What a fantastic weekend!

Bruna Mars woos his audience at the finale of the Radio 1 Big Weekend. (2805Jb352)Bruna Mars woos his audience at the finale of the Radio 1 Big Weekend. (2805Jb352)
Bruna Mars woos his audience at the finale of the Radio 1 Big Weekend. (2805Jb352)
After weeks of anticipation and dozens of ‘special guest’ rumours, Friday finally saw the arrival of Radio 1’s ‘Big Weekend’ festival to Londonderry.

To those fortunate enough to have tickets to the main event the stage was set and the weekend had finally arrived, all that was left was to hope it wouldn’t rain. Although, there were a few showers throughout the three-day festival the world-class acts that BBC Radio 1 had lined up ensured that the weather was the last thing on peoples minds.

Friday’s main stage primarily focused on dance music with Radio 1 DJ’s, Zane Lowe, Pete Tong and Belfast-born Simon Patterson taking to the main stage as crowds filtered in.

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There were many surpise duets throughout the weekend, such as Jessie Ware and Disclosure, although no-one was more popular with the crowd than Robbie Williams who arrived on stage during British rapper Dizzee Rascal’s Friday afternoon set to perform the duos new single, ‘Going Crazy’.

Despite the weekend getting off to an electric start, Friday night headliners Calvin Harris, Rita Ora and drum and bass-quartet Rudimental almost pulled out due to closed runways at Heathrow airport.

After perfoming an electric set at last years Hackney ‘Big Weekend’ event, Rudimental were widely tipped for success and haven’t disapointed, their performance of single, ‘Not Giving In’ was arguably the best of the weekend. Scottish DJ and producer, Calvin Harris powered through a total of 30 tracks while an impressive light show played out both on stage and on buildings surrounding the arena setting a high standard for rest of the festival.

Saturday’s line-up was designed to appeal to the rock music fans in the audience with headliners Biffy Clyro returning to the city for the first time since their Nerve Centre performance in 2005. The Scottish trio performed their mammoth hits, ‘Opposite’, ‘Many of Horror’ and ‘Mountains’ to the 10,000 strong crowd, proving why they are one of the best-selling acts in the UK at the minute.

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While, Dublin-based, alternative-rock quartet, Kodaline enjoyed their Saturday afternoon slot on the ‘In New Music We Trust’ stage so much that they went on to perform a free acoustic set in Sandino’s bar later that evening.

Despite an early stage time Brighton-born singer-songwriter, Conor Maynard proved himself to be one of the most popular acts of the entire weekend and has remained the most shared artist on Radio 1’s website since his main stage performance on Saturday featuring hits such as ‘Can’t Say No’ and ‘Animal’.

Sunday’s line-up was the most anticipated of the weekend with chart-toppers Bruno Mars, Wretch 32 and 30 Seconds to Mars all due to perform on the main stage.

A pop-fuelled set from girlband Little Mix set the tone for the final day of the festival featuring their new single ‘How ya Doin’?’ as well as a montage of iconic girl-power hits such as Destiny’s Child’s ‘Bootylicious’ and TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’.

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The highly anticpated Sunday set from The Script did not disappoint, drawing one of the largest crowds of the weekend. The Dublin trio powered through some of their best known songs such as ‘The Man who Can’t be Moved’, with frontman Danny O’Donoghue having to pause his performance because he was “so overwhelmed” by the crowds response. A remixed introduction of ‘Earthquake’ by Labrynth confirmed the singers appearance on-stage as he joined the band to perform ‘Hall of Fame’.

English alternative rock band Bastille and electronic duo, Disclosure attracted large crowds to their Sunday sets with many people having to be turned away from the ‘In New Music We Trust’ stage due to it having reached capacity.

Nottingham-born Jake Bugg proved to be one of the stand-out acts of the weekend taking the main stage by storm with his acoustic set on Sunday afternoon. The singer-songwriter performed ‘Two Fingers’ and ‘Country Song’ before closing the set with his hit, ‘Lightening Bolt’.

Bruno Mars brought the festival to a close with his personal brand of old school pop and James Brown dancemoves.

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The Hawaiian singer started his 45 minute set with ‘Locked out of Heaven’, ‘Treasure’ and ‘Natalie’, all taken from his second studio album, ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, before launching into his number one hit, ‘Grenade’.

Never one to shy away from a show Mars performed perfectly synchronised dance routines throughout the set with his band and backing vocalists for songs such as ‘Runaway Baby’.

The festival came to a close with a phenomenal firework display and temporarily stole the show from Mars who closed the weekend with his debut single ‘Just the Way You Are’.

With almost 40,000 people streaming into Ebrington Square across the weekend and superstar performers flying in from all over the world there is no doubt that the Big Weekend has cemented Londonderry’s status as a prime venue for future events with Bruno Mars even hinting at a return, he said: “Northern Ireland, thank you so much. Until we meet again, I love you all, good night.”