Nearly a whole year has passed since London was lit up with the 2012 Olympics. Since then, the London Legacy Development Corporation has been hard at work transforming the Games’ Stratford venue into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – efforts that have very nearly reached fruition.
The north part of the new park will finally open to the public on July 27th – a date that coincides with the first anniversary of the Games. To commemorate the occasion, the park will spend the weekend playing host to the Open East Festival.
Comprising music, theatrical performances, food, drink and a few more surprises besides, the festival programme is packed with entertainment and activities that ought to cater to all tastes.
The Open East Festival has secured the attendance of bands and musicians from around the world, including celtic rockers The Waterboys, afrobeat pioneers Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and Malian duo Amadou and Mariam.
Meanwhile, visitors are promised a profusion of pop-up participatory performances around the park. There’s even a specially erected festival theatre tent, where they’ll be able to enjoy dance or “maybe even an East End sing-a-long”, according to organisers.
Finally, those looking for something a little more unusual should check out Sacrilege. This is a life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, which has toured the world since it first appeared at the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. Essentially a giant bouncy castle, Sacrilege is both a celebration of Britain’s unique culture and an irresistible fairground attraction.
Even London mayor Boris Johnson has revealed that he’s a fan. He commented: “[Sacrilege] will add to the fun and magic of this delightful festival, which along with the other events taking place over the next few weeks shows the amazing potential the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has to become one of our greatest destinations, for visitors and Londoners alike.”
A day ticket to the Open East Festival costs £9.50 for adults and £6 for under-16s.