The BBC Will Replace Glastonbury with The Biggest Weekend in 2018

The event will take place at the end of May next year as Glastonbury Festival takes a year off.
July 24, 2017, 2:50pm
Imagen vía Wikimedia Commons

Glastonbury Festival is one of the biggest and most legendary music weekends in the world. Every year over the Summer Solstice, thousands of people flock to Somerset, England's Worthy Farm to bask in sets from some of the largest and most eclectic names in music, and move significantly closer to giving themselves a disease of the liver. But in 2018, as in 2012, the festival will be taking a break.

Every six years the event takes a "fallow year," as it is based on a working dairy farm, and keeping the festival site in working order keeps a great deal of upkeep: the fallow year, which allows the site to rest, is part of that upkeep. Enter: the BBC. Charged with televising Glastonbury every year, the broadcaster has planned an event called The Biggest Weekend to temporarily fill the gap in the UK's music calendar. Slated to take place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales across the weekend of May 25-28 2018, it's estimated that 175,000 music fans will attend. There are plans to televise The Biggest Weekend (presumably named in conjunction with BBC Radio 1's music festival The Big Weekend) on BBC Two and BBC Four in the UK, though it'll be a one-off which will not take place in 2019, when Glastonbury returns in a blaze of glory and warm beer.

In a statement, the director of BBC Radio and Music Bob Shannen said, "BBC Music has a strong history of bringing the nation together for some special moments, and this is the biggest single music event ever attempted by the BBC," adding "We will be celebrating the diversity of music from four different corners of the country, bringing the best UK music to the world and the best global music to the UK." But though it's well-intentioned, something tells me that a fairly tame weekend hosted by the BBC won't really be able to take the place of what is essentially a systematic, week-long, endurance style test of how far you can push your body. See you in 2019, Glastonbury.

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