Punting aside images of Trainspotting and windswept wallopers drinking Bucky under a bridge, Scotland will be once more at the forefront of British culture in 2014. Glasgow has already hosted the 18th birthday of the MOBO awards last year with guests like Craig David and Rudimental and who could forget that we’re to be getting our games face on rather soon for this summer’s Commonwealth Games?
Lured by promises of a free breakfast overlooking the Clyde, qmunicate were excited to be the only student media organisation invited to join Nick Grimshaw live in the BBC Scotland studio, as the announcement was made live on air: this year’s Radio 1 Big Weekend will take place in our fine city. And yes, Nick Grimshaw’s hair is just as fabulous in real life as everyone makes out.
If you were that keen early bird who was up in time to hear the announcement ,you will already be aware that the Big Weekend will be taking place at Glasgow Green on the 24th and 25th of May, with a brand new dance stage open on the preceding Friday. With a capacity of 60 000 the Big Weekend is the largest free ticketed musical event in the country and previous years have seen performances from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Rihanna and Foo Fighters.
In front of a studio bursting with over excitable Glaswegian school children Grimshaw announced to the nation that the first act joining the line-up would be easy-on-the-eye Paisley chip shop boy and purveyor of soulful early morning tunes, Paolo Nutini. Backed by an eleven piece band Nutini performed his funky new song ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ off his fresh album Caustic Love; coming out in April. Its a sweet combo of Michael Jackson twists combined with catchy brass ensures that after a four year wait Nutini is going to be a big performer in 2014. Qmunicate would like to report that Nutini can give us some candy anytime.
Next to join Grimmy on the sofa was pop-star Rita Ora. Decked in a rather brash lab jacket and seemingly almost as enthusiastic as the fourteen year olds seated around her, she announced that she too would be gracing the Glasgow stage. In another exclusive Rita also told the assembled audience about the upcoming collaboration she is set to release with her boyfriend Calvin Harris, sparking excited chatter that he may too be joining the line-up in May.
After a suitably Scottish interlude featuring the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and their fantastic bagpipe led version of Avicii’s ‘Levels’, the final guest of the morning was Stirling University graduate and BBC Introducing presenter Ally McCrae. Speaking of his desire to promote new and alternative talent as well as his time at past Radio 1 Big Weekends, McCrae laid out his vision for the Glasgow Weekend as a showcase for both established acts and emerging talents. As one of the first to push the likes of CHVRCHES, named in the BBC Sound of 2013 and many end of year Best Of lists, McCrae knows his stuff and true to form he brought along one of Britain’s most exciting young bands, Glasgow’s Baby Strange. The youthful trio performed an acoustic version of their single ‘Pure Evil’ and even in stripped back form it was reminiscent of The Strokes with more hair gel with the sort of sleazy appeal that The Vaccines dream of.
Tickets are distributed by ballot, with sign-up available from March so make sure you have access to every single email address you have ever had before you apply. The countdown begins and more surprises may be yet to come…
[Emmie Harrison and Max Sefton]