Series of free gigs starts this weekend...
Elton John

It’s a rather robust line-up that launches with Elton John and culminates with Chance The Rapper, but the best thing about the Apple Music Festival, of course, is that tickets are absolutely free - and still available!

The two-time Clash cover star and revered Rocket Man will take to the stage of London’s Roundhouse on Sunday evening to formally commence proceedings of Apple’s annual curation of a diverse roster of stars in the capital.

In the following 12 days, the Roundhouse will host performances from current Clash cover stars The 1975 (19/9), Alicia Keys (20/9), OneRepublic (21/9), Calvin Harris (23/9), Robbie Williams (25/9), Bastille (26/9), Britney Spears (27/9), Michael Bublé (28/9) and the aforementioned Chance The Rapper (30/9).

The range of musical variety - expressive of Apple’s wide-ranging influence - will no doubt appeal to Elton, whose association with the brand continues from the radio show he hosts on Beats 1.

Elton John’s Rocket Hour is an exhilarating ride through the legendary knight’s listening habits, which careers giddily from dusty old vintage recordings to the latest or forthcoming tracks from new and even unreleased artists. His most recent episode opened with The Clash and included cuts from Jodie Abacus and The Lemon Twigs alongside Major Lance and Aaron Neville.

“It shows that good new music played next to something good that’s old can sound great,” Elton told Clash earlier this year.

“There’s never ever a shortage of good stuff. Look, I get up in the middle of the night… These are my lists of people that I still haven’t played,” he said, pulling out sheets of handwritten notes. “Look: I just get up and scribble them down. The thing is, it has reminded me of all the great music in my life, and it has brought back certain songs… I’m a bit of a soul anorak, so I can play stuff that’s really good that nobody knows, and then I can play something new that’s great. Or, I can play Iggy Pop ‘Lust For Life’ next to Brenda Lee singing ‘I’m Sorry’. It worked, because they’re two separate pieces of music, but they’re both great, so it worked. If the music is good, it will work next to something.”

Tickets for Elton John and all other Apple Music Festival shows are still available, and can be applied for by ballot here.

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