first details announced of London 2012 Festival

12 weeks of music, dance, theatre, and the visual arts

published: Wed 8th Dec 2010

Rokia Traore

Thursday 21st June to Friday 21st September 2012
various locations across London, and the UK, England
varies depending upon event main events free
daily capacity: 100000
last updated: Tue 10th Jul 2012

The finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival has been unveiled. The festival will be a 12-week summer long UK-wide cultural celebration of arts and creativity that opens on Tuesday 21 June 2012, Midsummer's Day, and runs until the last day of the Paralympic Games on Wednesday 9th September 2012.

Rokia Traore
Over 1,000 events will be featured, there are no musical acts confirmed yet with Hyde Park expected to be the centre piece for hosting music concerts, theatre, film and cultural events.

Singers Damon Albarn and Rokia Traore, actress Cate Blanchett, and pop artist David Hockney head the line-up of artists featured in the first group of commissions.

The English National Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company, novelist Toni Morrison, film maker Mike Leigh, and actor Jude Law are amongst those joining them to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation.

The Nobel-prize winning novelist Toni Morrison is collaborating with the Malian singer Rokia Traore and the director Peter Sellars.

Blur frontman Damon Albarn is working with Rufus Norris and Jamie Hewlett on a new musical production that will debut at the Manchester International Festival, a joint commission with the English National Opera for London 2012.

The World Shakespeare Festival, by the Royal Shakespeare Company, will celebrate the playwright's work at venues across London.

Other events will include major exhibitions of work by David Hockney and realist painter Lucian Freud are to be staged, Martin Creed will be creating a new sound piece, while contemporary artists Rachel Whiteread and Olafur Eliasson are working on special commissions.

Kate Blanchett will be part of an Australian cast tackling a new adaptation of German playwright Botho Strauss's work Gross und Klein. Regular collaborators, director Deborah Warner and actor Fiona Shaw, will create what is described as "an extraordinary coastal installation", and Mike Leigh has been co-commissioned by BBC Films and Film4 – normally rivals – to make a short Olympic inspired film.

The festival is UK-wide, and outside London choreographer Akram Khan will work with post-graduates from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds; the composer James MacMillan will produce a new work to commemorate the anniversary of Coventry Cathedral, and the film writer Mark Cousins will present a 12-hour history of innovation in cinema that will be screened across the UK.

The festival kicks off at the Ebrington Barracks in Derry with an event devised by the 'Peace One Day' charity which promotes the idea of having one day, the 21st September, which is free from conflict – a global day of truce. Jude Law, an ambassador for the charity, will co-produce the event.

The aim is for over three million people to attend and be part of the Festival. Some of the events will be ticketed, and some will be free of charge to attend. Further information on ticketing and pricing will be provided next year in the build-up to the first tickets going on sale in October 2011.

Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board, said: "This is an exciting first group of commissions for the London 2012 Festival and there is much more to come, which will be announced next year. Leading artists from all over the world will come together for a wonderful finale of the Cultural Olympiad. 2012 is going to be a stupendous summer of sports and arts – the whole of the UK in celebration."

Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad, said, "From 21 June to 9 September 2012, across the whole of the UK, new work from the best artists, musicians, writers, comedians, film makers and other creative talent will be presented in the largest festival in the country. From food to fashion, street dance to digital, from pop to opera, the festival will offer once in a lifetime chance to be inspired by the best in the world."

Thursday 21st June to Friday 21st September 2012
various locations across London, and the UK, England
varies depending upon event main events free
daily capacity: 100000
last updated: Tue 10th Jul 2012


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