Save the date!
Radio 1 DJ and bass music boffin B. Traits has been busy seeking out the next generation of production talent from around the UK and Ireland. After many hours in the studio, doing what they all do best, the result is an exclusive 30-minute mixtape available for free download from next month. redbullstudios.com/london
From February 6
With the Rugby World Cup in England starting in September, all eyes will be on this year’s Six Nations championship as a test of form. Ireland are defending the title, with an England team, who came second on only points tally itching to relieve them of it. The first weekend’s fixture are Wales v England, Italy v Ireland and France v Scotland.
The best athletes from around the country are competing at the Indoor British Championships in Sheffield this month, the event which last year saw heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson break two British records. Results here will help decide who makes it onto the GB & NI team for the European championships in March. Among those testing their form will be sprint specialist Jodie Williams, who has a solid record on the international track: she finished last season with a silver medal at the European Championships. www.britishathletics.org.uk
Skates and the city
Few have the necessary fortitude to battle along a steep, icy, obstacle-laden track while wearing ice skates. So watching those who do is a genuine thrill. Red Bull Crashed Ice is bringing high-speed, shoulder-to-shoulder action to the British Isles for the first time next month. More than 40,000 spectators will witness 140 international competitors reach speeds of up to 60kph on a specially constructed frozen track in Belfast city centre. redbullcrashedice.com
On the rise
Despite the name, it hasn’t taken London-based band Years & Years long to rise up the musical ranks. The electronic trio signed to Polydor Records in 2014, appeared on Later…With Jools Holland, got nominated for a BRITs Critics Choice Award and went on tour with label mates Clean Bandit. So they’re starting this year with a tour of their own. After playing Rio De Janeiro, New York and Paris, it’s back to Blighty and the slightly less glam location of Birmingham.