It was the most talked about event of the bank holiday weekend, and it happened in my university’s back garden! Last weekend, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend came to…Norwich.
Compared to previous locations such as Glasgow and Hackney, many questioned why the famous event was held in such a seemingly sleepy city. Tucked away in the East of England, Norwich is typically known for farmers, mustard, and…incest. However, as a proud student of UEA, I have to say I have fallen in love with this unique city in the 2 years I’ve been here.
It was still weird to imagine the likes of Taylor Swift, Muse, Foo Fighters and Florence + the Machine gracing us with their presence. But there they were, rocking on stage, just minutes away from the beloved LCR.
Despite not initially having tickets for either event (yes, I fell asleep), thanks to a lovely lady who gave me her extra ticket, I managed to make it to the Saturday of the festival. I hadn’t been to a festival in almost two years, and was so excited to be surrounded by a buzzing atmosphere and carefree attitude. The great thing about festivals is that you can pretty much act how you want and get away with it (within reason, of course). After 3 red bulls, I was well and truly ready to dance myself sore, which I’m pleased to say I did. I also woke up the next day with a sore throat – the classic sign of a festival done right.
Muse and Florence + the Machine were headlining on Saturday, which I managed to see both of. I also caught 5 Seconds of Summer (which I fan-girled so much over), The Vaccines, Circa Waves (my new love), Years and Years, and Hozier. It was a great day of discovering new music, whilst also succumbing to some guilty pleasures and enjoying a classic song or two (Florence, I’m looking at you). Despite Muse being one of the biggest bands ever, I am shamed to say that I am not familiar with their music. However, they were truly amazing. You didn’t need to know the words to every song to see how talented these guys are, the main singer and bassist in particular had incredible skills that I’ve never before witnessed live. I definitely have a new found appreciation for them.
As well as amazing music, I also had an assortment of yummy festival food. Although festivals are famed for booze and getting smashed, I prefer to put myself in a food coma, rather than an alcohol induced one….besides, it’s much cheaper! I had chilli cheese nachos (mmmm), a waffle with chocolate sauce and marshmallows (mmmm) and cheesy chips (OK now I’m just hungry). They also had a risotto stall, which I’m rather gutted I didn’t get to visit – it would have been the ultimate hipster lunch.
As you can tell, I had a pretty good time…not bad for a free festival anyway! Norwich became the talk of the country, finally being recognised for the cool, hip city it (mostly) is. I’m now even more of a proud resident…thank you BBC Radio 1 for a fab weekend!