Come on Hackney – there’s a massive chance to bag a free Radio 1 festival ticket – but just hours left to register

Not all the 50,000 places reserved for Hackney residents have been taken up yet

BBC Radio 1 is urging Hackney residents to sign up for its Hackney Weekend on the marshes this June, but registration must be completed by 11pm tonight.

Out of the 100,000 free tickets up for grabs, half of them have been reserved for Hackney residents – but so far demand has not exceeded supply.

There is virtually a 100 per cent chance Hackney residents who register for one of the coveted tickets will get one.

US rapper Jay-Z will headline the event which is taking place on June 23 and 24 – the weekend Glastonbury is normally held.

The biggest event ever staged by Radio 1 will feature more than 100 UK and international artists including, Florence And The Machine, Jessie J, Leona Lewis and Lana Del Rey.

Event Director Jason Carter said the tickets are now moving much quicker, but for a while registrations from Hackney had been slow.

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“Just a couple of thousand had registered at the beginning, which is a shame as we have a huge number we were holding back, and if those tickets weren’t used we’d tip them into the pot for the rest of the country,” he said.

“So the message is if you live in Hackney you have a fantastic chance of getting a ticket, more chance than anyone else in the UK - but you should register,” he said.

“Part of the problem is that people don’t think they have a chance, when in fact they do.

“What worries me is we are only in March and when it’s June and its two weeks away, there will be a big vibe Jay Z is coming and they’ll wake up, and it’ll be, “Too late mate, it was back in March.””

Over the last couple of weeks Radio 1 DJs have been publicising the event at colleges across the borough, and now over 15,000 people in Hackney have signed up.

For security reasons those registering need to upload a photo, and many people may have been put off thinking it was a complicated process – although in reality it only takes a few minutes.

Jason Carter has been organising the event for a couple of years now, and having spoken to young people from the area, desperately wants as many of them as possible to get tickets.

“My view is there was a big promise to young people when the Games were secured for London. There has been a lot of noise over the last 18 months how many things are there for young people, and I’ve felt cynicism from young people how much they are getting out of such a big year.

“We thought if we can put on an event for young people who might not be able to get an Olympic ticket, and give tickets for free with world class artists who we know they love, it would be a valuable addition to the Olympic activity nearby.

“I get a sense there’s a feeling they’ve had promises of stuff before and it hasn’t come through, but we’ve spent two years planning this,” he added.

Registration ends at 11pm tonight, go to and upload a photo.

For those registered, there will be two opportunities to apply for a ticket - 11am on Sunday March 25 and 4pm on Monday March 26, online or by phone.