Love it or loathe it, the Games are a coming. With just weeks to go, it’s time to stop whining and get involved – with the world’s spotlight on the city you’re living in, it’s the best excuse to party.
Until September 9 – the end of the Paralympics – there will be 12,000 events featuring more than 25,000 artists from all 204 participating Olympic nations. The tough decision you face is deciding where to party. Fret not. We can help.
BT London Live (btlondonlive.com) will be held at Hyde Park and Victoria Park between July 27 and August 12 – moving to Trafalgar Square for the Paralympics – with giant screens of the sporting action as well as a host of free events and entertainment every day.
There are a bunch of concerts, with the likes of Alexander Burke and Rebecca Ferguson taking to the stage.Also on offer are bungee jumping, trampolining, cricket and basketball. In Victoria Park, a 180ft observation wheel will offer views of the Olympic Park.
Hyde Park is hosting two paid-for concerts to rival the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. Fans of the Eighties will be impressed as Duran Duran headlines on July 27, along with Snow Patrol and Stereophonics. Blur will be closing the show on August 12 along with The Specials.
And Sir Tom Jones will be shaking his stuff on July 28, to kick off 15 days of free fun.
Linda Lennon, chief executive for The Royal Parks, hosting BT London Live, said: “Visitors can watch live Olympic action, take part in sports and enjoy music and cultural performances.
“The summer of 2012 is going to be unforgettable and the atmosphere in Hyde Park and throughout the capital will be sensational.”
The London 2012 Festival is a 12-week “explosion of arts and creativity” running alongside the Games. It’s the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, arts events running since 2008 (festival.london2012.com).
One of the big spectacles is One Extraordinary Day, which will involve 36 brave dancers jumping, flying, swooping and soaring from seven London buildings.
It’s all a bit hush-hush; no one knows when or where in the capital it’ll be taking place, and organisers will recruit an audience via social media.
The “extreme action” choreographer and dancer Elizabeth Streb behind OED, said: “I like to think of us as action’s answer to rock ’n’ roll.
“We do things you would never imagine. We slam into walls, we dive through glass, we put fires out with our bodies. In some of the events we’re freefalling from 40 feet. It’s going to be the most dangerous thing I’ve done.”
BT River Of Music’s gigs will take place on July 21-22, with Scissor Sisters, Baaba Maal and Noisettes performing (btriverofmusic.com).
The two-day, free events will take place over six stages – Asia represented in Battersea Park; Europe at Somerset House and Trafalgar Square; Americas at the Tower of London; Oceania at the Old Royal Naval College; and Africa at the London Pleasure Gardens.
And one-day fest Traction, curated by DJ Gilles Peterson, will open its doors on July 14. Tickets cost £20 for the event which will see Mercury-prize nominee Ghostpoet joined by London artist Plugs at Granary Square – at the heart of the 67-acre King’s Cross redevelopment (eurostartraction.com).
Let the Games begin!