Annie Mac, Sigma and Ella Eyre all confirmed for Radio 1’s Academy in Norwich ahead of the Big Weekend

Ella Eyre. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Ella Eyre. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Some of the greatest talent in the music industry will be in Norwich for a week of workshops ahead of Europe's biggest free music festival, the Radio 1 Big Weekend.

The Open Youth Venue. Photo: Denise Bradley

The Open Youth Venue. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

There will be 7,000 spaces for young people in the week running from Saturday May 9 to Friday May 15, which will include appearances from Jessie Ware, Ella Eyre, and Sigma.

The activities are aimed to continue the legacy of the festival and will include guitar masterclasses, DJ skills, and a chance to present the Chart Rundown live on Radio 1.

Rebecca Frank, Radio 1 editor in charge of the Academy, said young people in Norwich had been asked for their input ahead of the announcement.

She said: 'What came loud and clear from some young people is that the Big Weekend is a rare opportunity of a really big brand coming to Norwich.

'We didn't want to come in with giant boots and stamp on what people are already doing in the area, so we are partnering with local businesses and organisations already doing good things.

'The Academy is about our staff passing on their skills and showing we are more than just an entertainment brand.'

Most Read

Tickets will be available for 16 to 19 year olds in Norfolk and the surrounding areas from Saturday April 25, when the full programme will be announced.

The week will also include a chance to apply for work placements at the Big Weekend in Norwich on May 23 and 24, where acts including Taylor Swift and Florence and the Machine have already been confirmed.

Singer Ella Eyre, known for hit Waiting All Night, will lead a song writing workshop at the Academy.

She added: 'Song writing is something I love and it will be a lot of fun working with the students.'

Other industry professionals include Rick Edwards, Jake Humphrey, Lower Than Atlantis and millionaire film maker Jamal Edwards.

Mike Duce from Lower Than Atlantis said: 'We're really excited to be part of the Academy. Radio 1 have been massively supportive of our music for years and it's fantastic to be able to come and hang out with some listeners and talk to them about our music!'

The week-long programme, in partnership with BBC Learning, will be made up of practical workshops, question-and-answer sessions and live music gigs. It will be made up of activities from six main strands, music, radio, television and video, journalism, gaming and digital.

This year there will be an additional space at the Academy called the Hangout, which will be a hub offering hands-on activities, taster sessions and careers' guidance all week.

It is aimed to give young people practical skills they can add to their CVs, helping them start careers in the music industry.

Radio 1 DJ Greg James will broadcast his 4pm to 7pm show from the Hangout all week.

Nick Grimshaw, Fearne Cotton, Scott Mills and Alice Levine will also host their shows from Norwich at various times in the week.

This year's Academy is the most digitally focused so far, in support of the BBC's Make it Digital Campaign, which aims to inspire a generation to learn coding and digital technology.

Follow the hashtag for the Academy on Twitter for news and gossip: #R1Academy

Is your business planning something special for the Big Weekend? Email

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter