Radio 1 kicked off the festival season in style

BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend is one of the UK’s biggest music festivals, and it’s almost certainly one of its best. We went down to Exeter’s Powderham Castle to check out this year’s festival, and these were our highlights:

Twenty One Pilots

Craig David may have officially opened the Big Weekend, but it was twenty one pilots who really kicked it off. The edgy duo brought their unique blend of indie-rock and EDM to the In New Music We Trust tent, and they very nearly blew the roof off. Check out this video of set highlight (and fan favourite) Stressed Out:

 

 

Bastille

Oh, it’s good to have Bastille back. The London pop-rockers made their UK live return at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and they were on the form of their lives. Their set was only half an hour long, but the band found time to debut a couple of new songs. Of these, it was The Currents that stood out – it’s a three-minute-long romper of a catchy pop song, and it’s bound to be a highlight of their forthcoming second album.

 

 

Mumford & Sons

Who doesn’t love a bit of Mumford & Sons? We know that we do. We love their live shows. We love the fact that one of them looks a hell of a lot like Jack Whitehall. We love their anthemic stadium-rock songs. (Even the ones with banjos. Heck, ESPECIALLY the ones with banjos).

Above all else, we really love the fact that they absolutely smashed their headline slot at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. There are few British bands who could pull off a major festival headline slot, but Marcus Mumford and co. had no trouble with winning over the 25,000-strong crowd at Exeter’s Powderham Castle. Festival favourites Little Lion Man, The Cave, and Lover of the Light were all given an airing, but it was the new songs that really stood out. Check out this ace performance of Tompkins Square Park, and you’ll see what we mean:

 

 

OneRepublic

Ryan Tedder has penned hits for Beyoncé, Maroon 5, Ella Henderson, James Morrison, Ellie Goulding, Adele, and Taylor Swift. He’s also managed to write a whole load of great songs for his own band, OneRepublic. They brought their extensive back catalogue of hits to the festival’s Main Stage on the Sunday afternoon, and they absolutely smashed it. They were our highlight of the festival, and we’d thoroughly recommend heading down to see them when they tour the UK in 2017.

 

 

Sigma

They brought out ACTUAL TAKE THAT to perform their new single. ‘Nuff said, really. They were bloody good, too.

 

 

The 1975

Matty Healy and co. brought their unique blend of pomp-pop and arena-rock to the Main Stage of BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and we thought that they were great. Recent single The Sound was a particular stand-out: if you don’t know it, think bouncy synth lines and a devilishly catchy chorus, and you’re just about there:

 

 

Biffy Clyro

Scottish stadium rockers Biffy Clyro are back, and we’re thanking the Lord for it. Their fifty-minute long set might have been merely a snippet of their usual live shows, but it showed us why they’re one of the biggest – and, indeed, the best – live bands in the world. Frontman Simon Neil was a snarling mess of shaggy hair and roaring vocals, the rhythm section of Ben and James Johnston was insanely tight, and each word of every song was roared back to them by the packed-out In New Music We Trust tent. Mon the Biff indeed.

 

 

Coldplay

Fix You. Viva La Vida. The Scientist. A Sky Full Of Stars. Paradise. Need we say more? We can’t even pick a highlight – for every poignant piano cover of Prince‘s Raspberry Beret, there was a stadium-filling ballad (hey there, Up&Up), and for every stadium-filling ballad there was a chart-topping pop-rock song (hi, Paradise!). There’s a reason why they’re the biggest band in the world.

 

 

We had a great time at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Exeter 2016. Listen back via the Radio 1 website and watch highlights on Radio 1’s YouTube channel.

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