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6 Music Festival to go ahead without live audience

By | Published on Monday 15 March 2021

BBC Radio 6 Music

This year’s BBC 6 Music Festival will go ahead later this month, it has been announced. Although with a distanced audience. Distanced as in sitting in their houses listening to it all on the radio.

Nine new audience-free performances have been recorded: Bicep, Michael Kiwanuka and Laura Marling playing at Alexandra Palace in London; and Poppy Ajudha, Black Country New Road, Dry Cleaning, Nubya Garcia, Shame and Working Men’s Club getting on stage at the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House.

Samantha Moy, Head Of BBC Radio 6 Music, says: “With venues closed across the UK, we are determined to celebrate live music, as we know 6 Music listeners are missing gigs as much as we are. So, we’ve raided the 6 Music Festival archives and moved heaven and earth to record some new performances, to ensure that the festival will go on!”

Commenting on his performance, Kiwanuka – who had to cancel his set last year due to laryngitis – says: “It feels great to be playing the 6 Music Festival this year, especially because I missed last year – I was so sad and gutted not to perform. This year is a special year because there are very few opportunities to get to play live, with the situation we’re in in the world. So it’s great to be able to express myself the way I know how and with the 6 Music family. It means a lot”.

BBC Radio 6 Music will broadcast all the new performances, along with eighteen classic sets from festivals past, from 26-28 Mar. Highlights from Bicep, Kiwanuka and Marling’s sets will also be shown on BBC Four on 26 Mar, while BBC iPlayer will also present an eight hour stream of back to back new and old sets from 2pm to 10pm on 28 Mar.

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