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BBC issues statement on cancellation of Electric Proms

By | Published on Tuesday 1 February 2011

Radio 2

I thought we already knew the Electric Proms weren’t going to go ahead this year, but presumably not, given that fact has only just been announced. Though the downsizing the BBC music fest went through last year – becoming a Radio 2 rather than a BBC-wide venture – was a hint the whole thing was reaching its conclusion.

Radio 2 bosses yesterday announced the contemporary music spin off of the classical proms, which has included performances from the likes of Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Bloc Party, Oasis and Robbie Williams, is being axed as part of the Beeb’s much publicised economy drive.

Radio 2 and 6music controller Bob Shennan told CMU: “In the current climate, we are faced with making difficult decisions, including how best to deliver high-quality live music programming throughout the year in light of continuing efficiency savings. I feel that Radio 2 can achieve the same impact of the Electric Proms in an alternative, more cost effective way. I’m disappointed that the lifetime of Electric Proms has come to an end, but very proud of its fantastically rewarding run of creating new moments in music for the past five years”.

Radio 2 and 6music Head Of Music Jeff Smith added: “Radio 2 remains as committed as ever to live music programming, and we will replicate the spirit of Electric Proms within the live music schedule. In addition to Electric Proms last year, Radio 2 featured live performances ranging from Paolo Nutini performing in Paisley to Paloma Faith at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival; Scissor Sisters performing live on Ken Bruce’s mid-morning show to Bryn Terfel singing Christmas classics at the Mermaid Theatre for Friday Night is Music Night”.

He continued: “Only last week we took the Manic Street Preachers back to their home town of Blackwood in Wales to perform an exclusive gig which was broadcast live on both Radio 2, streamed online and available on Red Button the following day, and we intend to create more of these special moments throughout 2011. It’s also our ambition to work with BBC Two again very soon as the radio/television/online offering was hugely enjoyed by listeners and viewers”.