Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Marling Lined Up For BBC Radio 6 Music Festival

Set to take place over the weekend of March 26-28, this year’s festival will be digital only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Hyundai Mercury Prize

BBC Radio 6 Music Festival has announced plans for its 2021 edition, with live performances from Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Marling and Bicep promised.

Set to take place over the weekend of March 26-28, this year’s festival will be digital-only due to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown of live music in the UK.

Nine brand new performances, as well as 18 sets from previous 6 Music Festivals (which will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer from March 22), will be broadcast on BBC Sounds and iPlayer, with highlights being played on BBC Radio 6 Music across the weekend. You can find out more about BBC Radio 6 Music Festival 2021 at the BBC’s official website.

Kiwanuka, Marling and Bicep all recorded their respective performances at Alexandra Palace in north London, while Poppy Ajudha, Black Country, New Road, Dry Cleaning, Nubya Garcia, Shame and Working Men’s Club have all recorded sets at the BBC Radio Theatre in BBC Broadcasting House. All of the 2021 performances were filmed and recorded in a socially distanced environment and in accordance with UK Government guidelines.

A special TV programme featuring separate Cerys Matthews-conducted interviews with Kiwanuka and Marling will air on BBC Four at 11pm GMT on March 26.

“With venues closed across the UK, we are determined to celebrate live music, as we know 6 Music listeners are missing gigs as much as we are,” Samantha Moy, Head of BBC Radio 6 Music, said in a statement. “So, we’ve raided the 6 Music Festival archives and moved heaven and earth to record some new performances, to ensure that the festival will go on!”

Mercury Music Prize winner Michael Kiwanuka added: “It feels great to be playing the 6 Music Festival this year, especially because I missed last year – I was so sad and gutted not to perform.

“This year is a special year because there are very few opportunities to get to play live, with the situation we’re in in the world. So it’s great to be able to express myself the way I know how and with the 6 Music family. It means a lot.”

Listen to the best of Michael Kiwanuka here

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