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BBC Music announces The Fringe - an ambitious 10 day outreach programme in lead up to the Biggest Weekend

20 Mar 2018
BBC Music today announced The Fringe, a creative and comprehensive 10-day outreach programme which will take place in the lead up to The Biggest Weekend – the BBC’s biggest ever celebration of live music across TV, radio, online and mobile happening on the late May bank holiday weekend.

The 10-day event will include live musical performances, industry insight, workshops and Q&A’s with BBC Radio DJ’s and influential figures, a UK wide tour with BBC Music Introducing, a new Ten Pieces initiative called No Place Like Challenge, Radio 1’s Academy, employability events and work experience opportunities for young people plus lots more.

The Biggest Weekend Fringe runs from Friday, 18 May until Monday, 28 May and will travel to the four host cities – Belfast, Coventry, Perth and Swansea – as well as the rest of the UK.

Bob Shennan, Director, BBC Radio and Music, said, “Working closely with a wide range of local partners, The Biggest Weekend Fringe events will offer people from across the UK the opportunity to attend some inspirational and innovative sessions, whether it’s to see how they could have a career in the music industry or just to have a bit of fun.”

BBC Music is working closely with Music Venue Trust and UK Music to get local and independent venues on board to programme and curate live music under The Biggest Weekend Fringe umbrella. They will come together to celebrate music scenes across the UK sharing the passion and enthusiasm for new and emerging music.

The Biggest Weekend UK Fringe is open to any UK music venue, promoter or organiser to get involved and should reflect the UK’s diverse music scenes and genres, from indie and grime to DJ’s and spoken word. All events taking place will be able to use The Biggest Weekend Fringe branding and shall be listed as an official Fringe event on our pages with Skiddle – the official listing provider. Venues from as far afield as Glasgow and Newquay have already signed up to be Fringe partners and put on events across the UK.

Mark Davyd, CEO, Music Venue Trust said, “This is a great opportunity to shine a light on incredible grassroots music venues across the country, Music Venue Trust looks forward to working with the BBC to enable large numbers of venues to take part.”

In addition to the UK Fringe, BBC Music Introducing is taking four bands on tour, starting at The Great Escape festival in Brighton on Friday, 18 May and will end on stage performing at The Biggest Weekend. The tour will visit several grassroots venues across the UK and each night will feature support from a new local artist working in conjunction with Local BBC Music Introducing shows.

BBC Ten Pieces launches its nationwide No Place Like Challenge today. The project encourages school children to create their own version of Kerry Andrew’s No Place Like, a piece which is one of this year’s set of Ten Pieces, celebrating what is special and unique about their home town or school. In celebration of The Biggest Weekend hundreds of schools across the UK will be holding Ten Pieces assemblies, so far more than 28,000 children have signed up to be involved. The assemblies offer children the chance to get creative with, and celebrate music with the BBC. The assemblies will offer a platform for schools to showcase their responses to the No Place Like Challenge inspired by their local environment.

Aimed at inspiring a generation of children to get creative with classical music, BBC Ten Pieces invites children aged 7-14 to develop their own creative responses to ten pieces of music. The initiative has so far reached over four million school children across the UK, sold out five BBC Proms concerts and won a BAFTA for the Ten Pieces II film. A project delivered by BBC Music and BBC Learning - in conjunction with the BBC Orchestras and Choirs - it marks the biggest commitment the BBC has ever made to music education in our country. Through a range of online resources, UK-wide events and close collaborations with music and arts organisations, Ten Pieces III has now launched for the 17/18 academic year to provide a continuing programme of activity for engagement of a wider age group.

In Belfast, there will be live broadcasts from BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Ulster as well as gigs and events at venues across the city. 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Marc Riley welcome Therapy? and Django Django to the stage and Radio Ulster’s music programme ‘Across the Line’ will broadcast live in concert. Industry focused panels will offer advice and insight for aspiring musicians including ‘Beyond Belfast’ discussing how best to tour beyond the city. BBC Radio 4 will also record their show ‘Four Thought’ from Belfast and Swansea during The Fringe.

Throughout The Fringe, influential figures from across the creative industries will deliver hands on workshops providing young people with the tools, contacts and information they need to take the next step in their creative career as well as the opportunity to learn about the music industry from some of the biggest names in the business.

The Fringe will be partnering up with organisations such as PRS for Music, Mixcloud, Freeformers, The Social and BBC Blueroom to run an employability event for 16-24 year olds. The event aims to target hundreds of young people across the four host cities and with a combination of workshops, Q&A’s and networking opportunities to provide them with relevant digital, creative and employability skills.

BBC Resourcing and Talent will also run a workshop in applying for jobs across all four cities; and there will be marketplaces where local and national organisations will offer 1:1 advice and information around careers, digital and tech opportunities for young people.

Plus there will be over 75 work experience placement opportunities to work at The Biggest Weekend itself in several roles with artist liaison, TV and radio production, live music and events.

Dan Roberts, Editor, BBC Music Introducing / Outreach & Partnerships, The Biggest Weekend said: “Working with our colleagues in Nations and Regions and partners across the UK, BBC Music is delivering a comprehensive programme of events with music at the core. Ranging from centrepiece outside broadcasts across BBC Radio, to intimate music masterclasses and workshops, The Biggest Weekend Fringe aims to engage with local communities, venues and artists, celebrating our love and passion for music.”

Outreach activity is an integral part of the build up to The Biggest Weekend. It is the BBC’s biggest ever celebration of music across TV, radio, online and mobile taking place on the late May bank holiday weekend (25-28 May) over four sites in four nations across four days with over 175,000 tickets. There will be performances from the biggest and best-loved names in music celebrating the incredible breadth and diversity of live music on the BBC including Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Beck, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Orbital, Nigel Kennedy, The Shires, Stereophonics, Strictly Come Dancing with the BBC Concert Orchestra and many many more.

More details about The Biggest Weekend Fringe and tickets will be announced in due course.
BBC Music's Biggest Weekend