Saturday saw Radio 1 kick off the summer, with a free music event in Torbay. A total of 8,000 tickets were given out to schools, colleges and universities across Devon, 1,000 going to Plymouth University alone.
Students packed out three coaches which arrived in Paignton a comfortable half an hour before the start. The queue backed up half a mile outside the arena but the sun and the atmosphere kept spirits high.
Once inside, the Ferris wheel, countless portaloos and food stalls gave the site a festival feel; drinks prices also living up to the festival standards with £4 being the cheapest tipple. If you forgot to take cash out before, ATM’s were available but at a £2.50 charge with a minimum withdrawal of £20.
Danny Howard hit off the afternoon with a set to an already excitable crowd. SU regular Jaguar Skills took over after, stunning the audience with his mixing ability blending everything from Kaiser Chiefs into B. Traits leaving virtually no music genre untouched inbetween.
At 6pm Radio 1 went live across the country with a battle of the DJ’s between Chris Moyles and Fern Cotton, the clash of tastes was hilarious to witness but not so easy on the ears, one minute jamming away to Bob Marley to then be replaced by Dolly Parton!
Zane Lowe played to a packed crowd, featuring his trademark collection of new artists and old time favourites.
Annie Mac was next up and didn’t disappoint. Known for showcasing new talent, Annie delivered a great set and gave Plymouth students much to get excited about for her gig in the SU this October.
As the sun went down, Mistajam took to the stage as diverse as ever, playing current favourites like Rita Ora to old school heroes Shy FX.
Later on in the evening, Example provided a great performance. Booked for only two songs, Example made the most of it leaving no audience member standing still as the thousands before him jumped in time to ‘Stay Awake’ and ‘Changed the way you Kissed Me’.
Pete Tong took over after with a safe set of trance and dance, the lasers and the fire jets arguably more exciting by this point than the music. Eric Pyrdz then had a go on the decs choosing to focus more on the mixing than any audience interaction.
The atmosphere was charged with excitement when the ultimate climax came at 10.30pm, the carrying of the Olympic torch. Fern Cotton carried the torch across the stage and left the thousands in the audience stunned and amazed at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness.
Not everyone was as enthused but danced along to the music indifferently, avoiding the beer missiles which had sporadically been zooming through the air.
A dramatic firework display rounded off the night nicely, leaving the 1,000 Plymouth revellers to decide whether it was time for bed or off to queue-jump with their coach ticket to the SU. After crashing out on the coach, I headed straight to bed..
Be sure to check out the two interviews with Annie Mac and Zane Lowe which will be live on the site by Friday!