London 2012 Festival

Big Dance

Baaba Maal, Gilberto Gil, Ms Dynamite, Alfred Hitchcock, Jane & Louise Wilson, Matthew Williamson, Paul Smith, Kate Prince, Pina Bausch, Douglas Gordon, Wendy Ramshaw, Mira Calix, Sarnath Bennerjee, Richard Wilson, and John Gerrard, among the stars of London 2012 Festival’s third week

London 2012 Festival

Big Dance
Photo Hugo Glendinning

4 July 2012 – An extraordinary week of events taking place right across the UK will be presented during the third week of the London 2012 Festival.Programme highlights include new projects which present art in unusual places, a series of works inspired by Olympic and Paralympic values, and a wide range of free events for everyone to join in.

Art in Unusual Places

Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got A Great Idea… is a new commission by artist Richard Wilson, featuring a full-sized replica coach balanced on the rooftop of the iconic De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, an installation inspired by the final scene of the film The Italian Job. Defying formal notions of architecture andengineering Wilson brings a thought-provoking and sometimes gravity-defyingspectacle to the public (7 July – 1 October 2012).


Blackmail, one of the most iconic of all Alfred Hitchcock’s London films, will be screened in an outdoor presentation in the forecourt of the British Museum, with a live performance of Neil Brand’s score by an ensemble of 18 musicians, orchestrated and conducted by Timothy Brock. Blackmail features many scenes set at the Museum, and it is thefirst feature film to be shown outdoors at the institution. The Festival iscelebrating The Genius of Hitchcock on an Olympian scale with the most comprehensive exploration of his work ever presented, and the British Museum screening is the centrepiece of the season (6 July 2012).


The End of Civilisation, the first film shot in England by Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon, premieres at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle. The film features a beacon in the Cumbrian landscape burning where the Roman border with Scotland once stood. The beacon, a grand piano, was selected by Gordon as one of the western world’s great icons, with the burning serving as both a warning and a celebration. The screenings are taking place at a site that used to be home to Hadrian’s Wall, connecting to the landscape where the film was made (5 – 6 July 2012).


Urban Classic is a unique meeting of musical cultures with leading artists from the UK’s urban music scene including N-Dubz producer Fazer, Ms Dynamite, Skepta and Devlin sharing the stage with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley. The free concert features breakthrough anthems, well-known hits and exciting new material and is taking place on the grounds of the historic Walthamstow Town Hall, an art deco building whose design reflects the Swedish influence of the inter-war years (5 July 2012).


Big Dance 2012 officially launches on Thursday 5 July with dancers from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England converging on the platforms of St Pancras International Station. Kate Prince, whose work includes the hit West End show, SomeLike it Hip Hop, will headline a whole day of dance, which will include 150 dancers on stages around the main concourse of the station. From 7 to 15 July 2012, Big Dance will spread across the nation in a week of dance-inspired projects and high-profile mass performances in venues ranging from public squares and shopping centres, to parks, playgrounds, beaches, bridges, studios and swimming pools. It is one of the largest participation events being presented as part of the London 2012 Festival, and part of the Mayor of London’s programme of free events taking place across the capital (5 – 15 July 2012).


Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 is a major new simulation by Irish artist John Gerrard, presented as a large-scale cinematic installation in the setting of the Old Power Station,Oxford. Originating in found documentary images of US military exercises inDjibouti (Horn of Africa) and informed by research into athletic achievement,the work makes use of emerging technologies to reflect on the relationship between competitive sport, military training, theatrical performance and dance (7 – 29 July 2012).


Untrue Island brings together writer Robert Macfarlane, jazz musician Arnie Somogyi, and visual artists Jane and Louise Wilson for an ambitious project investigating and interpreting the haunting landscape of the Orford Ness Nature Reserve in Suffolk. Robert Macfarlane has collaborated with Arnie Somogyi on a site-specific work, which will be performed on Orford Ness on 8 July and on 15 July. Jane and Louise Wilson’s have created Blind Landing in reference to the Blind Landing Experimental Unit that was operational during the Cold War period.  The work includes a series of sculptures inspired by a yardstick measure once employed in the film industry, and is sited within the laboratory buildings (8 July – 30 July 2012).


National Theatre Inside Out sees activities normally conducted inside the National Theatre spilling out onto its terraces and squares, with a packed festival programme of free activities. The programme includes new site-specific commissions from two National Theatre Studio affiliate companies, performed in secret rooftop locations at the National.  Made In China’s Get Stuff Break Free is a funny and moving parable of disconnection, consumerism and the flickering hope of overcoming them (25 June – 4 July 2012), and non zero one invite audiences to gather around a large table to explore the way we look and the way we see in you’ll see [me sailing in antarctica] (6 – 15 July 2012).


Sparks Will Fly at Hylands Park is an outdoor spectacular for families and children, and the finale to a two-month journey across Essex of two specially-created larger-than-life champions. Created by outdoor performance specialists, Walk the Plank, in collaboration with the Grand Theatre of Lemmings, Essex-based artist Joanna Peacock, and additional UK artists, the show features the champions competing in the first Glass Bead Game to be played in a thousand years and is timed to coincide with the evening celebrations for the arrival in Chelmsford of the London 2012 Olympic TorchRelay (6 July 2012).

dancer stands on one hand
Photo Hugo Glendinning

Works inspired by Olympic and Paralympic values:

Africa Utopia is a month-long festival of music, theatre, film, literature, dance, fashion, talks and debates at the Southbank Centrepresented in conjunction with the renowned Senegalese singer and human-rights campaigner Baaba Maal. An invited group of young delegates – guided by ‘elders’ including Baaba Maal, Ben Okri, Lemn Sissay and Wole Soyinka – will engage with leading African arts organisations and cultural leaders to explore how art projects can be mobilised to bring about social change. Events on the third week of the London 2012 Festival include World Sound Power with writers including Lemn Sissay reading to the music of Baaba Maal on 3 July; a performance on 4 July by Grammy Award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal; and talks on 4 July by Somalian author Nuruddin Farah, and Noo Saro-Wiwa and Chika Unigwe on the complexities of Nigeria (3 – 28 July 2012).


Britain Creates 2012: Fashion & Art Collusion is aseries of collaborations between iconic British designers and leading contemporary artists which will go on show at the V&A. The pairings include: Giles Deacon and Jeremy Deller; Hussein Chalayan and Gavin Turk; Jonathan Saunders and Jess Flood-Paddock; Mary Katrantzou and Mark Titchner; Matthew Williamson and Mat Collishaw; Nicholas Kirkwood and Simon Periton; Paul Smith and Charming Baker; Peter Pilotto and Francis Upritchard; and Stephen Jones and Cerith Wyn Evans. The initiative is led by the British Fashion Council/Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation in partnership with the Mayor of London (6 – 29 July 2012).


The Sacred Truce Project: The Ripple Effect, a new production by playwright Ursula RaniSarma, is inspired by the theme of the Olympic Truce. Ursula Rani Sarmiworked with young people from across the UK to create five short pieces fortheatre, which will be performed at eight theatres in England and Scotland. The season is presented by the Ambassador Theatre Group from 6 July to 2 September, and the first performance takes place at the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent (6 July 2012).


Cape Farewell, pioneers of the cultural response to climate change, present their Sea Change Project, a special four-year programme about people and places across Scotland’s western and northern islands. Drawing on the experience of island and coastal communities threatened by climate change, international and UK-based poets, storytellers, musicians,artists and filmmakers will ‘translate’ contemporary and traditional stories into new forms, and pass them in digital relay from island to island and across the mainland echoing the journey of the Olympic Flame. The digital narratives are on display at art and heritage centres on the Scottish islands, and at venues in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Weymouth (until 30 September). 

Adam Jacobs Big Dance at Burdett Coutts Primary School
Adam Jacobs Big Dance at Burdett Coutts Primary School

Other major highlights taking place on the third week of the London 2012 Festival:

Gilberto Gil, the iconic South-American singer-songwriter, is joined by the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor François-Xavier Roth for an evening performance at the Barbican, featuring new arrangements by Jaques Morelenbaum of works by Gil alongside music originating from and influenced by his beloved Brazil (4 July 2012).


Ha Ha Hackney at Hackney Empire celebrates the 66 years of comedy between the 1948 and 2012 Olympic Games with a season running until 9 September of shows, films, and exhibitions showcasing the most exciting eras of British Comedy. On 8 July, the Hackney Empire presents GayExtravaganza, hosted by Sandi Toksvig and Stephen K. Amos, and  directed by Susie McKenna. With performances by some of the country’s top LGBT comedians and guest stars, footage from the BFI National Archive, a fabulous drag chorus line and show stopping numbers – this show will be a highlight of World Pride month (8 July 2012).


MACROPOLIS is an animated film created by Joel Simon, which centres on a group of misshapen toy figurines who attempt to escape from their factory when they realise they are destined to the waste bin. The film is an unusual combination of stop motion, CGi and time-lapse photography, withreal-life locations shot on the streets of Belfast. MACROPOLIS has been commissioned as part of UNLIMITED, the UK’s largest programme celebrating arts, culture and sport by deaf and disabled people. It premieres on the Live Site Big Screen in Belfast on 8 July, followed by screenings at the Interactive Discovery Centre W5 at Odyssey in Belfast from 9 July as well as other venues including London’s Southbank Centre in August and September (8 July – 9 September 2012).


World Shakespeare Festival celebrates the global appeal of William Shakespeare with an unprecedented collaboration of leading UK and international arts organisations, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Performances and events scheduled for the third week of the London 2012 Festival include: Tunisian theatre company Artistes, Producteurs, Associes’s production Macbeth: Leila and Ben – A Bloody History, which combines Shakespeare with film and reportage (4 – 7 July 2012, LIFT at Riverside Studios); West Side Story, a full-scale production of the 20th century music-theatre masterpiece seen anew through 21st century eyes, with Will Tuckett creating its first wholly new choreography (4 – 7 July 2012, Sage Gateshead); and A Soldier In Every Son: The Rise of the Aztecs, a new play about the intrigue of acentury of Aztec civilisation and closely inspired by Shakespeare’s history plays by Luis Mario Moncada, one of Mexico’s leading playwrights, in collaboration with the National Theatre of Mexico (29 June – 28 July 2012).


Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: World Cities 2012 is an unprecedented season of 10 works by one of the most influential choreographers in dance, Pina Bausch. The month-long season closes with performances at Sadler’s Wells of Palermo Palermo (1 – 2 July 2012) and Wiesenland (8 – 9 July 2012). The international co-productions explore 10 global cities spanning Kolkata to São Paulo, Los Angeles to Istanbul, seven of which are UK premieres (until 9 July 2012).


Tall Tales from the Riverbanks is a one-off series of ten live pop-up comedy gigs and other digital events broadcast online for the banks of Britain’s canals, presented by Pleasance.  The comedy relay began on 28 June 2012 in London, and will journey to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe via Oxford, Stone, Manchester and Glasgow, providing a showcase for Britain’s comedy talent as they explore the weird and wonderful quirks of the waterways. Comedians taking part include Reginald D. Hunter, Cardinal Burns, Sam Simmons, Jarred Christmas, Andre Vincent, Tim FitzHigham, JustinMoorhouse, The Idiots of Ants and more. This coming week, gigs will be performed at the Henley Festival on 5 July, and at The Boathouse in Wallingford on 9 July (until 27 August 2012).


Games Time, an Olympic-inspired outdoor stage show, combines music, dance, video, and fireworks, and is set in Northampton’s Delapre Park. The free celebration brings together 100 local performers with leading artists from the fields of contemporary dance, large-scale costume making and pyrotechnics, and features four teams taking part in a battle set on a giant games board (7 July 2012).


Carnival Crossroads East Bound is an all-day celebration of English history and culture through the global art of carnival. Carnival Crossroads brings together local artists, community groups and schools from five towns in Eastern England for a carnival parade featuring a 500-strong band, 10 carnival kings and queens, music, dance and floats. Part of the Love Luton 2012 Festival, this is the last location of the Olympic Torch Relay before it leaves the East of England (8 July 2012).


Secrets: Hidden London offers the opportunity to discover some of London’s amazing hidden gems as leading artists and cultural institutions transform the city’s lesser-known landscapes including canals, lidos and parkland, with dance, opera and specially created installations. On show during the week of 2 July is Like a Fish Out of Water, a production at Uxbridge Lido that blends site-specific performance and handheld video technology (5 – 14 July 2012); and Nothing is Set in Stone, a monolithic installation set in Fairlop Waters by award winning artist-composer Mira Calix (until 9 September 2012).


Frieze Projects East features a series of new contemporary art commissions in East London’s public spaces across six Host Boroughs for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Programmed by Frieze Foundation, Frieze Projects East features artists: Can Altay, Sarnath Banerjee, Anthea Hamilton and Nick Byrne, Ruth Ewan, Gary Webb and Klaus Weber.  Sarnath Bennerjee’s project is the first to be unveiled, with posters, billboards, hoardings and local newspapers throughout the host boroughs filled with theartist’s bold graphic illustrations. His humorous narratives draw on the history of competitive sport, from the personal to the universal, and the local to the international (25 June – 31 August 2012).


Wendy Ramshaw: Rooms of Dreams is a solo exhibition of one of Britain’s leading contemporary designers, Wendy Ramshaw, renowned for her jewellery and distinctive, large scale public art. Taking place at Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales, the exhibition will exhibit key pieces spanning the past fifty years of heracclaimed career with the centrepiece being the magical environment Room of Dreams, in which jewellery and other objects are inspired by stories and the world of the imagination (7 July – 9 September 2012).


Sacrilege is Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller’s life-size inflatable replica of Stonehenge, an interactive outdoor installation and fully operational bouncy castle for adults and children alike. Deller’s playful artwork is popping up at venues around the country including Priory Park, Southend on Sea on 4 July; Flag Fen, Peterborough on 7 July; and Yorkshire SculpturePark, Wakefield on 11 July (until 9 September 2012).


Adain Avion – Welsh interdisciplinary artist Marc Rees takes a mobile art space made from a transformed DC-9 airplane on a tour around Wales in one of the twelve UK Arts Councils’ Artists Taking The Lead commissions. He is working with contemporary artists and local community groups to produce over 150 cultural activities that reflect the distinctive history and culture of each area, providing a succession of unique snapshots of Welsh culture. Adain Avion is on display at The Works, Ebbw Vale (1 to 7 July 2012), and Venue Cymru, Llandudno (8 to 14 July 2012).


A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and Back is a UK wide relay of screenings of short films made by the public, presented by Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams. The project takes films made by Shetlanders and others to twenty-four screenings around the country, hand delivered by volunteer relay runners. It will culminate in a marathon screening of over 100 short films at Shetland’s annual film festival, Screenplay, in September. Upcoming screenings are taking place at the Pop-Up Cinema on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge on 7 July, Aldeburgh Cinema in Aldeburgh on 8 July and Kino Hawkhurst in Kent on 9 July (until 7 September 2012).


Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: “Three lidos, two car parks, two barges, two Stonehenges, but only one zoo so far – they’re all competing to be the most popular unusual place for the commissions of the London 2012 Festival.”

Everyone will be able to join in the celebration with over 10 million free opportunities to take part in 12,000 events and performances at 900 venues all over the UK, including 130 world premieres and 85 UK premieres.

Choreographer Wayne McGregor at the Royal Opera House in London.
Choreographer Wayne McGregor at the Royal Opera House in London.
For Arts. Photograph : Linda Nylind.

Listings for London 2012 Festival for the week beginning 2 July 2012:

Art, Design & Exhibitions

UK wide

•         Sacrilege – Jeremy Deller (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), UK wide tour

•         Imagine Peace – Yoko Ono (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), London 2012 Live Sites


•         Art in the Park (From 27 Jul 2012), Olympic Park, London

•         Britain Creates 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion (6 Jul – 29 Jul 2012), Victoria and Albert Museum, London

•         Coral: Rekindling Venus (7 Jun – 6 Jul 2012), Peter Harrison Planetarium, London

•         Damien Hirst (4 Apr – 9 Sep 2012), Tate Modern, London

•         Design Stories – The Architecture behind 2012 (25 Jun – 25 Sep 2012), Royal Institute of British Architects, London

•         Design the Extraordinary – Heatherwick Studio (31 May – 30 Sep 2012), V & A London

•         Frieze Projects East (25 Jun – 31 Aug 2012), multiple venues, London

•         Government Art Collection at the Whitechapel Gallery (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London

•         Metamorphosis – Titian 2012 (11 Jul – 23 Sep 2012), National Gallery, London

•         Next Generations – BP Portrait Awards (21 Jun – 23 Sep 2012), National Portrait Gallery, London

•         Official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Poster Display (21 Jun – 21 Sep 2012), Tate Britain, London

•         Sea Change: Things Unspoken – Cape Farewell (24 May – 13 Jul 2012), Royal Society of British Sculptors, London

•         Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012 – Ai Weiwei & Herzog and de Meuron (1 Jun – 14 Oct 2012), Serpentine Gallery, London

•         The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (4 Jun – 26 Aug), Cromwell Green, House of Parliament, London

•         To The Light – Yoko Ono (19 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Serpentine Gallery, London

•         Whitechapel Gallery Commission – Rachel Whiteread (From 14 June 2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London

•         Yinka Shonibare (From 21 June 2012), Royal Opera House, London

South of England

•         Ballast Seed Garden – Maria Thereza Alves (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Floating Harbour (North side), Bristol

•         Cass Sculpture Foundation – Tony Cragg (1 Sep – 25 Nov 2012), Exhibition Road, London

•         Edmund de Waal (20 Apr – 28 Oct 2012), Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury

•         Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 – John Gerrard (7 – 29 Jul 2012), The Old Power Station, Oxford

•         Give me tomorrow – Alex Katz (19 May – 23 Sep 2012), Tate St Ives, St Ives

•         Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea… – Richard Wilson (7 Jul – 1 Oct 2012), Temple Meads and Temple Quay, Bristol

•         Piercing Brightness – Shezad Dawood (23 Jun – 29 Sep) Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance. (30 Jun – 15 Sep 2012), The Exchange, Penzance

•         She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea – Tracey Emin (26 May – 23 Sep 2012), Tuner Contemporary, Margate

•         The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (5 Jun – 17 Sep 2012), Blenheim Palace, Oxford

•         Unlimited Global Alchemy – Rachel Gadsden (23 Jun – 18 Aug 2012), Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge

•         Untrue Island (8 – 30 Jul 2012), Orford Ness, Suffolk


•         Aftergold (4 Jun – 3 Jul 2012), Loughborough University Campus, Leicestershire

•         CORE – Kurt Hentschläger (23 Mar – 30 Sep 2012), Enginuity, Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, Telford

North of England

•         Art from West Africa Today – We Face Forward (2 Jun – 15 Sep), Gallery of Costume, Manchester. (2 Jun – 16 Sep) Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. (2 Jun – 16 Sep 2012), Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

•         Richard Long (Artist Rooms) and Luke Fowler (23 Jun – 14 Oct 2012), The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

•         Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing (28 Jun – 18 Aug 2012), Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

•         The End of Civilisation – Douglas Gordon (5 – 6 Jul 2012), Tyne Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne

•         The English Flower Garden – Paul Cummins (1 Jun – 31 Aug 2012) Castle Howard, York

•         Trade Secrets – Humble Market (23 Jun – 26 Aug 2012), FACT, Liverpool


•         Adain Avion – Marc Rees (24 Jun – 12 Aug 2012), multiple venues, Wales

•         Making Triangles – Richard La Trobe-Bateman (7 Jul – 9 Sep 2012), Ruthin Craft Centre, Ruthin

•         Room of Dreams – Wendy Ramshaw (7 Jul – 9 Sep 2012), Ruthin Craft Centre, Ruthin

Northern Ireland

•         Draw Down the Walls – Oscar Muñoz (9 Jul – 4 Aug 2012), Crumlin Road/Flax Street Interface, Belfast

•         Godot Tree – Antony Gormley (2 Jul – 27 Aug 2012), The Grand Yard at Castle Coole, Enniskillen

•         The Screaming Silence of the Wind – Maurice Orr (18 Jun -3 Aug 2012) Great Hall, Stormont, Belfast




•         Ha Ha Hackney – GayExtravaganza Homo Of Comedy 2012! (8 Jul 2012), Hackney Empire, London

South of England

•         Tales of the Riverbank Comedy Barge (5 Jul 2012), Henley Festival, Henley-on-Thames

•         Tales of the Riverbank Comedy Barge (5 Jul 2012), The Boathouse, Wallingford

big dance
Big Dance Photograph : Kois Miah


UK wide

•         Big Dance (7 – 15 Jul 2012), venues nationwide

•         Big Dance 2012 – Big Dance Shorts (7 – 15 Jul 2012), Channel 4 and Pop-Up Cinemas, UK wide


•         Big Dance 2012 – Official Launch (5 Jul 2012), St Pancras International Station, London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Akademi Arts in Parliament (5 Jul 2012), Palace of Westminster, London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Big Dance Bus (18 May – 15 Jul 2012), Across London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Big Dance Big Top Tent (5 – 9 Jul 2012), Old Royal Naval College, London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Big Youth Dance Weekend (7 – 8 Jul 2012), The Scoop at More London, London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Dance Holland Park (7 Jul 2012), Old Royal Naval College, London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Dance in Focus (25 Jun – 15 Jul 2012), City Hall, London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Morris and Maypole (7 – 8 Jul 2012), Gardens of Kensington Palace, London

•         Big Dance 2012 – Land: The Making Space Performance (7 Jul 2012), Morden Hall Park, London

•         Big Dance 2012 Picnic at the Horniman Museum (8 Jul 2012), Horniman Museum, London

•         Leaving Limbo Landing – Caroline Bowditch (7 Jul 2012), London Fields, London

•         Secrets: Hidden London – Like a Fish out of Water (5 – 7 Jul 2012)  – Uxbridge Lido, London

•         Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: World Cities 2012 – Palermo Palermo (1 – 2 Jul 2012), Sadler’s Wells, London

•         Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: World Cities 2012 – Wiesenland (8 – 9 Jul 2012), Sadler’s Wells, London

South of England

•         Big Dance 2012 – Hat Fair (6 – 8 Jul 2012), City Centre, Winchester

•         Big Dance 2012 Norfolk Long Dance (8 Jul 2012), St George’s Street, Norwich

•         Big Dance 2012 – Spiegeltent (1 – 14 Jul 2012), Christchurch Park, Ipswich

•         Big Dance 2012 at The Big Weekend (7 – 8 Jul 2012), Parkers Piece, Cambridge

•         Big Dance 2012 – The Ragroof Players: Ragroof Tea (6 Jul 2012), The Forum, Norwich

•         Big Dance 2012 – Time Gentleman Please (7 – 14 Jul 2012), Regional tour

•         Big Dance 2012 – Urban Moves (7 – 13 Jul 2012), multiple venues, Swindon Town Centre

•         Big Dance 2012 – Woking World (7 Jul 2012), Woking Park, Woking


•         Big Dance 2012 – Follow the Light (2 Jul 2012), Leicester

•         Big Dance 2012 – Splashdance Weekend (7 – 8 Jul 2012), National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham

North of England 

•         Big Dance 2012 – DAZL Big Dance Marathon (7 Jul 2012), South Leeds Youth Hub, Leeds

•         Big Dance 2012 – The Big Tea Dance (8 Jul 2012), Town Square, Doncaster

•         Spill – a Playground of Dance (4 – 8 Jul 2012), Parks across Barnsley, Yorkshire


•         Big Dance 2012 –Big Dance Hunt (7 – 8 Jul 2012), Across the city, Aberdeen

•         Big Dance 2012 – Big Dance Aberdeen Showcase (5 Jul 2012), His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

•         Big Dance 2012 – Salsa Street Party (6 Jul 2012), Inverness

•         Big Dance 2012 – Salsa Street Party (7 Jul 2012), Portree, Isle of Sky

•         Big Dance 2012 – Salsa Street Party (8 Jul 2012), Aviemore


Film, Broadcast & Digital

UK wide

•         A Room for London (1 Jan – 30 Dec 2012), Digital, UK wide

•         A Running Jump – Mike Leigh (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, UK wide

•         Film National Shorts Online (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Online and Live Sites, UK wide

•         Ping Pong: Never Too Old For Gold (6 Jul 2012 onwards), Cinemas and online, UK wide

•         Sea Change – Cape Farewell Scottish Islands Project (1 May – 30 Sep), Online, UK Wide

•         StoryCloud (18 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Online, UK wide

•         The Odyssey – Asif Kapadia (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picture House Cinemas, UK wide

•         The Swimmer – Lynne Ramsay (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, UK Wide

•         What If – Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini (24 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, UK wide


•         The Genius of Hitchcock – Blackmail (6 Jul 2012), British Museum, London

•         The Itch of the Golden Nit (7 Jul 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, Greenwich, London

South of England

•         A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back (7 Jul 2012), Parker’s Piece, Cambridge

•         A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and back (8 Jul 2012), Aldeburgh Cinema, Aldeburgh

•         The Itch of the Golden Nit (7 Jul 2012), Picturehouse Cinemas, Stratford Upon Avon


•         Turning Points – Chris Tally Evans (6 Jul 2012), Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Powys

Northern Ireland

•         MACROPOLIS (8 Jul 2012), Live Site Big Screen, Belfast


Museums & Heritage


•         The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Medals (until 9 Sep 2012), British Museum, London

•         Universe of Sound: The Planets – Philharmonia Orchestra (23 May – 8 Jul 2012), Science Museum, London

South of England

•         The Search of Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China (5 May – 11 Nov 2012), Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

•         Treasures of China (30 Jun 2012 – 7 Jan 2012), Colchester Castle Museum, Colchester

•         World Stories – Young Voices (From 23 June 2012), Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Brighton

North of England

•         Golden Threads (19 May – 16 Sep 2012), Bradford Industrial Museum, Bradford




•         Africa Utopia – Baaba Maal (3 – 28 Jul 2012), Southbank Centre, London

•         Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee (25 Jun – 7 Jul 2012), London Coliseum, London

•         Dawn at Galamanta – Christian Lindberg (6 Jul 2012), Guildhall, London

•         Gilberto Gil with the London Symphony Orchestra (4 Jul 2012), Barbican, London

•         Les Troyens (The Trojans) (25 Jun – 11 Jul 2012), Royal Opera House, London

•         Nothing Is Set In Stone – SECRETS: Hidden London (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), Fairlop Waters, Barkingside, London

•         Ring Round the World – English Pocket Opera Company (2 – 6 Jul 2012), The Pleasance Theatre, Islington, London

•         Urban Classic (5 Jul 2012), Waltham Forest Town Hall Complex, London

•         With One Voice – Streetwise Opera (2 Jul 2012), Royal Opera House, London

South of England

•         Ring Round the World – English Pocket Opera Company (2 Jul 2012), Comberton Village College, Cambridge

  • Ring Round the World – English Pocket Opera Company (3 – 4 Jul 2012), West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge


Outdoor & Carnival


•         Rio Occupation London (6 Jul – 4 Aug 2012), Various venues, London

•         Watch this Space Commissions – National Theatre  (1 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), National Theatre, London

South of England

•         Carnival Crossroads East Bound (8 Jul 2012), Luton

•         Sparks Will Fly – Walk The Plank  (6 Jul 2012), Hylands Park, Chelmsford

•         The Boat Project – Lone Twin (5 Jul – 11 Aug 2012), Venues across the south of England

•         The Caucus Race at Merton Fields (8 Jul 2012), Christ Church Meadow, Oxford


Poetry & Storytelling

UK Wide

•         Summer Reading Challenge 2012 – StoryLab (14 Jul – 10 Sep 2012), UK wide


•         Wastelands to Wonderlands – Writing Britain (11 May – 25 Sep 2012) British Library, London

South of England

•         Rochester’s Ripping Story Loom (21 Jun – 9 Sep 2012) The Story Museum, Oxford


Theatre & Performance

UK Wide

•         Shakespeare Unlocked (23 Apr – 31 Dec 2012), BBC Online, UK wide


•         Crow – Handspring UK (18 Jun – 7 Jul 2012), The Borough Hall at Greenwich Dance, London

•         en route (26 Jun – 21 Jul 2012), Theatre Royal Stratford East, London

•         Gatz – Elevator Repair Service (8 Jun – 15 Jul 2012), Noel Coward Theatre, London

•         Get Stuff Break Free – Made In China (25 Jun – 4 Jul 2012), National Theatre, London

•         Henry V – Globe to Globe (8 Jun – 26 Aug 2012), Shakespeare’s Globe, London

•         Macbeth: Leïla and Ben – A Bloody History – Artistes, Producteurs, Associés  (4 – 7 Jul 2012), LIFT at Riverside Studios, London

•         National Shake the Dust Weekend (5 – 7 Jul 2012), Southbank Centre, London

•         The Comedy of Errors – Royal Shakespeare Company (1 Jun – 4 Jul 2012), Roundhouse, London

•         The Dark Side of Love – Renato Rocha (26 Jun – 8 Jul 2012), Roundhouse London

•         The Last of the Haussmans (until 10 Oct 2012) National Theatre, London

•         The Pop-Up Workshop – National Theatre Inside Out (1 Jun – 9 Sep 2012), London

•         The Tempest – Royal Shakespeare Company (9 Jun – 5 Jul 2012), Roundhouse, London

•         Twelfth Night – Royal Shakespeare Company (5 Jun – 5 Jul 2012), Roundhouse, London

•         you’ll see [me sailing in antarctica] – non zero one (6 – 15 Jul 2012) National Theatre, London

South of England

•         How Like An Angel – Circa & I Fagiolini (2 – 3 Jul 2012), Ely Cathedral, Ely

•         The Crash of The Elysium – Punchdrunk (15 Jun – 8 Jul 2012), Crown Car Park, Ipswich


•         A Soldier in Every Son: The Rise of the Aztecs (29 Jun – 28 Jul 2012), Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

•         Festival of Chaos – Hedda Gabler (6 – 28 Jul 2012), Royal & Derngate, Northampton

•         Games Time (7 Jul 2012), Delapre Park, Northampton

•         I, Cinna (The Poet) – Royal Shakespeare Company (13 Jun – 6 Jul 2012), Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

•         Julius Caesar – Royal Shakespeare Company (28 May – 7 Jul 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

•         Shakespeare Stories in partnership with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (21 Apr – 21 Dec 2012), Stratford Upon Avon

•         Squidsoup: Living Walls (21 Apr – 9 Sep 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

•         Stan’s Café: Of All the People In All The World (14 Apr – 31 Jul 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

•         The Adventure of the Missing Manuscript – The House of Fairy Tales (2 Jul – 2 Sep 2012), Stratford-upon-Avon

•         The Poor Trash of Venice (3 – 4 July 2012), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

•         The Sacred Truce Project: The Ripple Effect (6 Jul 2012), Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

North of England

•         Absurd Person Singular – Alan Ayckbourn (8 Jun – 13 Oct 2012), Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

•         Mad Gyms and Kitchens – Bobby Baker (7 Jul 2012), St Bartholemews Church, Sheffield

•         The Giant and The Bear (29 Jun – 8 Jul 2012), West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

•         West Side Story (4 – 7 Jul 2012), The Sage Gateshead


•         Mikey and Addie – Imaginate (22 Jun – 5 Jul 2012), multiple venues, Scotland


•         Devoted and Disgruntled Roadshow (7 July 2012), Pontio at John Phillips Hall, Bangor 

big dance
Photo Hugo Glendinning

The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 over 18 million people all over the UK have already participated in or attended over 9,000 performances and more than 8,000 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012 and funded by our principal funders and sponsors.


Principal Funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.


Supporters of the London 2012 Festival are BMW, Eurostar, Freshfields, King’s College London, Panasonic, Samsung, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, BBC, British Council, Creative Scotland, DCAL, DCMS, Festivals Edinburgh, Mayor Of London, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Visit Britain and Visit Scotland.

Download the official app

The Official London 2012 Join In app is a free mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience. From the Olympic Torch Relay to the Olympics and Paralympics, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, plus all the cultural, city and community celebrations happening across the UK, the Official London 2012 Join In App is your essential companion. It is available now at app stores and online.

London 2012 Games partners:

The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the London 2012 Olympic Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.


LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners – adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.


There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games-only Partner, Sainsbury’s and two domestic Tier Three Paralympic Games-only Suppliers, Otto Bock and Panasonic. The London 2012 Paralympic Games also acknowledges the support of the National Lottery.