BBC RADIO 1'S BIG WEEKEND 2019 - SUNDAY // STEWART PARK, MIDDLESBROUGH

After raining all morning, the clouds finally cleared to blue skies. With the now sun shining, the crowds began filling the arena once again.

★★★★★ (5/5)

Opening Sunday was Little Mix, who played an exceptional set, playing hits like Shout Out To My Ex and Wings. With confetti and fireworks this was the right way to open Sunday. The audience filled with families who all knew the words to all their tracks. Still at the main stage it was time for Swedish singer Zara Larsson who entered the stage to cheers from excited fans. I feel like Little Mix set the bar to high, Larsson sounded great but I feel like she lacked the energy shown by Little Mix. Her set had fan favourites like Ruin My Life and Don’t Worry About Me.

After a quick break to get a drink it was time to return to the mainstage for Jax Jones the DJ song writer put on a cracking set. First up Play which saw Olly Alexander come to the stage, they both performed the song while dancing together. Other quests saw he brought to the stage was Mable to perform her single Ring Ring, another guest was Stefflon Don during Instruction which also saw Skeleton puppets on the stage. His set was fun with a mix between a traditional DJ set and a traditional artist performance.

Now it was time for Catfish & The Bottlemen a band who I’ve never seen but they’ve been on my list for a long time. Their brilliant set saw Van McCann bounce all over the stage and the crowd were going berserk with everyone jumping about. The whole band were on point, sounding incredible, there set had fan favourites Longshot, Kathleen, Soundcheck and Pacifier included & the crowd never once stood still. With their final track 7 saw the crowd go wild again, their short snappy set was brilliant and I’ll never forget it. With me now exhausted it was time to step it down to watch Rita Ora, the hit singer is known for tracks like Let You Love Me and Anywhere. She was full of energy and throughout her set sparks, fireworks and confetti was released.

After a pit stop to eat it was time to head to The 1 For New Music Stage to catch Two Door Cinema Club. The group are renowned throughout the UK for creating hits like Undercover Martyn and What You Know which have become classics. There set was absolutely fantastic with the crowd nonstop jumping and dancing. With their funky sound it’s no wonder why they’re so popular, the stage was surrounded with fans. Their set was filled with a tremendous amount of energy which reflected back to the crowd. The three-piece sounded terrific and I can’t wait to be able to see them again.

It was now time to race back to the main stage to catch the final two sets of the festival. Ellie Golding was up first, the 32-year-old is at the forefront of independent pop and has topped the charts countless times. With the sun still shinning, the crowds began drawing in then the music finally stopped. The intro to I Need Your Love began; she came to the stage as fireworks were lit then continuing with the rest of the track. She wasted no time continuing with Close to Me and Outside. She addresses the crowd saying ‘it’s great to be with you’ before resuming to play some more of her hit songs. Love Me Like You Do and, On My Mind, had the whole arena singing and dancing. Throughout her set there was nonstop singing and dancing the atmosphere was terrific. Ellie Golding was bubbling with energy and her vocals were terrific.

The final act. The 1975. The crowd lights dimmed and Greg James came out to introduce them. ‘Are you ready for your headline act?’ The track entitled The 1975 off their most recent album began playing from a recording and the audience started singing along. Then suddenly they all entered the stage to began with Give Yourself a Try which had Matty dancing all over the stage. The lyrics ‘Give yourself a try’ echoed throughout the crowd. It was now time for their hit single TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME accompanied with dancers on stage. It’s almost impossible to not like this band, their catchy and are full of energy. Next was Sincerity Is Scary which saw Matty wearing a rabbit cap. After a brief blackout the riff of It’s Not Living Began, this was great as Matty was showing off his dancing. ‘We are incredible humbled to be headlining a festival let alone in the north east’ Matty told the crowd. They then played Love Me, a slightly older track but this went down a storm with everyone screaming ‘Love Me’ this funkier track was spectacular. Robbers showed Middlesbrough the true power of Matty’s voice.

I Like Americans & Americans Like Me had Matty at the barrier screaming into the audience however security could be seen dragging him away back onto the stage this was the highlight of the day, seeing the passion he has towards his music and fans. Up next saw it slow down with Somebody Else with the more melodic track, it allowed the band to have a quick rest. With their set drawing to an end with four tracks left it was now time for fan favourites beginning with Love It If We Made It and this is when the audience stepped it up a notch with them chanting the lyrics word for word. One of their most well-known tracks Chocolate began playing, which is one of their tracks which blew up back in 2013. Still on their self-titled album their second last track of the festival was Sex, the arena was filled with chants of ‘She's got a boyfriend anyway’ as the lights strobed.

It was time for the last track of Radio Ones Big Weekend: The sound. Half way through the song Matty told the crowd to jump together and the whole arena was bopping as fireworks were erupting above the stage. This was a perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

The whole festival was well organised apart from a few hiccups but were quickly fixed. Whatever Lucky town or city hosts it next year will defiantly enjoy it just as much as Middlesbrough

REVIEW BY: | WILL GORMAN

The Modern Record