been made BBC Radio 1's 'Track Of The Day' and having been in session for Huw Stephens, it's no surprise that SOAK has landed a slot on the In New Music We Trust Stage. At only 18 years of age, SOAK has a wiseness and world weariness in her lyrics that channels the soul of Tom Waits putting a unique black and white filter over the world. SOAK us undoubtedly one of the best songwriters around right now and her mellow melancholy will be in high demand across the summer and beyond. It's gloomy without being sad and quite cathartic to listen to no matter what the weather.


The Main Stage


Charli XCX – Her tracks with Icona Pop and Iggy Azalea propelled Charli XCX into the global spotlight, but it is her own hefty catalogue of bratty punk pop you should be paying attention to. Charli is very underestimated when it comes to how good of a role model she is to teenagers . Preaching self love and a devil may care attitude to authority, Charli's set is one of my most anticipated sets of the entire weekend for unrelenting energy she puts into performances and the amount of #tunes she has following on from the release of her debut album 'Sucker' which was overflowing with belters.


Florence & The Machine – Despite having broken her foot at this year's Coachella festival, sitting down still hasn't been holding Florence back from re-conquering the world with cuts from her soon to be released third album 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful'. Florence was propelled from the womb ready to be crowned queen of the summer festival circuit and Big Weekend marks her first UK festival performance since she signed off her secodn album Ceremonials at Reading & Leeds in 2012. This return has been a long time coming for fans of all ages and with an even bigger Machine to back her powerful lungs, Norwich won't know what hit it when Florence is carried onto the stage.


Clean Bandit – Opening the Main Stage on May 24th, Clean Bandit have all of the hits on hand ready to get the people of Norwich jumping high into the sky ready for the final day of Big Weekend. With their collaborator Jess Glynne playing the day before, we can hope for a joint rendition of 'Rather Be' at some point across the weekend.


George Ezra – Since Mumford & Sons have put down their banjos, George Ezra is here to fill that barn dance shaped hole in your life with his take on acoustic power folk. The undoubtedly deafening roaring along to hits such as 'Cassy O' and 'Blame It On Me' will cement Ezra's status as a much loved nation's sweetheart. His thunderous soul will be perfect for the people of Earlham Park to get down to and warm up for the evening's headline act.


Taylor Swift – No preview for Big Weekend would be complete without mentioning one Ms Taylor Swift. Having taken over the world with her record '1989' Taylor might just cause the biggest number of people shaking it off in one place at one time. Armed with more than three albums worth of hits and fan favourites, Taylor's arrival on Norwich soil is a very very big deal. 

You can check out the entire line up for BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich here:

And you can also check out a mash-up of all of the acts announced for the festival here to get you in the festival mood: