What are you doing on Friday 3 June? Perhaps you’ll be in the office, clock-watching until the start of the weekend. Or just maybe, you’ll be amongst the sonic throng created by the annual BBC Music Day returning to Bristol for yet another year.
BBC Music Day celebrates everything that we love about music. We’re all made up of the soundtracks of our youth, the songs that make us who we are, and the memories we attach to music. Music can lift us, calm us, and create lasting impressions – some of which never leave us. This 3 June, be a part of something truly spectacular as Bristol marks BBC Music Day in its own, unique way.
Across the south-west there will be numerous events taking place, including the iconic 1980s group Duran Duran, headlining the Eden Project, alongside Laura Mvula who will also be performing live from the beautiful, open-air venue in the heart of the Cornish countryside. At the other end of Great Britain, in Scotland, firm favourites Travis will be performing at the Barrowland venue, alongside the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
- Performing on the Severn Bridge, will be Grammy Award winning Amy Wadge.
- Bristol’s Renewal Gospel Choir and Only Men Aloud, will perform.
- Will Young (2002’s Pop Idol winner) will perform.
- Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep will lead a ‘vegetable orchestra’ (of course!)
- Charles Hazlewood and his Paraorchestra will return to Colston Hall.
BBC Bristol and BBC Wales will team up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bristol’s famous landmark, the Severn Bridge. Singer-songwriter Amy Wadge has written a song about the bridge, which she will perform at dawn. She will be accompanied by Bristol’s Renewal Gospel Choir, the Gospel Generation Community Choir and Only Men Aloud. This will be an incredibly atmospheric event, staged some 80 metres high at the very top of the bridge. If you cannot physically be there to witness the event, you can tune into BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Radio Gloucestershire, who will be broadcasting the performance during their Breakfast Shows.
Marking the 75th anniversary of Workers Playtime, a Home Service programme which was created during the Second World War as a morale booster for workers, Will Young will perform live to Pukka Herbs workers during their tea break. The performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2. Following Will’s performance, Katie Derham will introduce workers to a live performance from the BBC Singers which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.In addition, Will Young will host a BIMM (British & Irish Modern Music Institute) Masterclass with students. There will also be open rehearsals at St George’s Bristol, with the Bristol Symphony Orchestra and City Voices between 5pm – 9.30pm. Tickets for the free event can be booked online: www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
Will Young said: “I am very pleased to be an ambassador for BBC Music Day to help show how music in the UK can live and breathe and how it moves people wherever they are and whatever their circumstances.”
Bristol Plays Music and M Shed will host workshops for children, aimed at creating and decorating their own vegetable instruments, on the morning of BBC Music Day, to celebrate Aardman’s 40th anniversary.
In conjunction with Colston Hall, the award-winning Conductive Music Technology workshops will introduce 7 – 11 year olds to the wonders of music production. Children will be taught to build their own digital instruments and then learn to play them. Meanwhile, Beat Lab: Touch, will teach children to make drum loops, and manipulate sounds with crazy effects. The wonders of technology, eh?
The morning’s workshops will culminate in the chance to perform in the somewhat barmy ‘vegetable orchestra’ led by Shaun the Sheep at Colston Hall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Aardman. David Sproxton and Peter Lord (Aardman co-founders) will be presented with a special birthday cake.
Live from Colston Hall, BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ with Sean Rafferty and conductor Charles Hazlewood with members of the Paraorchestra, The Bristol Youth Choir and BBC Young Musician winner, Jennifer Pike playing violin. Also performing will be the UWE Bristol Neurological Choir, The Bristol Youth Choir and The South West Open Youth Orchestra.
Charles Hazlewood will lead the world’s first, professional ensemble of disabled musicians at Colston Hall. The Paraorchestra will be joined by performers from Extraordinary Bodies, the professional, integrated circus company and partnership between Cirque Bijou and Diverse City. They will give an uplifting performance of In C, by composer Terry Riley.
Just before the sun sets, at 7pm, 80 church towers will ring out simultaneously throughout towns, cities and villages across the UK. Over 650 bell ringers will take part, ranging from 11 years – 90 years. Bristol Cathedral and St Mary’s Magdalene in Stoke Bishop will all ring out the bells in unity with BBC Music Day. The event is certain to be a spectacularly moving experience.
Steph Marshall, Head of Regional and Local Programming for BBC West said: “Bristol really is flying the flag for BBC Music Day this year! It’s great to see the City getting involved and supporting what is set to be a great day.”
Peter Lord, Co-founder and Creative Director, Aardman said: “We are delighted to be involved in BBC Music Day. Aardman are passionate about encouraging creativity and the BBC Music Day activities provide an opportunity for everyone to get involved and a great way for us to kick off our 40th anniversary celebrations!”
BBC Music Day is returning for its second year, celebrating all types of music from around the UK and the Channel Islands. Bringing live music to people through an exciting range of events around the theme of collaboration, it aims to unite communities across different generations. BBC Music Day will feature broadcasts across BBC TV, Radio and digital services from 6am to midnight.
For more information about BBC Music Day, a wider Bristol events list and how to get involved, please visit: www.bbc.co.uk/musicday