Rock Under The Big Top At U.K.'s BBC Radio 1 Live

Show featuring Manic Street Preachers and Republica is being billed as the largest tented concert in Europe.

It may not be the Greatest Show On Earth, but BBC Radio 1 Live, which unfolds Sunday

in Cardiff, Wales, will be the largest tented concert in Europe -- literally, rock 'n' roll under

the Big Top.

Headliners Manic Street Preachers and Hurricane #1, along with Republica, Robbie

Williams, Ash, Divine Comedy and the Shirehorses -- most of whom are on the radio

station's A-list -- will strut their stuff in front of 10,000 fans at the sold-out show.

Concert officials said that if it were not for the big top, the crowd could have been much


"We had to limit tickets to the capacity of the tent," Radio 1 spokesman Paul Simpson

said. "It is the biggest in Europe." Simpson said that 30 requests had been received for

each of the tickets. The tickets were made available to listeners through a Radio 1

hotline, which was open on Fridays only. All 10,000 tickets had been sent out by the end

of the second Friday that tickets were offered.

James Foster from Wolverhampton, England, was one of the fans trying to get through on

the phone lines -- and among the lucky ones who placed an order. "I tried for ages to get

through, and I was really very pleased to get tickets," Foster said. "I know a few people

who called too late."

Foster said that he is planning to travel almost 100 miles to Cardiff to see his favorite

band. "I think the Manic Street Preachers are just amazing," he said. "In fact, I can't

believe I'm actually going to see them live!"

While September is usually considered to be past the close of the summer festival

season in the U.K., Simpson claimed that the spirit of the gig won't be dampened

because of the event's timing. "This gig is like a late extension to the summer," Simpson

said. "Not only the fans, but the artists are really looking forward to it."

One of those enthusiastic performers is Williams, formerly a member of boy-band Take

That. Williams is one of the primary draws for many fans attending the mini-festival. He

achieved considerable success in the U.K. after the band split and is promoting a

forthcoming U.K. album release on Chrysalis Records.

"It's just a really good live-music event -- a chance for Robbie to play to over 10,000

people. Radio 1 Live should have a really good atmosphere," said an anonymous

representative for Chrysalis. "Playing live for Robbie is like a payback to everyone who's

supported him by buying his records."

The Radio 1 Live tent will be situated in Cooper's Field in Cardiff on Sunday. Tickets are

now sold out, although Radio 1 is continuing to hold competitions for VIP passes.