BBC Radio 2 Electric Proms

I’ve really enjoyed listening to the Electric Proms nights on BBC Radio 2 this weekend. Radio 2 has always been committed to live music, and the Electric Proms are a really good example of what it does best.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, over 3 nights, 3 artists performed a live gig which was broadcast live on Radio 2.

On Thursday, we heard Elton John; Friday was Robert Plant’s turn; and Saturday saw Neil Diamond’s gig.

Each night, Drivetime presenter Simon Mayo previewed the gigs and spoke to some of the people involved about what the listeners could expect. Then, Breakfast presenter Chris Evans and In Concert presenter Jo Whiley introduced the gigs themselves.

Saturday night also saw a special Aftershow Party hosted by Bob Harris, which started after Neil Diamond’s performance at 9:40 and went on until midnight. In the bit I heard (up until about 10:15) Lulu spoke to Bob after she’d performed with Neil Diamond.

All coming live from the Roundhouse in London, the event was also used as a trial for the brand new HD Sound format – as well as being streamed online via the iPlayer in 128kbps AAC (like all BBC radio shows), there was also a stream operating at 320kbps AAC.

You can still hear all the gigs again in the HD format. Have a listen and see how they compare to the normal 128kbps streams. The BBC are planning to integrate HD Sound into its iPlayer as well as the UK Radioplayer. The BBC are keen to find out your opinions on the HD Sound service; you can fill out a survey here or find out more here.

Do let me know your comments – did you listen to the Electric Proms (in either HD or not)? E-mail your thoughts to or comment below. Plus there’s also Facebook & Twitter.

Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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