Starting on the 21st June and continuing alongside the Olympic and Paralympic Games until the final of the Paralympics on the 9th September, the London 2012 Festival will be the largest festival the UK has ever seen. Offering an astonishing 12,000 events across the UK and a total of 25,000 artists from the 204 countries participating in the Olympics, the London 2012 Festival’s exciting line up of music, dance, film, theatre, fashion and art, will be a true celebration of culture.
With over 10,000 free tickets to be had, there will be plenty of free events to choose from. The free events will include a selection of music concerts, art exhibitions, theatrical productions and innovative street dance performances. Even though the event is free, reservations may still need to be made and tickets may need to be booked in advance. While each event has its own website which will specify cost and ticket requirements, the London 2012 festival programme at www.festival.london2012.com is the one to check for a full run down of events, times and locations.
The London 2012 Festival guarantees a summer full of fun and entertainment. Some of the highlights include:
Big Dance 2012: Having choreographed large public dance performances every two years since 2006, the Big Dance 2012 festival has arranged for a series of dance-related events to take place around the country culminating in what will be the UK’s largest street dance initiative to date, The Big Street Dance Day in London. Taking place on the 14th July in London’s famous Trafalgar Square, a staggering 2000 dancers will be performing under the creative direction of Wayne McGregor, a resident choreographer of The Royal Ballet and founder of the Wayne McGregor/Random Dance Company.
BBC Radio’s 1 Hackney Weekend: a weekend extravaganza of free musical concerts, the line up includes: Jay-Z, Rihanna, Florence + The Machine, will.i.am, Jessie J, Jack White, David Guetta, Tinie Tempah and other UK and international artists, DJs and bands.
London 2012 Festival opening night in Northern Ireland: Derry-Londonderry’s Ebrington Square will be host to Peace One Day’s ‘Global Truce 2012’concert starring Imelda May, Pixie Lott, Newton Faulkner, Guillemots and Wonder Villains.
Eurostar presents Traction: a one day music festival sponsored by the rail service provider Eurostar, ‘Eurostar presents Traction’ will be taking place on July 14th at Granary Square, London’s newest public space, set to open in June 2012. A celebration of European music and culture, the programme includes a fantastic selection of leading artists around the world from Ghostpoet, Plugs, Sébastien Tellier to jazz artist Benny Sings, Baloji & l’Orchestre de la Katuba, The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble and performances from UK’s Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson, who has been organizing the event.
The Bandstand Marathon: More than 500 stunning open-air musical performances will be taking place across the UK.
Opening and Closing Ceremony Celebration Concerts: the 27th of July and the 12th of August will mark the opening and ending of the Olympic Games. While the opening will feature Snow Patrol, Duran Duran, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini, Blur will be joined by both New Order and The Specials for the Closing Ceremony Celebration Concert.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit: London’s newly revealed landmark, the 115 meter observation tower in the Olympic Park is certainly worth a visit and offers a spectacular view over the Olympic Stadium.
Playing the Games: The Criterion Theatre in London’s West End will be hosting a jam-packed programme of comedy, music, live celebrity interviews and a selection of plays.
BBC Proms: an important part of UK’s performing arts culture, a series of beautiful classical music concerts will be taking place at the Royal Albert Hall.
Surprise Performances: watch out as musicians and other performers take to the streets of London in unscheduled, pop-up performances. The locations for these surprise appearances are so far rumoured to include the London underground and a selection of squares and parks in and around London city centre.