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The BBC's Rosie Millard reports
"A musical instrument amnesty is one of the key elements of Music Live"
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Thursday, 30 March, 2000, 13:01 GMT 14:01 UK
BBC launches live music fest
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett will perform on Radio 2 for Music Live
The BBC has unveiled details of its mammoth Music Live festival for the end of May - featuring more than 5,000 events across the UK from a Sir Elton John concert to a car horn symphony in Rotherham.

The five-day event, taking place from 25 to 29 May, will also include special events from BBC Radios 1, 2 and 3, and as well as the BBC's other radio stations, plus a 24-hour marathon of music programmes on BBC One and BBC Two.
Jools Holland, Emma Bunton and Jamie Theakston
Jools Holland, Emma Bunton and Jamie Theakston at the launch
It aims to celebrate the best of every kind of music in the UK, as well as encouraging people to get involved themselves through street festivals and other public events.

They include the festival's grand finale when as many people as possible across the UK will get together to perform Lou Reed's song Perfect Day on the evening of 29 May.

The TV broadcast's executive editor, Guy Freeman, explained: "Alongside the stars, we're asking the rest of the UK to stop whatever they're doing and participate in this massive karaoke performance."

Spice launch

The event was launched in London by Baby Spice Emma Bunton, musician Jools Holland and BBC presenter Jamie Theakston.
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John plays at Woburn Abbey
The corporation's chairman Sir Christopher Bland said it was "unique in its ambition to engage the whole of the UK population".

Big names taking part in Music Live include Sir Elton John, who will be playing a concert at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, Tony Bennett at Leeds Castle, Kent, and Paul Weller, Eternal and Idlewild playing a televised show at London's Abbey Road studio.

A special edition of Top of The Pops will come from Sheffield Arena, while a surprise line-up of big names will play a series of rooftop gigs in London for Jo Whiley's Lunchtime Social show on Radio 1.
Paul Weller
Playing for Radio 1: Paul Weller
Other TV events will include a rare glimpse of plainsong from Ampleforth monastery, a concert of music from schools in Soweto, South Africa and the north-west of England, and a specially-produced production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

Radio 1 will feature live coverage of the Homelands dance festival, while Radio 2 sends Johnnie Walker out to relive his pirate radio days at ports around the country.

Rare concert

Radio 3 will feature jazz requests from Ronnie Scotts in London live concerts from Orkney, as well as the BBC National Orchestra Of Wales performing Leonard Bernstein's Mass which has not been broadcast for two decades.
Nigel Kennedy
Nigel Kennedy will play at the Dome, as well as on Sark

The World Service is also involved, presenting Nigel Kennedy performing Jimi Hendrix tracks at the Millennium Dome's Skyscape venue. He also performs for television from the Channel Island of Sark.

As well as the performance of Perfect Day, Beat This! will attempt to enlist thousands of people to perform their own "rhythmic pattern" on drums and percussion instruments of every kind.

Music Live has the backing of Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said it "should touch and involve us all".

"Of course it will celebrate the great names of all kinds of music, but it if first and foremost a people's festival, uniting communities and nations throughout the United Kingdom in a shared celebration of music making," he added.
Easther Bennett
Appearing for Radio 1: Eternal's Easther Bennett
Other, more unusual, events include an all night performance of Erik Satie's piano marathon, The Vexations - a series of 18 notes repeated for six hours, broadcast overnight on Radio 3.

Rotherham plays host to a Car Horn Symphony - open to anyone in a car, van, lorry, or even with a pedal cycle's bell.

More details about BBC Music Live can be found on its website.

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