The London 2012 Festival, a 12-week celebration for international travellers visiting London for the Olympics Games, which start next month in the UK, has officially begun.
The festival is offering performances from international artists from across the globe, as well as some of the best performers from the UK, and has around 130 events scheduled for the opening week, all across the country. The gala event commenced on Thursday, June 21, 2012, with five smaller events happening at Stirling, Derry/Londonderry, South Wales the Lake District, and Birmingham.
From June 21 to September 9, 2012, the festival will be featuring around 25,000 artists from all 204 nations participating in the 2012 Olympic games. Audiences are welcome to participate with around 10 million complimentary tickets available for around 12,000 events, and performances held at 900 venues in villages, towns and cities in the UK.
London 2012 will also be celebrating the literary legacy of William Shakespeare with the World Shakespeare Festival, which includes performances and events at around 25 venues in the UK, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Ruth Mackenzie, the director for the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said, ‘When the UK won the bid for the Olympics in 2005, we promised to return to Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s original idea of an Olympic Games based on the three pillars of sport, art and education. This summer, London 2012 Festival showcases the world’s greatest artists alongside the stars of the sports world, a once in a lifetime cultural experience to match the once in a lifetime visit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the UK.’