One Year to Go to London 2012 Festival

Festival will be final of Cultural Olympiad 21 Jun 2011 By IPC

Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), announced that it is one year to go to the opening of the London 2012 Festival. The festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad - a 12-week UK-wide cultural celebration from 21 June - 9 September 2012 featuring leading artists from all over the world, including Plan B, Toni Morrison, Olafur Eliasson, Miranda Hart, Deborah Warner, Mike Leigh, Leona Lewis and Damon Albarn.

People can sign up now at to be first in line for information about the festival.

London promised that culture, with sport and education, would be a key pillar of the Games, and to mark one year to go to the London 2012 Festival LOCOG Chair Seb Coe joined Cultural Olympiad Director Ruth Mackenzie to announce the 12 world leading artists who have been chosen to design official Olympic and Paralympic posters for the London 2012 Games. They are: Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Tracey Emin, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread.

The posters will be shown in a free exhibition at Tate Britain as part of the London 2012 Festival. The posters and limited edition prints will go on sale this autumn. People who sign up at will be the first to hear how to purchase the prints when the London 2012 Festival tickets go on sale in October.

Today Cultural Olympiad Director Ruth Mackenzie was joined by the founder of Peace One Day Jeremy Gilley to announce that tickets go on sale for the Peace One Day concert in London on 21 September 2011 and Eliza Doolittle is the first artist confirmed for the bill. This is one of three Peace One Day concerts being organised in conjunction with the Cultural Olympiad, which also includes the already announced concert for the London 2012 Festival in Derry~Londonderry on 21 June 2012.

Over 7 million people will have the opportunity to enjoy free events during the London 2012 Festival. This includes already announced events such as the BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend on the opening weekend of the festival, Big Dance involving communities across the UK for the first time, and Tino Sehgal’s commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

New programme announcements today include a free light and fire spectacular by Les Commandos Percus on the shores of Lake Windermere for Lakes Alive; The 2012 Reading Challenge which aims to reach 1 million children across the UK; a special comedy season at the Hackney Empire; an immersive theatre show for Doctor Who fans by Punchdrunk created in collaboration with the Manchester International Festival and the BBC; a free spectacular by internationally acclaimed outdoor performance specialists Walk the Plank in Chelmsford; specially commissioned film events from the BFI; and a De La Warr Pavilion commission by Richard Wilson based on the iconic final scene of the film ‘The Italian Job’.

A partnership with Hogmanay - the free New Year's Eve celebration in Edinburgh – is also being announced today, which will be one of a number Countdown event leading up to the London 2012 Festival. These include exhibitions of Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Music Nation announced by the BBC and World Shakespeare Festival.

Tickets for the London 2012 Festival will go on sale in October 2011. Tickets for number of Festival projects are already on sale, including Pina Bausch retrospective and Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach taking place at Sadlers Wells and the Barbican.

Cultural projects inspired by the Games are already taking place across the UK. This year’s Open Weekend (22 – 24 July 2011), supported by BP, will see people across the UK attending over 1,000 events to celebrate one year to go to the Games, including special screenings of Tate Movie Project at Live Sites in Trafalgar Square and in cities across the UK. Young people are being given the chance to take part in film workshops through Cultural Olympiad project Film Nation:Shorts - the short film competition with presenting partner Panasonic which closes for entries on 15 August. The next NPG / BT Road to 2012 exhibition, 25 July–25 Sept, will feature new portraits of Team GB medal hopefuls and key figures behind the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. When the final Road to 2012 exhibition opens in July 2012, the 100 portraits on display will be part of the cultural legacy of London 2012.

Principal funders of the London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the London 2012 Festival and Panasonic are the presenting partner of Film Nation: Shorts. The British Council will support the international development of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects.

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 Chair, said: ‘We always said that the culture program would be part of the London 2012 experience. What you can see today is even more evidence that the London 2012 Festival programme for next year will showcase the incredible creative talent we have here in the UK. Millions will be able to get involved all across the UK, the vast majority for free; it will be a fitting finale for the Cultural Olympiad.’

Tony Hall, Cultural Olympiad Chair, said: ‘With one year to go to the London 2012 Festival, I’m incredibly excited that the climax of the Cultural Olympiad will be an event that will provide a summer of celebration for millions of people across the UK. With thanks to our funders, partners, and the cultural community across the UK, I’m sure that when the greatest show on earth comes to London and the eyes of the world are on us, we will deliver a cultural celebration like never before.’

Ruth Mackenzie, Cultural Olympiad, Director, said: ‘Sign up now at to be the first to know about the new commissions and projects for the Festival. We would love to share the creation of the UK's largest ever festival as we work towards the October programme launch.’

Eliza Doolittle said: ‘When I heard about Peace One Day, what they have achieved & what they are now going for, a Global Truce on Peace Day 2012, I had to become involved. You can too. Come to the concert on 21 September this year and go to to find out more. POD is a ground breaking initiative and I’m proud to be a part of it.’

London 2012 is also working with partners including the British Council and Rio 2016 to develop special collaborations between London and Rio de Janeiro, the host city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking from Brazil on June 21, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt said: ‘The London 2012 Festival will be an incredible part of London's Olympics and Paralympic Games, enjoyed by people across the country. With one year to go to the opening of the London 2012 Festival, exciting plans are already in place and many more will be revealed in October.

‘A key part of the London 2012 Festival will be a link to Rio 2016, where we hope our legacy will be to make culture a key pillar of the Olympic movement alongside sport and education. I am currently in Brazil meeting the key cultural figures who are working with LOCOG and UK creative industries and artists to build creative and cultural links between the Olympic cities.’

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said: ‘A year from today, on midsummer’s day, the festivities will begin with the launch of the London 2012 Festival. The capital will be alive with extraordinary music, art, poetry, performance – a festival on a scale never before seen to celebrate the greatest sporting show on earth. And to mark the twelve month countdown Open Weekend will provide surprises, thrills and just a little bit of magic to whet your creative appetite.’

The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008, over 14 million people all over the UK have participated in or attended performances as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012 and funded by our principal funders and sponsors. Over 155,000 people have attended more than 8,000 workshops as part of the Cultural Olympiad programmes.

This includes over 660,000 visitors to the National Portrait Gallery to see the annual National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 and BP Portrait Award exhibitions including participants in the new BP Portrait Award Next Generation project; 2.4 million participants in Open Weekend since 2008; and 5 million participants in Big Dance since 2010.

Over 9,000 children aged 5-13 have attended Tate Movie Project workshops around the country, whilst the Tate Movie Project website has had more than 500,000 page views, with 22,111 children signing up to be movie crew members and sending in 57,242 ideas for the film so far.

More than 1,800 14-25 year olds have attended Film Nation: Shorts workshops presented by Panasonic, and there are now 2,000 young curators working in museums across the UK as part of the Stories of the World project.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: ‘The London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad programme is a marvellous opportunity to showcase the extraordinary artistic talent that thrives in the UK. With so much artistically excellent work on show, I hope people all across the country will take advantage of the festivals, carnivals, concerts, commissions and events in their area. It will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting cultural celebrations the nation has ever seen.’

Dugald Mackie, Legacy Trust UK Chair, said. ‘Legacy Trust UK is delighted to be a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival, and it is a testament to the projects that we fund, such as Tate Movie and Big Dance, that so many of them will play an official part in the cultural celebrations of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Trust was set up to create a lasting cultural legacy from the Games across the UK and the London 2012 Festival will be an exciting and inspiring end to the Cultural Olympiad, which is creating fantastic cultural opportunities for communities across the country.’

Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva DBE, Chair of The Olympic Lottery Distributor said: 'Funding from National Lottery players is supporting cultural events all around the UK as part of the Cultural Olympiad and we are delighted to see how this support has also helped create such an exciting range of events which culminates in the London 2012 Festival.'

Peter Mather, Regional Vice President, Europe, & Head of Country, UK, BP, said: ‘BP is delighted to be a Premier Partner of the London 2012 Festival. Since 2008 the Cultural Olympiad has produced some truly world-class cultural projects and we look forward to celebrating in 2012 with this fantastic and fitting finale.’

Suzi Williams, Director, BT Group Marketing and Brand, said: ‘We're proud to be a Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. In our role as the official communications services partner for London 2012, we want to help tell the story of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our three year collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery is a fantastic way to do this, engaging thousands of people with the cultural legacy of the Games.’