London 2012 Festival launches tonight with a spectacular concert in Stirling (21/06/2012)
London 2012 Festival opens with a spectacular concert in Stirling tonight, The Big Concert featuring Venezuelan superstar, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.
L - R: Peace Camp (Photo: Anthony Armstrong); The Big Concert (Photo: Chris Christodoulou); Hansel of Film (Photo: Billy Fox Photography)
Over 25,000 artists from all 204 Olympic and Paralympic nations will take part in the twelve-week nationwide festival, showcasing the world’s best music, theatre, dance, visual art, literature, film and fashion in towns and cities across the UK
In Stirling, the 200-strong orchestra will perform an open-air concert set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle, and will be joined by talented young local musicians. Since 2008, children from the Scottish community of Raploch, Stirling, have taken part in Big Noise, an orchestra programme that aims to use music making to foster confidence, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children taking part and across their wider community. Big Noise is partnered with El Sistema, the Venezuelan project that has transformed the lives of thousands of children through classical music. Not only will this concert be broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio Scotland, but also screened live on London 2012 Live Sites in 22 towns and cities across the UK as the culmination of a day of programming of London 2012 Festival films on the big screens.
From 21 June until 9 September 2012, everyone will be able to join in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration with over 10 million free tickets and opportunities to take part in 12,000 events and performances at 900 venues in villages, towns and cities all over the UK, including 137 world premieres and 85 UK premieres.
The festival consists of commissions and events in all art forms, dedicated to showcasing the best of British and world culture through exceptional creative partnerships. There is loads going on across the country – find out what’s happening near you in our Guide to Scotlands London 2012 Cultural Programme or visit the London 2012 Festival website.
Major highlights of the London 2012 Festival taking place across Scotland include:
- Turner Prize-winning artist and musician Martin Creed invites the people of Scotland to join in with Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes, a project which encourages people across the UK to rings bells as loudly and quickly as they can at 8.00am on 27 July 2012 to welcome the 205 competing nations on the first day of the Games. (8 - 9 September)
- Iconic Scottish dancer choreographer and artist Michael Clark has been commissioned to create a new, large scale, participatory dance event at Glasgow’s Barrowlands to mark the London 2012 Festival finale & the handover to Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. (8 - 9 September)
- The world premieres at Edinburgh International Film Festival of four short films showcasing great UK filmmaking talent, including A Running Jump by legendary director Mike Leigh; WHAT IF starring Noel Clarke and directed by Max and Dania, Swimmer by Lynne Ramsey; and The Odyssey, by BAFTA-award winning film-maker Asif Kapadia (24 June 2012, followed by screenings at Picturehouse Cinemas nationwide).
- Our world leading festival for children and young people, The Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival will create two major new pieces of work. Mikey and Addie is an exciting piece of storytelling aimed at children from the age of nine and their families. It is a fast-paced, funny and tragic tale that looks at the difficulties of growing up and asks, how do you work out who you are when everything around you is changing? Touring venues around Scotland. (22 June – 5 July)
- Edinburgh’s summer Festivals will present an ambitious range of work inspired by the internationalism and aspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. A highlight is NVA’s Speed of Light (9 Aug 2012 - 1 Sep) an Edinburgh International Festival production presented as part of a wider London 2012 Festival/Cultural Olympiad Programme and involving many of Edinburgh’s other festivals. This large scale ground-breaking public art presentation will involve thousands of runners on Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat every night, animating the hillside with trails of patterned light. Edinburgh’s Festivals’ programmes will celebrate culture on an unrivalled scale and in uniquely significant ways in 2012, building an invaluable legacy for the future.
- Throughout this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
- BBC Comedy Presents... is three weeks of live comedy in the BBC's purpose built venue. Follow @bbccomedyprsnts for line-ups.
- BBC Radio 1 Fun and Filth Cabaret: Scott Mills and Nick Grimshaw return to the Fringe with their Fun and Filth Cabaret show, broadcast live on Radio 1 every day from the BBC Bubble space
- BBC Three Comedy Marathon: A specially billed, anarchic, live late-night comedy marathon at the Fringe and live on BBC Three.
- Throughout this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
- At Edinburgh’s Mela, Asian Arts Agency will feature the larger-than-life, Brooklyn based dhol ‘n’ brass band Red Baraat from New York City for their debut UK tour. The nine piece band fuse the infectious North Indian rhythms of bhangra with funk, jazz, Latin and go-go and their sound is big, brassy and full of energy. (31 Aug – 02 Sept).
- Screenings at Picturehouse Cinemas nationwide of the BAFTA-award winning film The Itch of the Golden Nit, an Aardman Animation presented by Tate Movie Project. Thousands of drawings, sound effects and story ideas make up this action-packed, half-hour animation, voiced by British talent including David Walliams, Miranda Hart, Vic Reeves and Catherine Tate (from 23 June 2012).
- At Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, the celebrated Kronos Quartet will perform Terry Riley’s Sun Rings, live to a spectacular film of deep space from NASA's archive. Composer Riley first came to prominence in the 1960s and his hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric, brightly orchestrated Eastern flavored improvisations and compositions set the stage for the New Age movement that was to appear a decade or so later. Simultaneously, a host of composers, headed up by Scanner – whose previous collaborators have included Michael Nyman and choreographer Wayne McGregor – will create new works inspired by Zaha Hadid's building, as well as working with young Glasgow musicians to create a personal soundtrack for visitors.
- Art and Sport come together for Forest Pitch. On a single day this summer, 21 July 2012, two amateur football matches will take place in a Scottish forest. Forest Pitch by Craig Coulthard is a celebration of art and sport that revives the original spirit of the modern Olympic Games. Hidden deep within a forest, Coulthard has created a full size football pitch reminiscent of one he played on as a youngster. Four teams of players (two men’s and two women’s), will take to the field for this special event watched by over 1,000 spectators and followed online via a live internet broadcast. If you have been granted British citizenship or leave to remain since the year 2000 and live in Scotland you could be one of the players on 21 July! (21 July).
- A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and Back, a UK wide relay of screenings of short films made by the public. 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 (10 June – 7 September 2012).
- Pioneering climate and culture organisation Cape Farewell presents new stories from Scotland's islands about people, place and resources, working with artists from India and the UK, including Jo Shapcott, Julie Fowlis and Atul Bhalla, to 'translate' contemporary and traditional stories into new forms, and pass them in digital relay from island to island and across the mainland.
- Peace Camp: A celebration of our coastline and our great poetic heritage. The Isle of Lewis and Fort Fiddes in Aberdeenshire are two of the locations chosen by renowned director Deborah Warner and actor Fiona Shaw for Peace Camp. From dusk to dawn, visitors will be able to walk through glowing encampments in some of the UK’s most extraordinary and remote places, and listen to a soundscape made up of voices murmuring the love poetry of our islands. You are invited to take part by nominating or uploading a reading of your favourite love poem, or by signing up as a volunteer. (19-22 July from dusk til dawn Valtos, Uig, Isle of Lewis. 19-22 July from dusk til dawn Fort Fiddes, Cullykhan Bay, Aberdeenshire)
- Big Dance, is the world’s largest and most influential dance initiative. The celebrations will expand in 2012 to reach across the whole of the UK involving over 5 million people in the experience of dance. Big Dance is a UK wide initiative, and in Scotland, Get Scotland Dancing aims to encourage more people to get active and participate in dance. Scotland will participate in the Big Dance Schools Pledge and Big Dance Week during the summer of 2012. Get Scotland Dancing will bring together professional and amateur dancers of all ages to dance in public spaces in our towns, villages and cities – bringing dance to the people and people to dance.
- Events from the Festival’s Unlimited programme, the largest ever UK programme celebrating arts, culture and sport by disabled and deaf people. Composer, musician and performer Jez Colborne brings Irresistible: Sound of Sirens to Ilkley, a breath-taking musical event and symphony using warning sirens, traditional instruments and songs (21 – 23 June 2012). Also scheduled is Unlimited Global Academy, a collaborative exhibition of artworks and films by British artist Rachel Gadsden and the South Africian Bambanani artist-activist Group (23 June – 9 September 2012), and Private Dancer directed by Janice Parker, an immersive performance featuring unique choreography created by some of Scotland’s best disabled dancers (21 – 23 June 2012).
- New Music 20x12 is a UK-wide commissioning programme initiated by Jillian Barker and David Cohen, and delivered by PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with the BBC, London 2012 and NMC Recordings. Twenty new pieces of music, each 12 minutes in length, are inspired by the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and have been written to celebrate the talent and imagination of the UK’s musical community. Each piece will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3, and will be available to purchase from NMC Recordings. Four Scottish composers’ works are among the programme of 20 new pieces selected by a panel of judges. Richard Causton’s Twenty-Seven Heavens will be played by the European Union Youth Orchestra as part of the Edinburgh International Festival at the Usher Hall on 23 August.
Find out what else is going on in Guide to Scotland's London 2012 Cultural Programme.
Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland: “This fantastic programme is an incredible opportunity to present a fresh, sophisticated and contemporary image of Scotland while building a long-lasting and meaningful cultural legacy that will contribute to the quality of our daily lives.
“It’s an inspiring programme of cultural activity ranging from spectacle and ceremony to more intimate experiences, which illustrate and illuminate the distinct layers and rich cultural context of Scotland. Taking place in a diverse range of settings right across Scotland, it will create moments, places and spaces, experiences, impressions and memories of a country that is truly creative, in this, the Year of Creative Scotland.
“Bringing the iconic Barrowlands dance hall together with the extraordinary talent of Michael Clark is a perfect finale to an amazing Festival that sets the bar high and helps us on our way confidently to Glasgow 2014.”
Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: “The opening of the London 2012 Festival marks another opportunity for millions of people across the UK to join in with the London 2012 Games. The festival will showcase the UK's world leading arts and culture sector and bring international attention to communities across the UK.”
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, 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.”
Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board, said: “We are incredibly excited to be launching the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular finale to the four year Cultural Olympiad. It is a proud moment for all involved and I must pay tribute to the vision and creativity of the London 2012 Festival team and our wonderful partners across the UK and internationally. With 10 million opportunities to take part in events across the UK for free, this is a festival that everyone can enjoy, try something new and experience art from around the world as part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games celebrations.”
For the London 2012 Festival brochure, more details on the programme visit the London 2012 Festival website at: www.london2012.com/festival or take a look at the Guide to Scotlands London 2012 Cultural Programme.
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