BBC responds to Tory MP who criticised Biggest Weekend for ‘lining pockets of super-rich pop stars’

The MP said the event was 'a complete misuse of licence fee payers’ money'

The BBC has come to the defense of its Biggest Weekend festival after Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen criticised the event.

Billed as the BBC’s answer to Glastonbury, The Biggest Weekend appealed to listeners of Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, and 6 Music, with each station represented at different locations across the UK.

The festival took place last weekend in Belfast, Swansea, Perth and Coventry with sets from the likes of Taylor Swift, Florence + The Machine, Beck, James Bay and more.

MP Andrew Bridgen reportedly told the Daily Mail that “promoting and lining the pockets of super-rich pop stars seems a complete misuse of licence fee payers’ money, but then the BBC do have £4billion of taxpayers’ money to fritter away each year”.

Rita Ora posed with a private jet ahead of her performance and now a BBC spokesperson has responded to Bridgen’s critiques, saying that the broadcaster did not pay for anyone’s private jet and “never would”.

They added that ticket sales “help offset the cost of putting on the Biggest Weekend”, adding that it was “part of the BBC’s commitment to bringing live music to the widest possible audience.

“The event produces 20 hours of live music for TV; days’ worth of schedules on our music stations and 120 hours of full sets from artists on BBC iPlayer available for 30 days”

There are also reports that as with previous Radio 1 Big Weekends, no artists received a fee for their performance.

Meanwhile, Ora began her performance at the festival with a touching tribute to the late DJ Avicii.

The singer took to the stage in Swansea as the words ‘Avicii 1989 – 2018’ appeared behind her, before launching into ‘Lonely Together’, the pair’s 2017 single.