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Home Culture & Society London Olympics: Programme announced for the London 2012 Festival

London Olympics: Programme announced for the London 2012 Festival

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BT River of Music will be a spectacular, free curtain-raiser to the 2012 Games. It will take place at various iconic locations along the banks of the River Thames on the weekend of 21-22 July, a week before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Leading British saxophonist, Andy Sheppard and the Saxophone Massive today launched 'BT River of Music' at Somerset House, central London.

•           12,000 events & performances featuring over 25,000 artists from all 204 participating Olympic nations

•           Stars include Damon Albarn, Alan Ayckbourn, Daniel Barenboim, Cate Blanchett, Gustavo Dudamel, Tracey Emin, Stephen Fry, Gilberto Gil, Handspring, Antony Hegarty, Damien Hirst, Zakir Hussain, Anish Kapoor, Mike Leigh, Baaba Maal, Wynton Marsalis, Tim Minchin, The Noisettes, Yoko Ono, Simon Rattle, Rihanna, Scissor Sisters, Wallace and Gromit, Dr Who, Julie Walters, Ai Wei Wei, Jay-Z

The full programme was announced today for the London 2012 Festival, celebrating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place from 21 June – 9 September 2012 and feature leading artists from around the world.

This ‘once in a lifetime’ Festival features more than 25,000 artists from all 204 competing Olympic nations. Everyone will be able to join in the celebration with over 10 million free tickets and opportunities to take part in 12,000 events and performances at 900 venues all over the UK, including 130 world premieres and 85 UK premieres.

The full London 2012 Festival brochure will be distributed around the UK and is available to download from the London 2012 Festival website at www.london2012.com/festival.

Over 160,000 free tickets are available for concerts in six Thames-side locations for BT River of Music: Scissor Sisters, Baaba Maal, The Noisettes, Matthew Herbert, Mariza and Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis are among the line-up already announced. The public can register from Tuesday 15 May and sign up to be the first to hear when tickets for each stage become available via Ticketmaster. Full details of the programme and venues can be found at www.btriverofmusic.com.

Wynton Marsalis

100,000 music fans are expected for BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend starring Jay-Z, Rihanna, Florence + The Machine, will.i.am, Jessie J, Jack White, David Guetta and Tinie Tempah.  Peace One Day’s Global Truce Countdown concert at Ebrington Square in Derry-Londonderry for the opening night of the London 2012 Festival will feature stars including Imelda May, Newton Faulkner, Guillemots and Wonder Villains.

Also going on sale today are tickets to Traction, a one-day festival curated by Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson and presented by Eurostar, featuring music and performance collaborations from across Europe. Mercury prize nominee Ghostpoet is joined by London artist Plugs at this unique event at Granary Square in London, which opens to the public for the first time in June. Tickets are available for £20 via www.eurostartraction.com or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

Stephen Fry, Tim Minchin, Scott Mills and a host of BBC Comedy stars will celebrate the UK’s comic talent with appearances all over the country from Edinburgh’s celebrated Fringe venue The Pleasance to The Eden Project in Cornwall, Hackney Empire, the BFI and London’s West End.

Stephen Fry said: ‘The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be an astonishing event, and it’s only right that we use the opportunity to showcase our world leading arts and culture when the eyes of the world are on us. The London 2012 Festival will give everyone the chance to have an Olympic experience, and leading the way will be the Playing the Games programme taking place at the Criterion Theatre, London’s most beautiful West End theatre.’

London will celebrate its contribution to fashion with a series of collaborations between top designers and artists. Among these are Paul Smith, Giles Deacon, Hussein Chalayan, Matthew Williamson, Stephen Jones, Mary Katrantzou and artists Cerith Wyn Evans, Gavin Turk, Jeremy Deller, Mark Tichner, Charming Baker and Jess Flood-Paddocks.

Full programme announced for the London 2012 Festival with Comedian Slim and BBC Radio 1 Presenter Eddie Nestor

Stonehenge will be transformed in a once-in-a-lifetime free fiery spectacular created by French outdoor wizards, Compagnie Carabosse, while Jeremy Deller’s full size ‘bouncy castle’ version of Stonehenge will tour the nation, giving families a unique experience of this historic landmark.

There will be more art in unusual places with artist Richard Wilson’s full-scale replica coach dangling off the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill recreating the final scene of The Italian Job; a collection of BMW cars with bodywork designed by artists including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons goes on show in a secret London location; and more than 500 bandstands and outdoor performance spaces across the UK will simultaneously come alive with music as part of Bandstand Marathon.

Constanza Macras’ extraordinary dance theatre group will perform in the forests of North Wales with ancient Mabinogion myths interpreted through the prism of modern Cardiff nightlife; and Elizabeth Streb’s daredevil troupe interacts with London’s most iconic landmarks through her unique extreme action performance.

Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaker will present one of her great early works, Fase, reworked for Tate Modern’s brand new Tanks spaces; and Michael Clark will create a new work for Glasgow’s legendary Barrowland Ballroom.

‘See No Evil’, Europe’s biggest urban arts festival featuring world class street art, cutting edge music and 3D mapping projections will pop-up in the heart of Bristol’s Enterprise Zone. Major music acts include Adrian Utley of Portishead working with AntiVJ, while Bristol artists Inkie, China Mike, Jody Thomas and international artists bring their distinctive visuals to the streets of Bristol.

Busk on the Usk is a new free festival for Newport City in Wales, featuring live music, literature, spoken-word, and street theatre as well as art and food events at The Riverfront Theatre, University of Wales, Newport and pop-up venues across the city. The event will be produced by Wales’ award-winning independent Green Man music and arts festival, and the incredible Scritti Politti, led by Newport born Green Gartside who will be making his first ever performance there.

As part of the BBC Proms 2012, Daniel Barenboim will conduct the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in a complete Beethoven symphony cycle culminating on 27 July, the opening night of the Games, with a performance of Beethoven 9. Oscar-winners Wallace & Gromit will make their Proms debut with Wallace’s Proms commission ‘My Concerto in Ee, Lad’; and Birmingham Opera will stage the world premiere of Stockhausen’s extraordinary work Mittwoch aus Licht, a five-hour long sonic extravaganza featuring a Helicopter String Quartet, choirs and electronics, with Radio 1’s DJ Nihal as moderator.

London’s newest landmark designed by internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, the 115 ft high The Orbit, will be launched in May; Yoko Ono’s Smile project, presented by the Serpentine Gallery, invites everyone to upload and send an image of their smiles, to create a global anthology of portraits, alongside a major exhibition of her work in the Gallery; Antony Gormley’s Godot Tree, a new commission for the Enniskillen Festival, will go on show in the Grand Yard at Castle Coole; and the UK’s biggest ever celebration of dance includes an anthology of works by Tanztheater Wupperthal – Pina Bausch commissioned by the cities she visited.

There are also lots of opportunities for the public to get involved in the Festival and participate directly in nationwide initiatives like Big Dance 2012, which includes a world record for the largest Bollywood dance performance at Cardiff Mela, an amazingly long Norfolk Long Dance in Norwich, and an open-air showcase of community dance skills at Big T Dance in Doncaster city centre.

Hofesh Shechter directs Youth Dance England’s U.Dance Ensemble, the first UK youth dance company, performing at the U.Dance 2012 festival at Southbank Centre 13-15 July; and on 14 July, the entire population are invited to fill streets and public spaces in Big Street Dance Day, under the Creative Direction of Wayne McGregor, just one of the hundreds of Big Dance events all over the country.

Streb: Extreme Action - One Extraordinary Day Various locations, London www.london2012.com/festival, taken as part of the London 2012 Festival commissions

Storylab is a nationwide programme of events encouraging kids to get reading and creating stories during the holidays. Libraries will be hosting lots of special events for the Summer Reading Challenge, and there are innovative projects from Discover Centre’s Storycloud, the new Story Museum in Oxford, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the National Theatre’s Pop-Up Workshop programme and the British Library, who are hosting a festival of Children’s Literature as part of their Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands. Major writers taking part include Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, Michael Morpurgo, Richard Adams, Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman and Andy Stanton.

London 2012 Festival will be launched on Midsummer’s Night 21 June, with a burst of celebration across the nation starting with a spectacular open-air concert set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle in Scotland, featuring superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela who are joined by The Big Noise children from Rapploch in Scotland; meanwhile in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will present the UK premiere of Weltethos, an epic choral work by Jonathan Harvey; and on the same night the pyrotechnicians and musicians of the French street arts company, Les Commandos Percu will bring the magic of music and fire to the shores of Lake Windermere in Cumbria in a spectacular outdoor show, On the Night Shift, created especially for the Festival.

Principal Funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

Supporters of the London 2012 Festival are BMW, Eurostar, Freshfields, Panasonic, Samsung, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, BBC, British Council, Creative Scotland, DCAL, DCMS, Festivals Edinburgh, Mayor Of London, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Visit Britain and Visit Scotland.

The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 over 18 million people all over the UK have already participated in or attended over 9,000 performances and more than 8,000 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012 and funded by our principal funders and sponsors.

Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad & London 2012 Festival, said:  ‘The London 2012 Festival will be the largest cultural celebration in our lifetime. With new work from the best musicians, comics, artists, film makers and more, there will be arts events taking place in unusual places all over the UK that will showcase the best in international culture when the eyes of the world are on us this summer. I would like to thank our Premier Partners BP and BT and Principal Funders Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor for making it possible.’

 

Jay-Z

Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board, said: ‘Over 18 million people have already participated in or attended over 9,000 performances and more than 8,000 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes, and the London 2012 Festival will be enjoyed by millions more this summer. The publication today of the full programme is a proud moment for all involved and I must pay tribute to the vision and creativity of the LOCOG culture team and our wonderful partners across the UK and internationally.’

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said: ‘The 2012 Games provides a unique chance to showcase Britain to the World. The London 2012 Festival highlights the enormous wealth of world class culture that this country has to offer, providing opportunities for everyone, everywhere to get involved and be inspired.’

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