The Biggest of Weekends

Take a spattering of the music industry’s finest, including Coldplay, Katy Perry and Paolo Nutini, a few Radio 1 DJs, countless pairs of wellies, floral head bands, aviator sunglasses and a couple of hours of rain and you’ve got yourself a perfect recipe for Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow.

With a line-up of some if the biggest names in the music industry, Radio 1 were onto a winner with this year’s Weekend. Having to work on Saturday saw me sitting at home watching Coldplay online… I may not have been there standing in the crowd but that didn’t stop me welling up when it came to Fix You. Am I the only one suffering from FOMO in this respect? What I would have done to be there is slightly frightening! To comment on everything which was on show at Glasgow Green over the weekend would mean an article as long as your arm, so I’m going to stick to my highlights.

After a transport disaster and missing Kings of Leon completely, you can understand I was not in the best mood. Things could only get better and that they did.  My surprise of the day came in the form of The Vamps – I know what you’re thinking, another one of those teenage boy bands that leaped onto the trail of success formed by One Direction.  I am the first to hold my hand up and admit I was not a fan before Sunday, but a set list of their own ridiculously catchy songs and a few well chosen covers saw the crowd of the main stage in the palm of their hand. Who would’ve thought it!

There was a buzz about Glasgow Green all day. Walking past people deep in conversation, it was unusual not to hear something about Paolo Nutini.  Everyone I spoke to seemed to have planned their day around his performance, myself included, and for good reason.  The boy from Paisley did not disappoint, lighting up the stage as the sky over Glasgow Green darkened. I’ve been thinking about this since Sunday. What is there not to love about Paolo? There isn’t any nonsense on stage. He comes on, does his thing in his iconic chilled style and 11 songs later leaves everyone in the crowd screaming for ‘one more tune’. His set list was full to the brim with his most acclaimed songs, and a great version of Pencil Full of Lead thrown in to the mix.

Paolo really did set a bench mark for Sunday night’s headliner of how to entertain a crowd. Katy Perry took note and delivered one of the greatest ‘shows’ of the weekend.  However it could not have been more different than the stripped back pure performances of Mr Nutini. Big dance routines, outlandish costumes and some unbelievable tunes saw the Roar songstress take the crowd by storm, showering us with confetti as she chatted between the songs which were full of animated facial expressions and raised fists. I’m going to put my neck on the line and say that my favourite part of Katy Perry’s performance was the finale! As the ‘California Gurl’ led a rendition of Firework the pyrotechnics began. It was a complete sensory overload. I didn’t know whether to look at her, the sky, or my phone to try to capture the whole thing. She saw the weekend off with a quite literal bang!

I’m not going to lie. When I got my free ticket I was sceptical to what kind of show would be put on for the price of postage. Yes the price of a pint would have made your eyes water, and you could have bought three portions of BBQ Kings chips for the price of one at the Green, but the experience was out of this world. Arguably the best ever Big Weekend line-up was made the best event ever by the crowds. Strangers offering to put people on their shoulders and chatting as if they had know each other for years saw the creation of an amazing atmosphere which was not hampered by the rain. Next year’s host city has a very hard act to follow.

By Hannah Burgess

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