June 24, 2012 6:24 PM EST
BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend 2012: Rihanna, Jay Z and Lewis Rock the Stage
Radio 1's Hackney Weekend, easily the biggest live event in its 44 year history, got off to a fantastic start on the first day - Saturday, 23 June, with rapper Jay-Z headlining the opening day of the high-profile festival. The proud father of Blue Ivy Carter was joined on stage by surprise guest star, Rihanna. The second day's performers will include Rihanna, again, as well as Florence + the Machine, Tinie Tempah, Jessie J, Plan B and Professor Green, according to the line-up detailed on the event's official Web site. Lana Del Rey, David Guetta, Zane Lowe, Chase and Status, Nas, Wretch 32, Taio Cruz and Santigold are the other major performers for Sunday.
Day Two starts at 10 am BST and, as a note of caution, the Hackney Council's Web site suggests fans arrive with time to spare, to catch their favourite artists live. The event itself, held as part of the London 2012 festival, will happen across five stages at the Hackney Marshes.
Incidentally, this has been so popular an event that when tickets sales opened in February, the Web site crashed as a result of user overload. Radio 1 indicated the problems were caused by "high volume of traffic after an unprecedented demand for tickets".
"If you look at the line-up it's already gone down in history. The coverage is going to be amazing," Jason Carter, event director of Hackney Weekend, said to BBC before the start of the event, and it seems he knew what he was talking about. He will, however, hope the second day passes as pleasantly as the first and won't have to face weather-related fiascos similar to the ones that struck the Isle of Wight festival.
Meanwhile, according to the Metro, it might be worth your while to check out Project Hackney - featuring local musicians mentored by Plan B, Labrinth and Leona Lewis.
"I really wanted to open when they asked me to do it. When I went on I saw 30,000 people running towards the stage. It was lovely performing in front of a home crowd. It was good, I swear half the audience was my friends and family," Lewis explained, after her performance on the first day.
Despite having to wait in long queues and brave the weather, the first day reported 50,000 strong crowds.
"I was in the queue for an hour but we came early. I think the scanners are important because you never know what kind of trouble wants to bring. Better to be safe than sorry. It's the right procedure," Temi Tioo, a 17 year old fans said in the BBC report, while another fan, Sade Antoinette, 20, said she had been in queue since six in the morning.
Finally, Hackney organisers have admitted the festival has benefited from the buzz surrounding the 2012 London Olympics.
"Hackney is the perfect fit for us - an Olympic borough with a vibrant music scene and a large young population, many of whom can often be overlooked and disengaged, so exactly the people that we wanted to reach and inspire," BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra's controller Ben Cooper said.
Check out this Slideshow of photographs of the first day of the Hackney Music Festival