London 2012 Bandstand marathon is last of summer wine for Victoria Park

12:00 11 September 2012

Bethnal Green Big Band Band

Bethnal Green Big Band Band

Tim Sullivan

Park lovers got back into the swing of things at the weekend after a month of Olympics with a bandstand marathon in Victoria Park.

Frida Bell, 6 (left), enjoys music of Bethnal Green Big Band with her pal Greta Bohm, 5Frida Bell, 6 (left), enjoys music of Bethnal Green Big Band with her pal Greta Bohm, 5

They brought blankets to sit on the grass and picnics to eat while listening to Sunday afternoon’s four-hour programme by five performing groups on the newly-restored bandstand.

Bethnal Green Big Band sounded off the first notes, followed by Kiniro Saxophone Quartet, singer Rosie Adediran, East London Late Starters Orchestra and the Crofton Singers.

The audience took part in music making with the Late Starters Orchestra—even people who had never taken up an instrument before. The orchestra, which practices each week at Stepney’s Phoenix School, encourages newcomers to take up music as a legacy of London 2012.

Sunday’s event staged by Friends of Victoria Park leaves a legacy of ‘People’s music’ in east London after last year’s £12m park ‘makeover’ in the biggest renovation since it was opened in the 1840s.

It was one of 100 bandstand marathons up and down the country sponsored by the Department of Culture as one of the closing events of the 2012 Olympics festival.

But for the Friends group, it was the ‘last of the summer wine’ as the events season draws to a close. Their next extravaganza isn’t until the spring of 2013.

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