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Thursday 28 Aug 2014

Press Release

Radio 1 to stage its biggest ever live music event on Hackney Marshes

L-R: Leona Lewis, Phillips Idowu and Trevor Nelson MBE at the launch of BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012

Andy Parfitt, Controller of BBC Radio 1, has announced today that the station is set to stage the BBC's biggest ever free-ticketed live music event on Hackney Marshes on 23 and 24 June 2012 for the opening weekend of the London 2012 Festival.

Working in partnership with Hackney Council, BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012 will feature six BBC stages and 100,000 people will be able to attend – for free – across the weekend with the majority of the tickets being allocated to people living in Hackney and the surrounding boroughs.

BBC Three has been confirmed as Radio 1's television partner and will be the only channel where viewers can see the whole event. BBC Three will also produce an exciting range of additional programming in the run up to the weekend, details of which will be announced in the coming months. A truly multiplatform experience, the event will be broadcast on Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra with a major interactive presence online and many live performances able to watch on demand.

Radio 1 has secured four first class ambassadors to champion the event and be involved in the programme of outreach activity in the build up to the event. The ambassadors are: one of the UK's most successful musical exports, Leona Lewis, who grew up in Hackney; Radio 1/1Xtra DJ Trevor Nelson MBE; and World and European Triple Jump Champion Phillips Idowu who were both born in Hackney; together with East London's award-winning artist and actor Plan B.

Leona and Plan B will also perform at next year's event and they will be joined by over 80 international and UK artists, bands and DJs making it the biggest multi-artist line-up ever for Radio 1.

The six stages will include the Radio 1 Main Stage, the 1Xtra Arena, the In New Music We Trust Stage and the BBC Introducing Stage.

In the weeks leading up to the June event, there will be a programme of Radio 1 and 1Xtra music activity in the area and a number of new local East London acts will have the chance to play at the event through BBC Introducing – the BBC's award-winning multiplatform initiative dedicated to supporting the hottest new talent from across the UK.

Andy Parfitt also revealed that Radio 1 and 1Xtra will embark on an ambitious programme of local engagement and outreach activity – linking with schools, colleges and organisations in Hackney and its surrounding boroughs. The event's ambassadors will be involved with the outreach work.

Andy Parfitt says: "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 – we have the support of the music industry and, in particular, Hackney leaders, so it promises to be a very special weekend."

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, says: "This is the biggest event Hackney will have ever hosted with world class musicians performing in our borough. This is an exciting opportunity for our residents to take part in the cultural side of the 2012 Games through the London 2012 Festival. Hackney is a young and creative borough and I'm pleased that the close partnership between the BBC and the Council means there will be chances for local people to get involved through volunteering and activities at schools and colleges."

Leona Lewis says: "To be a part of this event is so important to me. I'm so excited about the opportunities and the excitement that it will bring to the area. Radio 1 are going to put on the biggest show in their history and it's happening in East London – I couldn't be happier!'"

Trevor Nelson comments: "It's the most fantastic event that I've ever been asked to be involved in. I just know as a Hackney son that it will go down as the greatest musical event in recent memory."

Phillips Idowu adds: "I'm proud to be from Hackney and it's amazing for the borough to stage what is sure to be one of the biggest and best musical events in UK history. I can't wait for next summer. Radio 1's Hackney Weekend followed by the Olympics makes East London the place to be."

Plan B says: "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. I'm very proud to be regarded as an ambassador for what will be a special event."

BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012 will be one of the highlights of the London 2012 Festival, the UK wide cultural celebration from 21 June to 9 September 2012, which is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad.

Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad, says: "We're delighted that Radio 1's Hackney Weekend is part of the London 2012 Festival line-up. It is a perfect fit with our ambitions for the Festival to appeal to young people, to showcase world class talent and to work with our partners in Hackney."

Today, Trevor Nelson and Sara Cox broadcast a special show on Radio 1 and 1Xtra from the Olympic Park between 10am and 12.45pm to mark the launch of the event. As well as a stunning performance from Leona Lewis live on stage at the Hackney Empire to an audience of young people from the area; Professor Green and Maverick Sabre featuring True Tigers perform at the Olympic Park.

Further announcements about the event will be made over the coming months.

Jason Carter is leading the event for the BBC as Event Director: Radio 1 2012.

Notes to Editors

Ticket application details will be announced in the coming months. There are 50,000 pairs of tickets available across the weekend. Tickets are free, but this year 793,000 people applied for tickets for Radio 1's Big Weekend in Carlisle so the demand for Radio 1's Hackney Weekend is expected to be even bigger.

The BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend is part of the BBC's contribution to the Cultural Olympiad. Further details of the BBC's Cultural Olympiad programmes and events will be announced later in the year.

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