Stages are up and Earlham Park is almost ready for Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Norwich

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The stages are almost ready, the dressing rooms have been designed and the fence is up at Earlham Park ready for 50,000 people to arrive for Radio 1's Big Weekend.

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Today the finishing touches are being made ready for Muse, Foo Fighters and Florence + The Machine to fill the city park with music on Saturday and Sunday in Europe's biggest free festival.

For Radio 1's live events manager Rob Spring, bringing the Big Weekend to Earlham Park brought with it fresh challenges.

'Every single site we go to has its own new quirks,' said Mr Spring. 'But there will be a great sight for the audience down to the stage with its natural vista.

'It is a bigger site compared with last year which will give the audience a sense of adventure.'

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Mr Spring has worked on seven of the BBC's Big Weekends, which last year brought international music stars to Glasgow.

This year there will be fair ground rides, a farmers' market, and live television and radio broadcast from the site throughout the day.

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The historic Earlham Hall will provide the backdrop for television broadcasts, and will house the event's control hub, and emergency services' base.

Some 400 people from Norwich and the surrounding area have been employed to work on the festival bars, and more than 20 young people have been given work placements for the event.

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Park being transformed for the Radio 1 Big Weekend.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Mr Spring said bringing the festival to Earlham Park, which is seldom used for events of this size, meant it was more special.

'The Big Weekend brings a broad range of audiences which turns it into a nice family event,' he added.

'We can see children enjoy their first live music experience which creates a lasting memory for them.'

The In New Music We Trust stage is housed in a tent with room for 7,000 people and BBC Introducing with space for 1,000.

But just before the last acts take to the stage, the smaller stages will close for the crowds to flock to the main stage for an end-of-day finale, where the trees will be lit up.

Mr Spring recommended festivalgoers bring warm clothes for when the temperatures dropped towards the end of the day.

See tomorrow's paper for an eight-page supplement on the Big Weekend with everything you need to know about the event.

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