Last weekend, the UK’s north-eastern city of Hull hosted Radio 1’s Big Weekend, the biggest festival the area has ever seen. Over two days, tens of thousands of music fans, mostly from areas around Hull, piled into the field at Burton Constable Hall to watch their favourite artists perform live.
Katy Perry and Kings of Leon were headlining, but the four stages saw a diverse collection of music, from Stormzy to Little Mix, to DJ Mura Masa and up-and-coming singer-songwriter Declan McKenna.
Radio 1 DJs appeared on stage to introduce the acts, including Nick Grimshaw, Scott Mills and Cel Spellman, as well as Greg James and Clara Amfo who particularly enjoyed our CelebMix stickers.
Day one kicked off with Zara Larsson on the main stage, followed by Galantis, then James Arthur, before Imagine Dragons really captured the crowd as frontman Dan Reynolds jumped down to sing ‘Radioactive’ with the dedicated fans on the front row.
Lorde followed on the main stage. She had the whole crowd dancing along to ‘Green Light’ (though we kinda wish it was the Creme Egg version) whilst sporting some very fitting green trousers.
The phenomenal Rag’N’Bone Man gave such a fantastic performance that the Where It Begins tent became full to capacity, with fans of all ages gathering outside to hear his performance.
Space in the Where It Begins tent cleared up later in the afternoon for fans to watch American superstar Lana Del Rey, ahead of her ‘Lust for Life’ album release in July. UK fans have missed Lana, who has spent two years producing her new album, but she didn’t disappoint. Lana played ‘Lust for Life’ and ‘Cherry’ from the new album, as well as indulging fans in some old favourites, particularly ‘Video Games’ and ‘Off to the Races’.
The BBC Introducing stage hosted a variety of up-and-coming artists, including 18-year-old singer-songwriter Declan McKenna. Declan, Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition 2015 winner, performed an electrifying set with his talented band of young female musicians.
As the evening went on, international names such as Kasabian, Emeli Sande and Biffy Clyro took to the main stage, with one of the world’s biggest pop stars Katy Perry finishing the first day.
Katy mixed new tracks ‘Swish Swish’ and ‘Bon Appetit’ with the hits she is best known for, ‘Firework’ and ‘California Girls’. She also performed a heartfelt tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, singing ‘Part of Me’. She said:
“This next one goes out to Manchester and all the people who know what it means to love music and be a community because of it.
“This is a part of us that they’ll never take away from us. Rest in peace Manchester.”
She added: “We will still dance, we will still sing, we will still make music.”
The second day began with Little Mix performing on the main stage in matching lime green outfits, which literally only they could pull off. They played a bunch of tracks from their latest album ‘Glory Days’ accompanied by their show-stopping dance routines.
A highlight from the main stage has to be Stormzy, who had the whole crowd captured. He called for ‘energy’ and the crowd responded, jumping and dancing all the way through his set. The big screens even captured one young girl’s t-shirt with Stormzy’s iconic lyric, ‘You’re getting way too big for your boots’, as fans of all ages and backgrounds enjoyed the grime artist.
As well as performing his own tracks, Stormzy played Ed Sheeran’s hit ‘Shape of You’, adding in his rap from the pair’s Brit Awards appearance.
Another huge name on the main stage was Shawn Mendes. As Shawn stepped back from the mic, the entire field belted out the words to ‘Treat You Better’ in a truly mesmerising moment.
The Where It Begins tent saw a surprise collaboration between DJ Mura Masa and Charli XCX, who later jumped on the main stage with Rita Ora. Later, the whole tent was dancing to Dua Lipa’s ‘Be the One’, as the 21-year-old performed some of her most popular hits.
Dua Lipa also took the time to appear in the signing tent, meeting fans and telling CelebMix she was ‘really excited’ about her performance.
CelebMix also chatted to YouTuber Joe Tasker who said Bastille were his favourite act. He said:
“Watching it live is sick. I get a thrill out of watching something cos it’s loud and it’s live.”
“They know how to put on a show. It was very entertaining.”
Sunday ended with three huge acts on the main stage: The Chainsmokers, Clean Bandit and Kings of Leon.
Fans left the venue in great spirits after seeing their favourite artists. Many also showed thanks to the police and security services who helped to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance.
Big Weekend was a show of what Radio 1 does best: great music, from big and small artists alike, that everyone can enjoy.
Keep an eye on the CelebMix YouTube channel for more coverage of the event. Let us know your thoughts on Big Weekend by tweeting us @CelebMix.
Credit to BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Hull 2017. For highlights catch-up on BBC One, the BBC iPlayer Radio app and Radio 1’s BBC iPlayer channel.