Radio 1 announces alternative Big Weekend 2020 line-up

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Sam Smith
Image caption,
Sam Smith are among the acts performing sets from home for the virtual edition of the festival

Radio 1 has announced plans for an online alternative to Big Weekend, which was cancelled due to coronavirus.

The event was due to take place in Dundee from 22 to 24 May - with Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris and Harry Styles among the names set to perform.

An alternative show, called Big Weekend UK 2020, will now be held across five virtual "stages" on the same weekend.

The online line-up will include sets from artists' homes and archive sets from previous editions of the event.

Sam Smith, Biffy Clyro, Anne-Marie, Young T & Bugsey and Rita Ora are the first names that have been announced to be playing new live sets across the weekend.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Katy Perry's set from Glasgow in 2017 and Miley Cyrus' 2019 show in Middlesbrough will be shown

Over 100 artists will be involved and more acts will be announced over the next few weeks.

Performances will take place across the Radio 1, Radio 1 Dance, Headliner, 1Xtra and the BBC Music Introducing virtual stages.

'We cannot wait'

Radio 1's Greg James says he's pleased his "favourite event of the year" is still going ahead.

"It'll be a great opportunity to re-live some of our favourite performances from over the years," he says.

"Although it'll be a technical nightmare, having some new performances from artists' houses will be great for everyone to have something fun to watch and listen to over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

"And if it all goes wrong, we can just blame the pandemic and say that at least we tried."

"As much as we'd love to be performing live on stage, this will be a whole new experience for us and we cannot wait," says Biffy Clyro.

"I'm so excited that Radio 1's Big Weekend is happening this year, even though it'll be from my living room I still can't wait," adds Rita Ora.

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The decision to postpone the event was made in March following advice from the Scottish government, which said events of more than 500 people should be cancelled during the current lockdown.

The festival, which would have been the second time the event was held in Dundee, was scheduled to take place in Camperdown Park - with 70,000 people expected to attend.

With Big Weekend being the earliest major British festival of the summer, it was the first to be disrupted by coronavirus.

It has since been joined by the likes of Glastonbury, TRNSMT and Latitude which have all seen their 2020 events cancelled or postponed as a result of the pandemic.

Image caption,
Glastonbury is among the other UK festivals to be affected by Coronavirus

Fans will be able to experience Big Weekend UK 2020 on Radio 1 across the weekend, with full sets available on BBC Sounds.

More details, along with the full line up and set times, will be unveiled in the lead up to the event.

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