This year, there will be many more artist and choir Transport Takeovers and a focus on Women in Music. Brightening people’s journeys across the UK, Kylie has recorded some very special messages which will be played out at major rail stations throughout the day; Lisa Stansfield and Rowetta Idah will be performing on a dedicated Manchester Metrolink Music Tram and Lisa has recorded messages for the tram passengers; Gabrielle, Nina Nesbitt and Chelcee Grimes will be part of the all-female line up performing for Busk in London; there will a Pass The Mic female performance takeover of the Midland Metro trams; and Amy Macdonald and Blossoms will be singing at mystery locations.
Bob Shennan, Director BBC Radio and Music, says: “With an incredible range of performances taking place across the UK and extensive coverage across BBC TV, Radio and Online, BBC Music Day 2018 is bigger than ever before. I’d like to thank all the Ambassadors championing the event and the fantastic choirs, community groups and transport networks helping us to make this the best ever BBC Music Day!”
BBC Music Day Ambassador, Dame Vera Lynn, says: “I congratulate the BBC on staging their UK-wide Music Day. It is so important that we never lose sight of the importance of music. It is so powerful and has the unique ability to comfort and console us, raise our spirits and unite people from all walks of life by transcending any boundaries of communication or differences of opinion. It is, I believe, one of the great joys of life and I welcome the opportunity for people to have a little more music in their day.”
BBC Music Day Ambassadors for 2018 include Dame Vera Lynn, Kylie, Nile Rodgers, Gareth Malone, YolanDa Brown, Gabrielle, Lisa Stansfield, Nina Nesbitt, Wayne Ellington, Gary Lightbody, Carly Paoli and Blossoms. They’ll be taking part in a range of events and broadcasts in celebration of the day for this pan-BBC initiative which features live music events and performances across the UK involving famous musicians, choirs and local community music groups.
Passengers can hear Kylie at Network Rail stations in Birmingham, Bristol, Euston, Glasgow Central, Kings Cross, Leeds, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, London Victoria, London Waterloo, Manchester and Reading, introducing herself with “Hi, it’s me Kylie” followed by messages including:
- “I know what you’re thinking; ‘Why is Kylie doing the announcements?’ It’s because it’s BBC Music Day…so I can! Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy BBC Music Day!”
- “Happy BBC Music Day! For your safety and comfort, everybody’s doing a brand new dance now. Come on commuters, do the locomotion!”
- “This is a special announcement: Please let passengers sing and dance their way off the train first before trying to get on board! Happy BBC Music Day everyone!”
For BBC Music Day’s Platform to Perform, 40 choirs will be singing to travellers at railway stations across the UK. Highlights – which will feature on BBC Local Radio Stations around the country – will include the BBC Singers entertaining train passengers on the Euston to Birmingham line before performing in New Street Station with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as part of Radio 3’s celebrations in the city; a dedicated Manchester Metrolink Music Tram will feature surprise pop-up performances from choirs and local female music legends, Lisa Stansfield and Rowetta Idah, plus music performances throughout the day at Manchester Airport. And Lisa has also recorded some special messages for people travelling on tram platforms that day.
David Biggs, Managing Director of Network Rail Property, says: “BBC Music Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the joy of music and we are looking forward to surprising and delighting passengers, customers and local communities with exciting performances scheduled to take place across various managed stations.”
Lisa Stansfield says: “I’m so proud to be an ambassador for BBC Music Day. The power of music is a wonderful thing. It can make us happy, make us cry. It can make us forget and make us remember. Music is a part of everyone so let’s celebrate it today!”
Lisa’s messages on the Metrolink include:
- “Hi this is your guest announcer Lisa Stansfield here for BBC Music Day! I’ve been around the world, but I, I, I, could always find my ticket. So make sure you’ve got yours before you get on board. Happy BBC Music Day!”
- “Hey Manchester, Lisa Stansfield here for BBC Music Day! Remember when the tram’s in motion, people hold on!”
At Liverpool Central, there will be a free festival with performers who have taken part in Merseryrail Sound Station, a new artist development programme. The first edition of Merseyrail Sound Station Live will be in partnership with BBC Music Day. It will feature the 12 performers playing live sets including three exclusive collaborations with Sense Of Sound Singers choir. The festival provides Liverpool music fans with a chance to hear from some of the region’s most exciting emerging musicians.
As part of this year’s BBC Music Day focus on celebrating women in music, Busk in London is planning female only busking spots at some locations in the capital, with some surprise pop up performances by BBC Music Day Ambassadors Gabrielle and Nina Nesbitt plus singer songwriter Chelcee Grimes.
Elsewhere in the country, Blossoms will be performing at a surprise location.
In Wales, there’s likely to be a little less conversation amongst Swansea commuters on Friday when passengers will be treated to a raft of hits from Elvis Presley. Voice UK finalists Into The Ark and renowned choristers Morriston Orpheus Choir will be rocking the platform at Swansea train station with music from the king of rock and roll, entertaining morning commuters and broadcasting live on BBC Radio Wales. And on BBC Radio Cymru, Aled Hughes and Bore Cothi will be live from the National Library of Wales as they delve into the musical treasures and secrets held in the vaults.
From a mystery location in Scotland, singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald will perform two songs live for BBC Breakfast, with award-winning community choir SoundSational, including her new single Women of the World. Amy and the choir will also feature on BBC Radio Scotland’s airwaves on BBC Music Day, including on the Stephen Jardine Programme. Also on BBC Scotland, supporting the key theme of this year’s initiative – celebrating women in music – there will be a special edition of The Quay Sessions (27 Sept, 11.15pm) on BBC Two Scotland with Roddy Hart presenting stand-out performances from a selection of talented women who have previously graced The Quay Stage – including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Lissie, Kathryn Joseph, Lisa Hannigan and Jade Bird.
Getting things underway in Northern Ireland, Belfast Community Gospel Choir will serenade commuters with songs of love, joy and peace in Belfast’s new Lanyon Place Station from (8.30-9am). Renowned conductor Dominic Peckham will be putting the BBC Northern Ireland Choir through their paces for a live performance of the John Denver classic, Take Me Home Country Roads, on the Hugo Duncan Show (from 1.30pm). The Gerry Kelly Show (from 3pm) will broadcast live from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra, with special guests and performances from The Loughshore Choir, Bernadette Morris and the Over the Hill Collective. BBC Radio Ulster’s Across the Line (ATL) will combine the themes of Freshers’ Week and Women in Music, with a free, all-female-line-up gig at Queen’s University Students’ Union. Larks, Wynona Bleach and Susie Blue make up the three-act bill. Sets from the concert will be pre-recorded for broadcast on ATL over the following weeks. Jazz World with Linley Hamilton (10pm) will highlight Irish female vocalists who have continued to make an impact through their talent and performance. Included in Linley’s Music Day playlist will be: Siobhan Pettit, Katharine Timoney, Emilie Conway and Suzanne Savage.
BBC Asian Network is collaborating with Free Radical on Pass The Mic, a performance takeover of Midland Metro tram network on Thursday 27 September with an all-female line-up which will be broadcast on Asian Network on BBC Music Day.
Last year more than 100,000 pupils in over 500 schools took part in special Ten Pieces assemblies for BBC Music Day. This year Ten Pieces is collaborating with charity Ex Cathedra’s Singing Playgrounds, Sing Up and Young Voices to encourage even more primary school children across the UK to Get Singing for BBC Music Day with special events in cities including Bristol, Birmingham, London and Portsmouth. And there’s double the number of schools taking part – an incredible 1,000 so far.
BBC Radio 6 Music is on the road this week, celebrating the link between art schools and music with live broadcasts from Glasgow, Goldsmiths in London, Leeds and culminating with Steve Lamacq live from The Spiegeltent in Sheffield. For Freshers’ Week, Radio 1 is hosting a Rave Lounge at Brighton University with Annie Mac and Danny Howard. Radio 2 has a very special BBC Music Day All Request Friday with Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo which features Nile Rodgers and Chic at Maida Vale studios – listeners can send in their requests to play one of their classics or perhaps a favourite Nile collaboration. And in a live broadcast from BBC Maida Vale Studios, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour announces its first ever Top 40 Women in Music Power List which celebrates successful women in the global music industry.
Across the television schedules, programmes will be shining a light on BBC Music Day including:
- For CBeebies, new show Tune (28 Sept, 5pm) sees indie rock band The Wombats customise one of their biggest hits for pre-schoolers, backed by the amazing sounds of the BBC Philharmonic. To premiere on BBC Music Day, in the programme former Sugababe, Heidi Range, takes three children on a day out to the beach. Their mission is to collect items there as memories of their day and put them in the Tune backpack for Heidi to deliver to the band. These memories in the backpack will then be used to create new lyrics in the band’s song which sees Let’s Dance to Joy Division become Let’s Dance About the Seaside!
- On BBC One, Jarvis Cocker with Candida Doyle take on Bez and Rowetta Idah in a Pulp versus Happy Mondays Bargain Hunt special (28 Sept, 12.15pm); and a Pointless Celebrities BBC Music Day Special will test the general knowledge of BBC radio presenters and musicians – 6 Music’s Shaun Keaveny teamed with Lianne La Havas, Radio 1’s Clara Amfo with Ella Eyre, Radio 3’s Suzy Klein with Lesley Garrett, and 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins with Amy McDonald (29 Sept, 5.40pm).
- On BBC Two, Gareth Malone’s All Star Music Quiz is a special for BBC Music Day, where the nation’s favourite choirmaster challenges two celebrity teams (with a wide range of ability!), to play the answer, as well as say it. The show tests their skill and knowledge across all music genres, with something for all and plenty for viewers to play along with (27 Sept, 7pm). And in Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, presenter Michael Mosley and team will investigate the science behind the mood-boosting effects of singing and will explore how music can help those suffering from dementia and post-natal depression (26 Sept, 8pm).
All times shown at BST.