London 2012 Festival officially starts

10:48 21 June 2012

West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square is part of the London 2012 Festival. Picture: West End LIVE

West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square is part of the London 2012 Festival. Picture: West End LIVE

West End LIVE

The London 2012 Festival officially launches today.

Lasting 12 weeks, the festival includes 25,000 artists from the 204 Olympic and Paralympic nations taking part in 12,000 events from live music shows to comedy to theatre across the country.

There are 10million free tickets to events at 900 venues.

Ruth Mackenzie, director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: “When the UK won the bid for the Olympics in 2005, we promised to return to Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s original idea of an Olympic Games based on the three pillars of sport, art and education.

“This summer, London 2012 Festival showcases the world’s greatest artists alongside the stars of the sports world, a once in a lifetime cultural experience to match the once in a lifetime visit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the UK.”

Among the highlights is Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace art installation, which will be unveiled on London 2012 Live Site screens, situated at free outdoor venues in London including Hyde Park, Victoria Park, Walthamstow and Woolwich.

Imagine Peace is Ono’s worldwide initiative of anti-violence, featuring the Imagine Peace message translated into 24 world languages. A major exhibition of her work will also be on show at the Serpentine Gallery as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Other highlights of the London 2012 Festival include the World Shakespeare Festival, with performances of the Bard’s plays.

The first major survey of Damien Hirst’s work ever held in the UK, bringing together over 70 of the artist’s works including For the Love of God and other seminal pieces, will be at the Tate Modern until September 9, the last day of the London 2012 Festival.

There will be a number of events from the Festival’s Unlimited programme, the largest ever UK programme celebrating arts, culture and sport by disabled and deaf people.

Tate Britain is displaying the Official Olympic and Paralympic Posters by artists including Fiona Banner, Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin until September 21.

Celebrated conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela return to London’s Southbank Centre for a four-day residency, Sounds Venezuela 2012, this weekend.

Also taking place this weekend is the free Trafalgar Square festival West End LIVE, for the first time featuring entertainment from every single one of London’s highly-acclaimed West End musicals.

ENO bring Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee to the London stage.

The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, February 27, 2015

A pensioner was rushed to hospital after she was shot last night through the window of her house.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Anytime Fitness in Pentonville Road [Photo from Google Streetview]

The sick sex pest also used the James Bond-Style gadget to spy on women in the showers in a King’s Cross gym.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Murdered: James Hunter

Five teenage boys have been convicted over the killing of James Hunter, 18, who was stabbed to death as he tried to protect his friend from a revenge attack in Sydenham last year.

Friday, February 27, 2015
Gokhan Durmus was stabbed in the neck in Chatham Place in Hackney in Saturday, February 7 (Picture: Met Police)

Mathais Auguste, 21, has been charged with murder after 22-year-old Gokhan Durmus was fatally stabbed in the neck in Hackney.

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Sol Campbell has announced his intention to run for Mayor of London  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

The former Arsenal, Spurs and England defender Sol Campbell has announced his intention to take over from Boris Johnson and become the next Mayor of London. But would he be any good?

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Rita Ora and Kim Kardashian narrowly avoided the ultimate fashion faux pas of being seen at a party in the same dress.

Read more

Royal Blood and Paloma Faith are among the triumphant acts whose sales have benefited from their Brit Award wins.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

A South Korean court has abolished a 62-year-old law that criminalised extramarital affairs, pleasing a prominent condom maker.

Quirky London