THE world’s biggest boy band, One Direction, will stage a free gig in Glasgow this summer in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games.
The five singers, who shot to fame on The X Factor five years ago, have been confirmed as the opening act next month at BBC Radio 1’s biggest outside broadcast of the year.
One Direction will appear at the Glasgow Green event just days before taking the stage at a long sold-out gig at Murrrayfield in Edinburgh.
Radio 1’s “Big Weekend” will be the culmination of two weeks of events to be staged across Glasgow from 17 May, offering the chance to see some of the biggest names in the music industry, as well as giving thousands of young fans the chance to meet their heroes.
Also confirmed yesterday for the two-day Big Weekend were Kings of Leon, who headlined a 35,000-capacity show at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow last summer, along with Kasabian, Tinie Tempah, Lily Allen, Katy Perry, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, Example, Jake Bugg, John Newman, Twin Atlantic and Chvrches.
All 50,000 tickets for the free Radio 1 festival, which is being staged over the May bank holiday, were bought within minutes earlier this month, before all but a handful of the acts due to appear were confirmed. Coldplay, who will headline the Saturday night, Paolo Nutini, Rita Ora, The 1975 and Pharrell Williams were the only acts announced before yesterday.
The event, said to be Europe’s biggest free live music extravaganza, is set to provide a huge boost to Glasgow’s profile just two months before the Commonwealth Games are held in the city. It is also due to host the MTV Europe Music Awards for the first time in November, at the SSE Hydro.
Glasgow Green is already earmarked to play a major role during the Commonwealth Games as the site of one of the “live zones”, which will screen the sporting action and host live entertainment.
Ben Cooper, controller of BBC Radio 1, said: “It’s a phenomenal line-up, probably the best in the world this year, in one of the world’s great music cities.”
A statement from One Direction, who will open the main stage of the event on the Saturday, said: “Glasgow, we are coming to get you. We’re going to put on a great show and we can’t wait to see you all there.”
The entire Big Weekend will go out live on Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra and be streamed online, with BBC executives declaring the event was coming north for a third time to “celebrate the city’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games”.
Scottish bands Twin Atlantic and Chvrches will also be appearing at the Big Weekend’s “new music” stage, along with Example, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks, Katy B and London Grammar.
It was announced last week that Radio 1 would be hosting a week-long “academy” offering 7,000 young people the chance to attend workshops, Q&A sessions and master-classes from some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment business. Among the acts confirmed to take part are singer-songwriters Emeli Sande and Nina Nesbitt, and comic Kevin Bridges.