Radio 1 unveils free Olympic music festival in Hackney


Leona Lewis

BBC Radio 1 have announced that they will hold their annual free music festival in east London in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

Leona Lewis and Plan B are among the artists confirmed for the two-day event at Hackney Marshes.

BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012 will take place on 23 and 24 June with 100,000 tickets available.

Singer Leona Lewis, who grew up in Hackney, said she "couldn't be happier" about performing.

She added: "To be a part of this event is so important to me. Radio 1 are going to put on the biggest show in their history and it's happening in east London."

Find out more details about Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012

Olympic celebration

The event, more than double the capacity of previous Big Weekends, will feature six stages of music.

The majority of the tickets for BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012 are being allocated to people living in Hackney and the surrounding boroughs.

The announcement was made during a special simulcast broadcast by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra from the Olympic Park.

Plan B
Image caption Plan B will return to BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend after playing in Carlisle

BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012 will be part of the London 2012 Festival, the UK-wide cultural celebration in the build-up to the Olympic Games.

Plan B said: "It's great to have a musical celebration in the area where the Olympics are being held and that it's Radio 1 who are bringing it to east London."

BBC Radio 1Xtra's Trevor Nelson, who grew up in Hackney, will also be working to find local talent to showcase for the event.

Radio 1 and 1Xtra's controller Andy Parfitt said: "This is the most ambitious event in the station's 44 year history.

"We aim to enhance the overall London 2012 summer with a celebratory event aimed specifically at the thousands of young people who live in the boroughs directly surrounding the Olympic Park."

Further announcements about tickets and the line-up will be made over the coming months.

This year's Radio 1 Big Weekend was held in Carlisle and featured performances from Lady Gaga and Foo Fighters.

Roger Mosey: Festival 2012 comes into focus