Belfast Telegraph

Big Weekend fans try to tunnel in

Europe's biggest free music festival has got under way with organisers revealing fans were so desperate to attend they tried to tunnel their way in.

Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich is expected to attract 50,000 people to the city's Earlham Park today and tomorrow.

Temperatures topped 20C as hip hop legend Snoop Dogg helped get proceedings going.

He got the crowd on-side by wearing a Norwich City football shirt in tribute to the team which will play in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday.

The rapper made an expletive-laden reference to his four-year ban from entering the UK after causing a scene when he was stopped from entering the first class lounge at Heathrow Airport in 2006.

He said: "It's good to be back and I will be back again. I love you UK."

Florence and the Machine and Muse will be the main acts tonight, with Taylor Swift and Foo Fighters closing the event tomorrow.

American pop star Swift has sponsored two taxis, adorned with pictures of her face, to help fans get to the event.

Some of those lucky enough to hail a ride could find the singer picking up the tab for their journey.

Tickets were distributed free but many music lovers were left disappointed.

Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said some had been caught with spades around the perimeter.

He added: "We have never had this happen before and it shows how popular Norwich is."

Meanwhile Norfolk County Council told how it had turned away vans from its car park as they tried to set up camp in the run-up to the event.

There are three stages at the event, ranging from upcoming acts to the biggest stars.

David Guetta, The Vaccines and Fall Out Boy were among the other acts performing today.

Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence and the Machine, performed most of her set sitting down after breaking her foot at the Coachella Music Festivcal, California, last month.

Wearing a white suit and white blowse, she apologised to the crowd for the lack of her usual exhuberance on stage.

In the middile of hit song Dog Days Are Over, she said: "Because I can't jump, you'll have to jump extra high and for a very long time."

Rock band Muse closed today's event on the main stage in front of a huge crowd as darkness fell across Earlham Park.


From Belfast Telegraph