London is hosting a city-wide festival coinciding with the games, named the London 2012 Festival, with events highlighting the best in music, art, and film the city has to offer. Furthermore, the festival will host live public viewings of the games in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square.
For music fans, BT London Live will feature a concert for the opening of the Olympics on July 27 in Hyde Park, featuring Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini. On July 28 there will be a free show in Hyde Park featuring Tom Jones. The closing ceremony of the Olympics on August 12 will feature Blur’s last performance, alongside performances by other bands such as New Order and The Specials.
The BT River of Music weekend will take place on July 21 and 22, featuring musicians from the six continents in the Olympics including acts like Scissor Sisters and the Jazz at Lincoln enter Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis taking place at six different stages across the city.
For a city known for its amazing theater shows, it’s no surprise there will be numerous theater events as well. From April 23 until October 20 the World Shakespeare Festival will be produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, with Shakespeare’s work being performed in all sorts of ways and by different companies. The British Museum will also hold an exhibit about Shakespeare until November 25. Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame is premiering a show entitled “Dr. Dee”, which combines acoustic pop and opera telling the story of Dr. John Dee, an influential figure during Elizabeth I’s reign. It will play at the London Coliseum from June 25 until July 7.
Film fans can look forward to the British Film Institutes’ celebration of Alfred Hitchcock, screening all 58 of his films from June 14 until October 22. With the Olympics set in East London, Mike Leigh’s “A Running Jump” will be showing from June 21 until September 9. It tells the story of an East London family obsessed with sports.
The many museums will also hold special exhibits, highlighted by the Tate Modern’s retrospective of British artist Damien Hirst’s career, featuring work like The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which is a shark in formaldehyde. At the Royal Opera House, “The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games” chronicles the history of the Olympics, featuring medals and torches from every modern Olympics.
If you want to participate in events yourself, you can join in on the Big Dance from July7 until July 15. The Big Dance will provide dancing lessons and events around the city with the goal to get 5 million people to join in. And on July 27 at 8 a.m., for three minutes all the bells in Britain will be rung as loudly and quickly as possible and people are encouraged to ring their own bells as well.
With so much going on during the Olympics, New York Habitat can provide a place to stay in the heart of all the action:
- This trendy 1 Bedroom Vacation Rental -Shoreditch-Hackney-London (LN-1190) is in London’s up and coming East End, home to the Olympic Games. You’ll be close to the action and excitement of the games and close enough to Central London to catch the rest of the events going on as well.
- This elegant 2 Bedroom Vacation Rental – Earls Court – London (LN-578) is located in the stylish South-Kensington neighborhood. With its central London location and proximity to Hyde Park, you’ll be able to see all of the London 2012 Festival while staying in a quieter part of the city.
Are you going to be in London for the 2012 Olympics?