BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter and DJ, Jamz Supernova, has spoken to Headliner about the upcoming 6 Music Festival and why she believes radio is still an invaluable tool in the process of breaking new talent.
The 6 Music Festival returns on April 1-3 for its first outing since March 2020, when it visited London just before the Covid-19 outbreak. This year, the festival take place in Cardiff, featuring live performances, DJ sets, ‘In Conversations’ and more across a variety of the city’s venues, including St David’s Hall, The Great Hall and Y Plas in Cardiff University Students’ Union and Tramshed.
The line-up this year is typically vast and eclectic, with a bill featuring Little Simz, Khruangbin, Father John Misty & members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, IDLES, Bloc Party, Johnny Marr, Pixies, audiobooks, beabadoobee, Big Joanie, Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, Cat Power, Curtis Harding, David Holmes, Deyah, Elkka, Emma-Jean Thackray, Ezra Collective, Georgia Ruth, Green Gartside, Gruff Rhys, Gwenno, H. Hawkline, Ibeyi, Ibibio Sound Machine, Lucy Dacus, Mykki Blanco, Obonjayar, Orlando Weeks, OVERMONO, Porij, Self Esteem, Sherelle, Sports Team, The Bug Club, The Mysterines, Wet Leg and more.
Supernova, who hosts a new music show on 1Xtra covering everything from alternative R&B to new wave Jazz, will be performing a DJ set at the 6 Music Festival, as well as interviewing and presenting artists onstage and broadcasting live from the city.
Speaking to Headliner about the role that city-based festivals such as the 6 Music Festival can play in helping uncover local talent, 6 Music presenter Steve Lamacq said: “I always hope to come back with some music I haven’t heard before. Idles played the fringe in Bristol, which is when I first saw them. I saw a few fringe gigs that year and hopefully what it gives you is more of an understanding of the city itself, how it works, the best places to play, what the audience is like. Because I’ve spent a lot of time following tours around the country I understand this, but it’s good for people to get out and see that geographically some music goes down better in certain places than others. Whether you have the Bristol melting pot or the psychedelia in Liverpool, or the pure indie pop of Sheffield, every area is slightly different, so every time you go somewhere it tells you something about that audience.”
Fellow 6 Music presenter, Staurt Maconie, also told Headliner: “I’m really looking forward to this year’s festival for so many reasons. First of all, it’s my kind of festival in that it’s set in cities and clubs. I know some people love getting their wellies on and getting muddy, but I do like a roof, I like being able to find out about new places. I have such fond memories of all the 6 Music Festivals, particularly when we went to Glasgow. We had a tiny reservation on the way up in that we wanted to make sure that when weren’t going to someone else’s town and saying ‘here we come to share with you the benefit of our brilliance’. Nothing could have been further from the truth. People showed us the good pubs, the good venues, the good restaurants. I pretty much lived in Barrowlands for four days and started going out for breakfast with the bar staff!”
Here, Supernova tells us why she is so excited for the return of the 6 Music Festival and why radio is still a vital cog in the wheel of success for new artists.
How much are you looking forward to this year’s 6 Music Festival?
I’m so excited. I haven’t spent much time in Cardiff so I’m really looking forward to getting to know it. I’ve always loved it when we do festivals in different places, as you pitch up there and really immerse yourself in the location, so I’m excited to see what Cardiff has on offer. As for the festival, it’s always a great line-up. I played at the last one in London in 2020 and you could see then where the festival was headed with some of the line-up and the broadening out of acts, but this year it is full force. 6 Music has changed a bit over the last couple of years and this line-up is a really great representation of all that 6 Music encompasses.