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23 June 2012

Behind the scenes at Hackney Weekend

BEHIND every major festival are hundreds of volunteers who make it happen – and the BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend 2012 is no exception.

The festival is the BBC’s largest ever, free music event, with six stages, over 100 artists and DJs, and a capacity for 100,000 visitors over two days.

Three hundred local people volunteered to help out, giving festival-goers information about the Hackney Weekend on 23 and 24 June, and other up-and-coming events in the borough this summer to mark the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Resident and volunteer, Caroline Ojo, said: “I’m so glad to be part of the Olympics – I don’t think it will be part of my lifetime again. I’m so excited to be at this festival. I didn’t know Hackney Marshes was as big as this. It’s nice to meet new Hackney faces too.”

Young people in Hackney have also been taking part in an ambitious programme of local engagement and outreach activity including work with schools, colleges and voluntary groups. A third of all tickets for the festival went to young people living in the borough.

Resident Nell Jordan-Gent, who is also community events producer for the BBC, feels like she’s come full circle on her journey with the Hackney Weekend.

She says: “The Academy was brilliant, there were so many kids who were engaged and kept coming back. It was so emotional – at the end people were swapping numbers. It felt like even though it was the end, it was only the beginning of them. They are now going to take it on.

“I can’t fault it at all – I feel like it’s gone so smoothly. It’s really nice that young people from all different parts if Hackney are having a brilliant time. What’s really nice is going to the colleges, seeing the young people at the Academy and now seeing them here.”

Hundreds of Hackney volunteers helped make the festival happen

Hundreds of Hackney volunteers helped make the festival happen

Hundreds of Hackney volunteers helped make the festival happen Resident Nell Jordan-Gent, who is events producer for the BBC Resident and volunteer Caroline Ojo

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