Boris says expect the unexpected in a summer like no other
The Mayor Boris Johnson today launched a new, free mobile phone app, 'The London Official City Guide', and an official guide, 'Summer's Looking Good', to help Londoners and visitors navigate the most exciting and ambitious festival of outdoor arts the city has ever staged.
Working with London 2012 Festival, Arts Council England, leading cultural organisations such as English National Ballet, Royal Opera House, ICA and LIFT, the Mayor of London has commissioned a world-class programme of events to celebrate the 2012 Games. From giant dinosaurs charging through London's streets and thrilling aerial displays, to inspirational shows created for London's great outdoors, the Mayor of London Presents programme encompasses hundreds of free cultural events, performance and installations in all 33 boroughs.
People passing by City Hall this morning were treated to a sneak preview of this summer's cultural programme, when 16 athletic dancers who have been trained and drilled by acclaimed Brooklyn choreographer Elizabeth Streb, put on a one-off display with Tower Bridge providing the iconic backdrop. This exclusive performance offered just a glimpse of what to expect later this month, when Streb's astonishing dancers are set to suddenly appear across the cityscape, their extreme athleticism traversing well-known buildings, as part of Surprises, a series of amazing performances and installations that will spring up at different locations around the capital.
Passers-by were also treated to the sight of a vintage BMW car, painted in flamboyantly colourful style by the leading American artist Jeff Koons. It is one of sixteen BMW Art Cars – classic BMW cars transformed into incredible artworks by world renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and David Hockney, which are set to go on display at a specially created gallery in Shoreditch curated by the ICA as part of the London 2012 Festival.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: '2012 is a momentous year for London and I want Londoners and visitors to experience the best of what our great city has to offer. There are thrilling, world-class cultural events popping up in every corner of the capital and you can expect the unexpected. There has never been a better time to explore London, not just the well-known attractions, but the wonderful local gems waiting to be discovered. With so much to see and do, our new app and brochure are your indispensible guides to a summer like no other.'
To help Londoners and visitors navigate the extensive Mayor of London Presents programme, 550,000 copies of the 'Summer's Looking Good' brochure are available from Evening Standard vendors, London Ambassadors, at cultural venues like art galleries and museums throughout London, or to download from www.molpresents.com.
'The London Official City Guide' app is also available to download this week for iPhone and iPad from the App Store, with Android devices from Google Play to follow. It features unrivalled content powered by London's official digital visitor platform www.visitlondon.com and is the perfect companion for Londoners and tourists. As well as the Mayor of London Presents programme it will keep users up to date with the hottest events, the city's many outstanding attractions and recommendations for the best restaurants offering fine cuisine from across the globe. The app incorporates Google maps and has easy-to-use search functionality with thousands of listings to enable users to browse by venue or attraction. Alternatively, users can browse by location with the app recommending a range of nearby options.
Already attracting widespread attention is Nothing is Set in Stone by award-winning artist and composer Mira Calix, whose musical sculpture at Fairlop Waters in Redbridge, as part of Secrets. Another Secrets event, Like a Fish Out of Water, begins this week, with English National Ballet and seven sisters group using dance, costume and hand-held video technology to create a brand new performance piece at two of London's iconic lidos, in Hillingdon and Hampton. Later this month Martin Constantine is directing new opera The Owl and the Pussycat, with libretto by ex-Python star Terry Jones and music by award-winning composer Anne Dudley, which the Royal Opera House is staging at locations along London's canals.
Other events include Showtime, which is supported by Arts Council England and kicks off on 21 July, with 300 artists and production staff from the UK and abroad bringing high quality performance and entertainment to high streets, parks and town centres. An estimated 3 million people are expected to head to BT London Live, which brings live action from the Games, as well as sporting activities and entertainment to Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square over 44 days – all for free. Explore: Culture Trails features twelve especially curated journeys over consecutive weekends covering dozens of events and more than 100 miles – this weekend focuses on west London.
Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture said: 'There is always so much to see and do in London over the summer months, but for this special year we are going that extra mile – we've invited world class artists to treat the city as their canvas and dream up unique moments of beauty, spectacle and sheer fun. Of course we want to entertain our visitors and showcase the city to an international audience, but this is also a celebration for Londoners, which is why the programme is entirely free and is taking place across all 33 boroughs.'
Many events are presented with London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world and the very best from the UK.
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London 2012 Festival said: 'London and the UK's creative industries are world beating and the London 2012 Festival is showing them off to the world. With millions of free tickets and opportunities to take part, Londoners and tourists truly have a summer like no other, thanks to the partnership between the Mayor's office and the London 2012 Festival.'
Daniel Ritterband, the Mayor's Director of Marketing, commented: 'With the eyes of the world on London for the Games, we're using giant rings and agitos, lighting and decoration, and brilliant events, to make the city look and feel at its very best. Whether you live here or are visiting, these guides will keep you bang up to date with everything that's hot. And after the Games are over the London app will continue to be your trusty companion for more great days and nights out in this fabulous city.'
Gordon Innes, CEO, London & Partners said: 'London is gearing up to a summer unlike anything we will have seen in our lifetime. Following the Jubilee celebrations the party atmosphere is only set to ramp up as the Olympics draws closer and this app could not be better timed to help visitors and locals peruse the wide array of unique events and pop-up performances going on.'
Moira Sinclair, Executive Director, London, Arts Council England, said: '2012 is an unparalleled opportunity for Londoners and those visiting the capital to be part of and witness some of the finest arts and cultural events in the world. We are proud to be working in partnership with the Mayor to create what will be, no doubt, many memorable 2012 moments. We wanted to surprise people, to encourage them to look afresh at this great city, to experience something they wouldn’t usually get the chance to see. This brochure will help to make sure that none of us miss the unmissable this summer.'
Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva, Chair of the Olympic Lottery Distributor said 'The Olympic Lottery Distributor is pleased to be supporting Streb, with National Lottery money bringing such exciting projects to life as part of the London 2012 Festival and Mayor of London Presents programme.'
SELECTED UPCOMING DATES INCLUDE:
5-7 July Secrets: Like a Fish Out of Water Uxbridge Lido, Hillingdon
5-14 July Big Dance 2012 Across the city
12-14 July Secrets: Like a Fish Out of Water Hampton Lido, Richmond
20-31 July Secrets: The Owl and the Pussycat Various canal locations
21 July Showtime begins Wimbledon, Kingston, Woolwich
21 July Gigs: Big Busk kicks off Locations across London
21, 22 July 'Sacrilege' by Jeremy Deller Greenwich
27, 28 July BT London Live free days begin Victoria Park, Hyde Park
28 July Picture: Potters Field Park opens Tooley Street, Southwark
Until 9 September Secrets: Nothing is Set in Stone Fairlop Waters, Redbridge
For more details about these and other events in the Mayor of London Presents programme, pick up the new guide or visit the website at www.molpresents.com. To down load the free London Official City Guide go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/london-official-city-guide/id536603270?ls=1&mt=8. ENDS
Notes to editors
1. The Mayor of London is supporting a huge programme of free events and cultural activities to add to the excitement of 2012. Working with outstanding international artists and world-class cultural organisations this unprecedented Mayor of London Presents programme is taking place in every corner of the capital to add to and complement the London 2012 Festival. It includes Secrets: Hidden London, with artists and performers transforming hidden and lesser known locations; Showtime, the largest outdoor arts festival ever seen in the capital, with dozens of electrifying artists from the UK and abroad coming to every borough, in high streets, parks and town centres; BT London Live, bringing live action from the Games, as well as sporting activities and entertainment to Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square; and Surprises bringing pop-up performances and once in a lifetime experiences to locations familiar and unusual, above your heads and atop landmark buildings. To be the first to know about what's happening in this Summer Like No Other, sign up or follow us at www.molpresents.com / www.facebook.com/mayoroflondonpresents / www.twitter.com/molpresents
2. London & Partners is the official promotional organisation for London attracting and delivering value to businesses, students and visitors. London & Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and our network of commercial partners.
Our remit is to drive leisure and business visitors as well as bidding to secure major events in London, to unlock the city for overseas businesses who want to set up or expand in London and to promote the capital’s world class universities to international students.
Our intention is to work in partnership with organisations in London and across the world to deliver our goal - that London be globally recognised as the best big city on earth.
3. About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummer's Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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.
For more details on the programme, to download the London 2012 Festival official guide and to sign up for information visit www.london2012.com/festival.
4. Arts Council England is proud to work in partnership with London 2012, and is a principal funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, it will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk.
5. The London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) is proud to be in and of London. No other organisation or festival brings theatre to so many diverse, quirky and accessible places and spaces across our city. There’s a sense of discovery in all LIFT's work and it’s our intention to give members of the public the chance to see the world through the eyes of others, both artists and ordinary people, and to experience art on their own terms. Every performance or event we stage we intend to be a personal experience that will mean something unique and real to each and every individual lucky enough to witness it. Surprises: Streb is no exception.
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