The Guardian festival blog: BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend review – electric Stormzy opens two days of non-stop pop | Music

‘I wanna see gas! I wanna see chaos!” Stormzy asserts his major league status by inciting a riot; the BBC Radio 1 for New Music tent can barely hold him, with hundreds of his Middlesbrough fans bottlenecked far from the action. New single Vossi Bop’s tight groove was born for big speakers, and a fiery crowd fills in the lyrics for him – no swearing on the radio – with an emphatic “Fuck the government and fuck Boris!” He barrels through his hits with electrifying energy, all before 2pm, landing on early single Know Me From as a celebratory closer.

The stacked Saturday lineup tears the crowd between SoundCloud-made-flesh US star Billie Eilish and chart-topping Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi. Capaldi’s cheery patter, brassy vocals and cavalier attitude towards ticker tape melts his massive crowd, and the sing-along for Someone You Loved is deafening. Later, Charli XCX performs her sticky pop with a vigour…


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