Radio 1 Big Weekend – Powderham Castle

This is a weekend I and a lot of my friends have been excited about for a long time. Most of us managed to get tickets for one of the most highly anticipated events Exeter has had for a very long time, Radio 1’s Big Weekend Exeter! One of my good friends Harriet didn’t manage to get any tickets, but I was lucky enough to get tickets for both days so she was to be my date for the weekend as the husband didn’t want to go!


We decided to get the train to Powderham both days because it was the cheapest way to get to the event, at £4.30 return we thought it was an absolute bargain and even cheaper when you bought a group save ticket! Lots of other people caught the bus or went via taxi, some even cycled. Saturday took us a little while to get there because we couldn’t get on the first train, it was absolutely jam packed so we had to wait 25 minutes for the next one which was much quieter. Once we got to Starcross it was about a 20 minute walk to Powderham Castle. We queued a little while to get in and eventually got through the gates at 11.45.

Saturday Line Up – 

Main Stage –

  • Nick Jonas
  • Tom Odell
  • Meghan Trainor
  • Sigma
  • Jake Bugg
  • Jess Glynne
  • Bastille
  • Chase and Status
  • Mumford & Sons

In New Music We Trust Stage –

  • Craig David
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • Flume
  • Stormzy
  • Chvrches
  • Tame Impala
  • Fetty Wap
  • Bring Me the Horizon

Out of every one on the line up I was the most excited to see Mumford and Sons, they are a band I have tried to see several times and have never been lucky enough to get tickets. I was so very excited when they were announced on the radio as the headline act for Saturday, jumping up and down in my seat on the way to work, however we had a long day ahead of us before we could watch my faves! The first act of the day was Nick Jonas at midday, having only just got in to Powderham we had to run to the Main Stage which was across the other side of the site. We had now multiplied from two of us to a much bigger group and my friend Zoe is a fan so off we went for our first act of the day.


Once Nick Jonas had done his thing in his fancy leather jacket and sunglasses, we headed over to the In New Music We Trust Stage where Craig David was about to play, we hadn’t given ourselves much time to get there and didn’t quite realise how popular he would be! When we arrived outside the huge red circus type tent we were met with huge bundles of people trying to get in different entrances. The entrance we were trying to get in was just about to be shut off so I darted to the next one dragging Harriet and Zoe with me and we just made it in. I think Craig David was one of the only acts to fill the tent to capacity, meaning the rest of the people trying to get in had to listen from outside the tent, blocked off by metals barriers and some hefty looking security guards. Despite getting in we had a rubbish place in the tent… right behind the sound and lighting deck, meaning we couldn’t see an awful lot but we could still hear the man himself. Craig David is someone Harriet is a massive fan of so I hope it still made her day. He played a few new songs as well as his classics which got the crowd going crazy. We squeezed our way out of the tent just as the last song finished and went in search of some lunch. There were many stands to choose from, you weren’t aloud to take in any food or drink into Powderham, other than a sealed 50ml bottle of water, so there had to be a lot of choice. We were surprised by the variety of different food stalls there were to choose from, there were your regular burger stands, but then other healthier options and also a vegan stand. We went for the Paella stand, where you could choose to have a box of paella or a burrito, how do you choose?! I went with Paella, as did Harriet and Zoe went for a Burrito. There were a couple of bands we weren’t too fussed about so we sat on the grass out of the way of the main crowd (still with a good view) and munched away on our purchases.




The afternoon seemed to whizz by with brilliant performances by Sigma, with their two special guests Take That and Paloma Faith, both of which were brilliant. We sat out for a little bit of Jake Bugg and enjoyed a cider in the sun. We and many others were slightly caught out with the weather that day, the Met Office had issued a weather warning for Saturday, predicting Thunderstorms, oh how wrong they were! Many people had packed for wet weather and clearly didn’t bring any suncream despite the high temperatures, there were some people there that would be feeling very sorry for themselves the next day. It’s got to be some of the worst sun burnt people I have seen, ouch!

After Jake Bugg had finished and we’d rested our little leggies for an hour we heaved ourselves up and went to find a good spot for the rest of the afternoon. We spent the rest of the afternoon singing our hearts out, waving our arms like loons and generally letting our hair down. We stopped for another bite to eat and then it was soon time for my favourites Mumford and Sons. When we left the crowd to get something to eat we noticed that if you stood slightly on the outskirts you had a much better view and weren’t so squashed so that was our plan and we stuck to it. Zoe wasn’t sure that she knew much of Mumford and Sons but Harriet and I assured her she would once they started playing… this happened several times throughout the day with me being heard saying “Do I know Sigma?” sure enough once they started playing I actually knew A LOT of Sigma! Zoe soon got into the swing of things and seemed to really enjoy Mumford, I hope we have converted her. The band as expected were amazing, Marcus Mumford even launched himself into the crowd at one point in a song, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone bounce around a crowd like that before, he emerged as one big sweaty mess but with a massive grin on his face. They also brought out Baaba Maal to perform their new song There Will Be Time, which was brilliant. If you have time to watch, this is their set from the night, definitely worth a watch if you are a fan. They finished with a finale of beautiful red fireworks, signalling the end of the first day.



We had already decided that our plan would be to leave as the last song started so we could beat the crowds and get back to the train station based on how crazy it was in the morning we didn’t want to be stuck for hours, especially if we had to do it all again the next day. Oh were we glad we did, it seemed like a fair few other people had the same idea as us. After a bit of queuing and excited chatter about our days with the people in the crowds we eventually made it back to Exeter at just gone 11pm, Dave collected us from the station and we quickly dropped Zoe home and made our way home with Harriet in tow, to our much needed beds! Alarms were set for 6.45 the next morning to do it all again!
Sunday Line Up – 
Main Stage –
The Weekend
Ellie Goulding
The 1975
Iggy Azalea
Years and Years
Catfish and the Battlemen
In New Music We Trust Stage –
Biffy Clyro
The Last Shadow Puppets
Wolf Alice
Alessia Cara
Jack Garratt
Panic! at the Disco
Sunday seemed to feel a little different to Saturday and I’m still not sure why. We came up with a new plan for Sundays travel after the craziness of Saturday. Harriet and I woke early Sunday morning, after showers were had and outfit choices were made (very important), a filling breakfast we headed to Zoe’s house. We had decided that instead of catching the train from St Davids we would this time catch it from Polsloe which was two minutes down the road from Zoe’s house. Our plan was if we caught this train then we would already be on it before it got to St Davids, meaning we would be guaranteed a space, we were so glad we did what we did this morning because it was yet again, crazy! So many people trying to get on diddy seaside trains! I have to say most of the Railway staff were lovely, however some lost their tempers which made things interesting!
After witnessing the sunburnt people from Saturday we warned a few people on the train about it and even sun creamed one girl up… just saving the youths skin, no biggy, they’ll thank us when they’re older! Our friend Jade and some of her friends were meeting us that day, we gave her a quick ring to tell her to change her plans because there was no way she was getting on this rammed train so she headed over to St Davids rather than trying to get on at St Thomas.

We got to Powderham nice an early and it seemed that lessons had been learnt from the previous day and we got in much quicker, with hardly any queuing or waiting around. Let day 2 begin!


First up was One Republic, I’m not really their biggest fan and not that fussed about their music, but after a quick bite to eat we found a good spot right at the edge of the stage to watch, oh was I glad we did, I wasn’t really expecting too much but they were brilliant, they really got the crowd going seeing as they were the first act, I can imagine it’s a little bit tough going.


Once they had finished their set we went for a wonder and ended up finding Jade and her gang. After a quick catch up we walked over to the big red In New Music We Trust Stage to watch Jack Garratt, I think it was only really me that was keen to see him but the others soon got into it. For those of you who haven’t heard of him he is an amazing musician, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist! When you watch him on stage you wonder how on earth he does what he does, I was very pleased I got to see him and we got an amazing spot too!


You can check him out here –

The rest of the day seemed to go by in a blur, we got some lunch and spent a lot of time chilling out on the grass and watching a few bands from the edge of the crowds. We got up and got in the crowd for Iggy Azalea but we were saving ourselves for Ellie Goulding. Ellie has a great stage presence and was brilliant, I feel like she wears her heart on her sleeve when she performs, we really enjoyed it, so much so that it only seemed like she was on stage for 5 minutes.




The penultimate act of the day on the Main Stage was The Weekend, there was a lot of hype about them and a lot of people keen to watch them, so off we went to get a good spot before they started. We waited a few minutes for them to come on stage, there were a few songs I recognised, more than I thought actually, however their use of language seemed really inappropriate for the age group of the festival, bearing in mind that a lot of people where already stood waiting in their spots of Coldplay, young and old, I’m not a prude and it takes a lot of offend me but it just didn’t seem the right audience for their performance so we left before their set ended, preferring to go and get something to eat before the highly anticipated Coldplay. We grabbed a fajita and some nachos and enjoyed them from the side of the stage and then began our mission to get a good spot in the crowd for Coldplay! We managed to wiggle our way into the middle of the crowd but had what seemed like the tallest guys at the festival stood in front of us, after a bit of shuffling about we managed to get slightly better spots and stood for a little bit waiting for the headline act of the day. Wow were we not disappointed when they arrived on stage, the crowd went crazy for Chris Martin and the gang. Chris was very appreciative of the crowd and it made it even more special that he was back in his home town. I can’t quite remember but I think they started with “Hymn For The Weekend” followed by a fond favourite “Yellow” which was amazing to watch with the stage lit up in yellow laser lights



They also played a lot of other old songs which I think every one appreciated, to watch 25,000 people that weren’t necessarily there to see Coldplay sing their hearts out was amazing. They also played a song that holds a big place in my heart “Fix You” a few tears were shed during this song. At one point Chris Martin made the whole crowd sit on the floor to then be told “everybody jump” it was crazy, even more so as the lady behind me got her glow stick stuck in my hair and pulled me up with her, ouch!!! It was soon time for their last song and they ended with their new track “Up & Up” this ended with a huge laser show and spectacular fireworks, closing Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

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We left Powderham with Coldplay in our ears and smiles on our faces, what a weekend we had!

The only thing left to do was get on a train home…

I hope you guys all enjoyed the weekend too and sure you all had you own favourite acts of the day. I was gutted I missed out on this amazing cover (but we did hear them sound checking on the way in so maybe it counts!?)

I am a Devon girl who loves camping, crafts and all things pretty. I love to write about my discoveries and am always looking for something new to try.

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