Belfast Telegraph

BBC's One Big Weekend might return to Derry

By Brendan McDaid

Speculation is mounting that One Big Weekend is set to return to Londonderry for three days of live music concerts in May at the height of the City of Culture year.

The A-list event could be on the cards after it emerged that the BBC in London has applied for an entertainments licence for an “outdoor musical event” at Ebrington Square.

The application has been lodged with Derry City Council for three all-day events from Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26.

The council’s Environmental Services Committee last night agreed to give council chief executive Sharon O’Connor powers to approve the licence after January 18.

This is the deadline for when representations on the application can be made.

A council officer told the meeting that the details and name of the actual event will not be confirmed by the BBC until after the licence has been granted.

The BBC have also given no indication to date that the event will be One Big Weekend.

A spokeswoman for the BBC said last night: “The BBC is looking to broadcast from Derry as part of the celebrations for the UK City of Culture.

“No plans have yet been confirmed.”

However, it is widely hoped in the north west that One Big Weekend will be announced as part of the celebrations held in 2013.

Over 6,000 people have already signed up to an online Facebook campaign entitled ‘Let’s get the Radio 1 Big weekend to Derry in 2013’.

Thousands of local people attended the last One Big Weekend at Prehen Playing Fields back in 2004.

Among the acts which performed live in Derry at the two-day event were Kelis, Franz Ferdinand, The Streets, Avril Lavigne, Ash and Keane.

The gigs went down in history as the largest of their kind ever to be staged in the city.

A council officer told Derry’s Environmental Committee yesterday: “The deadline for representations to be made in relation to the application will expire on January 18.

“As with previous outdoor events held at Ebrington, council officers will liaise with all the relevant statutory authorities and emergency services involved in the event.”

Belfast Telegraph


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