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Calls for Radio 1 Big Weekend to be a “blueprint” for other events in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:00 26 May 2015

Radio 1 Big Weekend at Earlham Park, Norwich. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Radio 1 Big Weekend at Earlham Park, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Radio 1’s Big Weekend could be “blueprint” for other events in Norwich, after 50,000 music fans of all ages flocked to Earlham Park for the two-day festival.

Radio 1 Big Weekend at Earlham Park, Norwich. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYRadio 1 Big Weekend at Earlham Park, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

It took 10 years to persuade the BBC to hold the event in the city, which has been hailed a success by police.

Norwich Superintendent Dave Marshall said Europe’s biggest free festival had been a largely peaceful event, with just eight people arrested over two days.

When Taylor Swift and the Foo Fighters brought the Big Weekend to a close on Sunday, the crowd cleared and had left within 45 minutes.

For Supt Marshall, it highlighted what a great venue the park was. “Norwich can put on these events and hopefully that has now set a blueprint for what festivals can be,” he said.

Taylor Swift live at Radio 1 Big Weekend in Norwich 2015 - Paul BayfieldTaylor Swift live at Radio 1 Big Weekend in Norwich 2015 - Paul Bayfield

There were four minor assaults, one mobile phone theft and one theft from a bag, which Supt Marshall said was low for an event of that size.

“It was a fantastic mix of people, from young children with ear defenders to grandmas and granddads,” he added. “I never thought I would see a 65-year-old man bouncing up and down to Snoop Dogg.”

Norwich City Council, which worked with the BBC to organise the event, had first written to suggest the city as a venue 10 years ago – and was finally picked for 2015.

Some 11 people were thrown out over the whole weekend, and there were three arrests for assault, one person caught drink-driving and four people who were drunk and disorderly.

Yesterday, the clean-up job began, with litter-pickers out early to clear rubbish left by the 25,000-strong Sunday crowd.

Work to dismantle the stages, fence and production area is due to continue this week.

Neighbouring homeowner Jenny Richards, 63, of Bluebell Road, said the festival had been good for Norwich.

The drama teacher added there had been no bad behaviour from the crowds catching buses home from near her house.

She said: “There were lots of people coming along the road being very jolly. We could hear it from our house but it was lovely. We were just sad we didn’t get any tickets.”

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