Texas, Manic Street Preachers, Steps and Westlife booked for BBC Radio 2 Live

BBC Radio 2 Live is bringing live music direct to audiences, giving lucky listeners the chance to finally watch their favourite artists including Texas, Steps, the Manic Street PReachers and Westlife perform in person this August, after being unable to experience music concerts in venues for over a year.

Texas, Manics, Steps and Westlife

On The Breakfast Show this week Zoe Ball announced that Texas are performing in Glasgow on Thursday 5 August, Steps are performing in Manchester on Tuesday 10 August, Manic Street Preachers performing in Cardiff on Thursday 12 August and today (Friday 30 July) announced that Westlife are performing in Belfast on Thursday 26 August. 

All will be in front of a small audience of fans.

Radio 2 Live will be the first live gigs with an audience from the network since Radio 2 In Concert with Dido at Maida Vale on 9 December 2019. 

The performances will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer and hear on BBC Sounds from Saturday 11 September, with special highlights shows on Radio 2 from 8pm-10pm on Saturday 11 September and from 7pm-9pm on Sunday 12 September.

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, said: “New for 2021 and beyond, Radio 2 Live will take the spirit of our very special radio station around the UK. 

“We’re thrilled to be bringing Texas, Steps, Manic Street Preachers and Westlife to Radio 2 listeners around the country after so long without live music.”

In 2017 Texas performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Barrowlands, Glasgow, for Radio 2 In Concert and at 2013’s Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. Earlier this year they performed live at Maida Vale for The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

Sharleen Spiteri

Sharleen Spiteri of Texas says: “I’m always excited to play in Glasgow, our home town! And I’m thrilled to be performing for the first time at St. Luke’s for Radio 2 Live.”

texas in Nantes 2014 ©jerome paronneau
Texas booked: Spiteri to perform with band at BBC Radio2 Live special. Photo ©Jerome Paronneau.

Steps presented Steps Into 2021 on the station last December, giving listeners two hours of wall-to-wall bangers, with tracks from Madonna, Spice Girls, Dua Lipa and ABBA.

Steps said: “We are beyond excited to be performing for Radio 2 Live in Manchester. It will be our first live performance in front of an audience in over three years and we cannot wait. 

“It’ll be a great chance to play some of our latest singles and Steps classics and get warmed up ahead of our UK arena tour this November.”

Manic Street Preachers performed for Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park in 2013 and 2018, and previously performed a Radio 2 gig for fans in their home town at Blackwood Miner’s Institute, Wales, in 2011.

James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers said: “We are really excited to be playing St David’s Hall in Cardiff on August 12 for Radio 2 Live. 

“I have seen bands and artists, including The Waterboys, Echo and the Bunnymen, John Grant and Gary Numan, perform on stage there, and myself and Nicky Wire busked outside of it in the mid 80s. 

“Hopefully we can add to the musical memories we have experienced there.”

Westlife performed for Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park in 2019. The group has sold over 55 million records worldwide. 

They are the only band to have their first seven singles enter the UK chart at Number One and overall have had 14 Number One singles, behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles, with 33 Number One albums worldwide.

Westlife said: “We are thrilled to be taking part in this year’s Radio 2 Live. 

“Our show at Hyde Park in 2019 was such a highlight for us and we can’t wait to do something a little different this time.”

Jeff Smith, Head of Music for Radio 2, said: “Radio 2 is committed to bringing live music performance to its listeners as we know how much they love to listen and watch their favourite artists perform the songs they adore. 

“Over the past year, Radio 2 House Music has done a brilliant job with sessions from Joan Armatrading, Kelly Clarkson, Rag’n’Bone Man and many more, but now it’s time to get back to gigs in front of a live audience. 

“Radio 2 Live is going to feature incredible sets from major artists, in front of what I’m sure will be a very excited audience of Radio 2 listeners.”

Tickets are being allocated via a ballot following registration at bbc.co.uk/radio2live, which for Westlife is open until 8am on Saturday 31 July. 

Registrations for Texas, Steps and Manic Street Preachers are now closed. 

Allocations for each are weighted, with more going to those living closer to the city location of each concert. Full terms and conditions are on the website.

All the events will be managed in line with Covid guidelines at the time, Radio 2 said, and ticket holders must adhere to any restrictions in place at their venue locations on the dates of the recordings.