BBC announces one-off UK-wide festival to fill Glastonbury gap

The BBC has announced a one-off music festival - The Biggest Weekend - will be staged next year as Glastonbury takes its traditional year off.

Monday, 24th July 2017, 2:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:32 am
Glastonbury is taking a year off in 2018. Picture: Contributed

The four-day festival, held from May 25-28, will be held at four sites in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

No suggestions for possible venues have been made at the time of writing, but the festival will be held over the late May bank holiday.

The last time Glastonbury took a year off - to prevent excessive damage to the Worthy farm site, and to allow locals and organisers a break - the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend festival was held in Hackney, to coincide with the London Olympics.

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The Glastonbury festival takes a 'gap year' every 5 or 6 years to prevent excessive damage to the site. Picture: Contributed

More than 175,000 tickets are expected to go on sale, while the BBC has promised to bring ‘the biggest artists in the world’ to the event.

However, headliners aren’t due to be unveiled for some time.

Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will all broadcast live sets over the weekend, while TV coverage will be led by BBC Two and BBC Four.

The BBC iPlayer will also carry coverage in the days after the event.

The Glastonbury festival takes a 'gap year' every 5 or 6 years to prevent excessive damage to the site. Picture: Contributed

Bob Shennan, director of BBC radio and music, said: “[The BBC] has a strong history of bringing the nation together for some special moments, and this is the biggest single music event ever attempted by the BBC.

“We will be celebrating the diversity of music from four different corners of the country, bringing the best UK music to the world and the best global music to the UK.”

The festival will be held in 2018 only, and it is not expected to become an annual event.