Musician, campaigner, writer and activist Billy Bragg will give the second annual John Peel Lecture at this year’s Radio Festival.
Following in the footsteps of last year’s inaugural speaker Pete Townshend, Billy Bragg will explore how pirate radio becomes mainstream pop radio and how music changes society and how broadcasters should reflect that. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.
Billy Bragg said: “John Peel gave me my first big break in return for a biryani and he was always hugely supportive of my work. He was a complete hero to the music industry and I’m delighted to be asked to speak at the event in his honour.”
Bob Shennan, Controller, BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music, comments: “6 Music is a place that combines free-thinking and musical expertise, so it feels very much like a natural home for the John Peel Lecture. I’m proud that we can continue John’s legacy to inspire conversation about music and that Billy – an icon of British music whose outspoken views are sure to spark debate – will take centre stage for this special occasion.”
Clive Dickens, Chair of the Radio Festival, said: “Billy will deliver a thought-provoking and fascinating lecture drawing from his diverse musical background and life experiences throughout his 30 years in the industry.
“John Peel was at the forefront of introducing listeners to new music and new artists and Billy Bragg was among them. The Lecture is a great way to pay tribute to a man who changed the structure of music radio through innovative programmes which were delivered with humour and an obvious passion and dedication to music.”
The BBC Radio 6 Music John Peel Lecture with 7digital is a keynote speech given by a leading figure in music and/or broadcasting. Taking its inspiration from one of the greatest radio broadcasters of all time, the John Peel Lecture aims to discuss and create insight into music and music-related media from the past, present and future.
The Radio Festival will take place between 12th and 14th November at The Lowry, Salford Quays. Other speakers at the Festival include Global Radio’s Richard Park, Fru Hazlitt from ITV, sports broadcaster Adrian Chiles, Absolute Radio’s Frank Skinner and BBC Radio 1’s Ben Cooper and many more.