BBC Radio 2 In The Park takes place in Leicester’s Victoria Park across September 16 and 17 in what will be the station’s biggest ever event outside London.
Kylie Minogue, currently climbing the charts with comeback single Padam Padam, will play her first UK show in four years, while Tears For Fears are due to make their only festival performance of 2023.
Radio 2, the UK’s most popular station according to Q1’s RAJARs, has not been able to stage a live event on this scale since Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park in 2019, which featured performances from Pet Shop Boys, Westlife, Clean Bandit and more.
The station launched Radio 2 Live At Home during the pandemic in 2020, while Radio 2 Live in 2021 featured Manic Street Preachers, Steps, Westlife and Texas performing for small, socially-distanced audiences across the UK. Last year’s Live In Leeds event was cancelled as a mark of respect following the death of Her Majesty The Queen.
Radio 2 is proud to play a huge range of timeless, melodic music
Jeff Smith, BBC Radio 2
Jeff Smith, head of music for Radio 2, promised an “unforgettable weekend”, pointing out the variety of music the station supports.
“Radio 2 is proud to play a huge range of timeless, melodic music, in fact around 16,000 different songs, from pop to rock, soul to folk, are played across the station each year,” said Smith. “We’re thrilled to reveal Radio 2 in the Park is coming to Leicester, bringing a stellar line-up of artists who have had hits in the past six decades, and who between them have sold over 250 million records and had 250 UK Top 40 hits!”
Kylie Minogue, who played as part of Thank You For The Music – A Celebration of the Music of ABBA in Hyde Park in 2009 and headlined Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park in 2019, said: “Over the years I’ve done many unique and varied performances for BBC Radio 2. I’m so excited to be headlining Radio 2 In The Park in Leicester later this year! I can’t wait to celebrate with you all, see you September 17th!”
Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith of Tears for Fears said: “We love playing live and can’t wait to bring some of our favourite songs, old and new, to thousands of Radio 2 listeners.”
Presenters will also be introducing artists on stage and broadcasting from Radio 2 in the Park across the weekend, with shows and sets available live plus on demand on BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer across the weekend and for 30 days afterwards.
I’m so excited to be headlining Radio 2 In The Park, I can’t wait to celebrate with you all
The line-up in full will see James Blunt,Deacon Blue, Beverley Knight, Busted and Soft Cell join Tears For Fears on Saturday. On Sunday, meanwhile, the Pretenders, Shalamar, Rick Astley, Lemar and Simply Red are also on the bill.
Zoe Ball said: “Leicester, get ready to party, we’re coming for you! We’ve saved up a couple of years’ worth of energy so we’re going BIG. Come and join us for the best weekend of music.”
Leicester's City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said: “Radio 2 in the Park will be bringing some of the world’s biggest artists for a weekend of live music in Leicester and it promises to be a fantastic event for music lovers and for the city. I am really looking forward to it.”
Bananarama said: “We’re really excited to be playing Radio 2 in the Park in Leicester. It’s always great fun and we can’t wait to see you all again.”
Beverley Knight said: “My 50th birthday year has been nothing short of stellar so far and it continues with me joining the line-up for Radio 2 in the Park in Leicester! I’m looking forward to getting on stage and doing what I do!”
Busted said: “We can't wait to be playing Radio 2 In The Park this summer. It means so much to us to be getting back out there and playing for everyone 20 years on and we're very excited to be swinging by in the middle of our UK Arena tour.”
Chrissie Hynde said: “We’re really looking forward to Radio 2 In The Park in Leicester this year! Leicester, a proper rock town! Can’t wait!”
This event has become legendary and to be invited to join the amazing list of acts this year is a dream come true
Deacon Blue said: “We are delighted to be able to add Radio 2 in the Park to our current UK tour. We’d planned to have a day off on the 16th September, but when Radio 2 asked us to perform for the huge crowd in Leicester, there was no way we could say no! We can’t wait.”
Shalamar said: “We are delighted to be invited to take part in this wonderful celebration of music by Radio 2. We can’t wait to bring some Shalamar Funk to the event. Put on your dancin’ shoes and let’s all Make it A Night To Remember.”
Sharleen Spiteri from Texas said: “It’s been way too long since we last played in Leicester, so we are really looking forward to playing there and having a fantastic time with the Radio 2 listeners who are always a brilliant crowd.”
Mick Hucknall from Simply Red said: “We’re very much looking forward to opening Radio 2 Live in the Park in Leicester on September 17th. We’ll be performing many of your favourite songs. Don’t miss out - it will be a great day to enjoy with friends and family, hopefully in the sunshine!”
Soft Cell said: “Remarkably this will be the first time Soft Cell have ever played in Leicester, and so we’re incredibly excited to be performing there at this special Radio 2 event."
James Blunt said: “I’m thrilled to be asked to play at Radio 2 In The Park. It’s been a highlight for me in the past, and I’m excited to be part of it again.”
Jessie Ware said: “I am thrilled to be performing at Radio 2 in the Park this year. The event has become legendary and to be invited to join the amazing list of acts this year is a dream come true. Really looking forward to singing and dancing for everyone!”
Lemar said: “I can’t wait to take to the stage with my full live band again for Radio 2 in the Park. It’s definitely going to be one for the memory bank.”
Rick Astley said: “I’m very excited to be playing in Leicester at Radio 2 In The Park and so proud to be part of such an amazing line-up.”
There are 35,000 tickets available for each day, on sale June 14 at 8.15am via the BBC website.