Meet the planners behind Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Norwich - and find out how to get there
- Credit: Archant
It took 10 years of asking, three years of talking, and months of planning – and now it's time to make sure you get the most from Europe's biggest free festival in Norwich.
The Foo Fighters, Muse and Florence + The Machine are among the international stars entertaining 50,000 people in the city's Earlham Park on May 23 and 24 at the Radio 1 Big Weekend.
While big-name acts have been organised by the BBC, the behind-the-scenes tasks of transport, road closures and the clean-up job have been the responsibility of Norwich City Council's events team, who are hosting the festival.
Culture and events manager Helen Selleck said she was delighted the event was coming to Norwich and added that the marketing for the city was invaluable.
'We have been trying to get this event for 10 years,' she said. 'I have been emailing and phoning the BBC every year. We got there in the end.
'We have been talking to them for about three years, but didn't get confirmation until just before Christmas.'
She added: 'Don't underestimate how lucky we are. A lot of people were after it and we were privileged to get it.'
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While more than half of the tickets were reserved for people living in Norwich, thousands are still expected to travel by car, bus or rail to the city.
A council survey of ticket holders found 15pc of people wanted to use a shuttle bus; 11pc park-and -ride; 12pc premier parking on-site, at a £20 cost; 14pc on the train; and 37pc on foot.
The council has organised shuttle buses to take people from the city centre to Earlham Park, and ensuring everyone is off the site an hour and a half after the event ends each day at 11pm.
And with three stages confirmed and a back stage area, the mammoth task of constructing the arena will take two weeks.
Hundreds of workers will begin transforming the park from May 11, with a fence installed around the site and stages assembled. A week after the event, all equipment will have been cleared away.
Ms Selleck said access would be maintained to much of the park, including the café, while work was going on.
On the weekend itself, roads around the site will be closed, and access restricted to nearby households.
Litter-picking, sound management, and a strict alcohol policy on site have been planned to help the event run smoothly. 'Half of the audience will have never been to a festival,' said Ms Selleck. 'We're expecting a well behaved and balanced crowd.'
No food or drink can be taken in, apart from a sealed water bottle.
Two mobile phone masts will be on the site for the weekend, enhancing 3G and 4G coverage.
For more information about Big Weekend plans visit www.norwich.gov.uk/Events/Pages/BigWeekend.aspx
Are you planning something special at the Big Weekend? Email email@example.com