Hackney Weekend warning: you won’t be able to hear anything
The organiser of the Radio 1 mega-festival on Hackney Marshes has warned anyone without a ticket to steer clear of the area this weekend, as he outlined the major security operation in place.
Jason Carter has put on Radio 1 concerts around the country for the last 10 years, but says holding the Hackney Weekend in London is different.
“From the point of putting on large scale events in London there are a lot of challenges, especially an event with 50,000 people,” he said.
“Certain parts of London can be more challenging than others, some would say east London has more risks attached to it - but the BBC would say it’s good to take it to east London, there are a lot of young people in the area and why should they be deprived.
“But saying that, there are potential security risks.”
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To make sure everyone inside the festival arena is safe, everyone applying for tickets was screened during the vigorous ticketing process, and tickets have photos to ensure they cannot be passed on by touts.
There are two tiers of security fencing to make sure no one can enter the site without a ticket - an external security fence surrounds an internal fortress fence twice as high, which was designed for Glastonbury to make sure no one can jump over it.
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“Up until about six years ago a lot of people jumped the fence there, I did it as well, the organisers were told unless they could come up with impenetrable fence they would stop it,” said Jason.
Manned towers will monitor the fences, and external stewards will prevent groups building up, as well extra police drafted in from all over London for a strong police presence.
“The final element is and I have to say this is an unprecedented level of security planning for a popular music event, is that every single person that walks into the site will have bags searched, and go through an airport style metal detector,” said Jason.
“That’s going to help us with the security inside, and everyone feels it should be safe.
“There’s some thing about an event with a high demand for tickets, and that can be lots of people without may decide to go down and just have a look if there’s anything to see,” he added.
“An important point to make is there’s nothing to see, there’s no point whatsoever to go down to the marshes.
“All you will see is a green festival steel shield fence which is very high, and if you’re standing on the outside you are a long way from the stages, all you hear will be muffled.”