More than Sport for London Olympics

London is to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, but there is much more on offer than sport in the UK in 2012, with many events being offered for free.

The UK celebrates London 2012 with a 12-week nationwide festival of the world’s best music, theatre, dance, visual art, literature, film and fashion

Damon Albarn, Alan Ayckbourn, Daniel Barenboim, Cate Blanchett, Martin Creed, Gustavo Dudamel, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Jude Law, Mike Leigh, Leona Lewis, Baaba Maal, Wynton Marsalis, Wayne McGregor, Stella McCartney, Toni Morrison, Yoko Ono, Simon Rattle, Mark Rylance, Paul Smith, Meera Syal, Ridley Scott, Rufus Wainwright, Vivienne Westwood

London 2012 today launched the programme for the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, opening on Midsummer’s Day 21 June and running until 9 September 2012.

From the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, to the remotest corner of the Shetland Islands, from the Raploch Estate in Scotland to Hadrian’s Wall on England’s most Northern border, from Stonehenge to the shores of Lake Windermere, from the forests of North Wales and right into the heart of the capital, the London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture, and give the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

London 2012 Festival opens with a burst of events all over the country on Midsummer’s Day highlighted by a series of spectacular concerts; In Northern Ireland, Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley and ambassador Jude Law will mark the three-month countdown to Peace Day 2012 with an all-star concert in Derry/Londonderry; In Scotland, The Big Concert with Venezuelan superstar, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra will present a spectacular open-air concert set against the backdrop of Scotland’s Stirling Castle with its sweeping Ochil Hills and Wallace Monument, joined by young people from the Raploch Estate; 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, performed by the joint forces of the CBSO and the CBSO Chorus, Youth Chorus and Children’s Chorus; and 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. In London, an unparalleled programme of free events is being planned by the Mayor’s Office working in partnership with artists and performers, which will take place in all 33 boroughs aimed at creating unforgettable experiences and memories for anyone in the city during the festival.

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