Carlisle enjoys Big Weekend profile boost

Lady Gaga at BBC Radio One's Big Weekend in Carlisle
Image caption Lady Gaga was the headline act on Sunday

Organisers of a music event which attracted tens of thousands of people to Carlisle hailed the event a success.

Carlisle Airport was transformed for BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, with 40,000 free tickets being snapped up.

Tourism chiefs said it had been a major boost for the city and they were now keen to build on the profile they had gained.

Neil Wyatt, BBC Radio 1 editor of live music and events, said the weekend was "incredible".

He said: "It's been a fantastic Big Weekend for Radio 1. It was the biggest bill we have ever had and the most applications for tickets.

"I think the response from Carlisle and Cumbria has been absolutely incredible - the welcome that Radio 1 had throughout the week.

"I think you could see how excited Carlisle was about the show by how many people arrived at the gates early. You could feel the buzz and excitement that it was taking place in Carlisle."

Cumbria Police said there were no major incidents of crime or disorder and there were only six arrests on site.

'Shout and scream'

Those arrested were held on suspicion of a number of offences including assault, theft and public order offences.

Ch Insp Mark Pannone, of Cumbria Police, said: "The weekend has been a great success for Carlisle thanks to the crowds and local community getting into the spirit of the event and enjoying themselves without going too far."

Image caption Foo Fighters performed on Saturday

US singer Lady Gaga was the headline act on Sunday and other acts over the weekend included Foo Fighters, Tinie Tempah, My Chemical Romance and Black Eyed Peas.

Almost 500,000 people applied for the 40,000 free tickets available.

Marie Whitehead, from Carlisle Tourism Partnership, said the two days had gone smoothly with very few issues.

Up to 8,000 people were surveyed at the site on Sunday and Ms Whitehead said feedback had been positive.

She said much of it had focused on the area being underrated and something of a "hidden treasure".

"We need to shout and scream about ourselves and we were certainly shouting and screaming this weekend," she said.

The clean-up has now started with about 100 litter pickers among those arriving at the site.

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