A vintage Christmas market with a roller disco twist, hip-hop maypole dancing, a Diwali inspired light display, gigs on a barge and an old style music hall knees up are among the highlights of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s autumn and winter series of events unveiled by the Mayor of London today.
More than 700,000 people enjoyed the Park’s summer events including appearances from global superstars such as Bruce Springsteen and Usain Bolt, culminating in the spectacular National Paralympic Day. The entertainment is set to continue through the coming months in a programme that promises something for everyone. Themed as a celebration of the River Lea, events will be free to attend with the aim to showcase what the Park has to offer as well as local East End food stalls and showcasing local talent.
The series kicks off on Friday 13 September with a tea dance and 70s disco where satin flares clad dance teachers will be giving tips on favourites like ‘The Saturday Night Fever’ line dance and the Travolta inspired ‘Latin Hustle’. On Saturday 14 September the local Hackney Colliery Band is among a great line up and then on Sunday 15 September the UK’s top jive and swing band Jive Aces and the London Gay Big Band will be performing as well as floor shows and lessons from Swing Patrol plus Rimski’s Bicycle Piano who performs original and classic songs and piano acrobatics.
Latino, African and folk themed ‘By the River Weekends’ will be staged over three consecutive weekends starting on 22 September. The Park hosts The Big Draw on 12 October, there will be stunning Diwali inspired light displays from 1 to 3 November and Timber Lodge Community Centre will host an old style music hall knees up on 11 November. The grand finale will be a vintage Christmas market featuring a roller disco, ale festival and live bands from 6 to 8 December.
More events will be added to the programme over the coming weeks so keep an eye on www.QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk to find out what is on and when as well as to see details about the Park’s full opening in spring 2014. A film was released today which you can find here capturing the summer’s highlights and how – one year on from the Olympic and Paralympic Games – the Park is already delivering a lasting economic and community legacy in east London.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “Following a spectacularly successful summer, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has established itself as a world beating venue for top notch sport and entertainment. As the Park continues its transformation ahead of its full opening next year, I am pleased to announce the next series of events that will enable thousands more people to enjoy this remarkable site.”
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Our debut summer series exceeded all our expectations. It was fantastic that over 700,000 people visited Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to enjoy a wide range of events and see for themselves what the Park has to offer. The beautiful parklands, Timber Lodge Community Centre and Tumbling Bay playground are already becoming firm favourites and with a great line up of events for the coming months crowds are set to continue to flock to the Park. When the Park fully opens in spring next year, and people can use the iconic venues including the Lea Valley Velopark and stunning Aquatics Centre, it really will be a must visit destination and a lasting legacy in east London.”
Mel Wilds from event organisers Continental Drifts, said: “We are really excited by the upcoming series of events in the Park. East London is such a vibrant area and the events programme is a great opportunity to celebrate the culture and communities around the Park. We are very proud to be the programme partners for this iconic London location.”
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s autumn/winter programme:
13 September (2pm – 8pm) – Ragroof Theatre host an afternoon of tea dances for all ages and levels of experience. People can trip the light fantastic to the sounds of the roaring 20s, 30s and 40s and enjoy a recreation of the glamorous heyday of ballroom dance including a DJ, dance displays and workshops.
Local DJ John Watson will be spinning tunes from the 70s in a rewind summer disco, resident dance teachers will be donning their shiny satin flares and teaching iconic dance favourites such as ‘The Saturday Night Fever’ line dance and the Travolta inspired ‘Latin Hustle’.
14 September (12pm – 7pm) and 15 September (12pm – 5pm) – A celebration of the River Lea with an amazing programme of music on Saturday 14 September to a multitude of swing on Sunday 15 September peppered with a giant music workshop from the Chimes, river talks, storytelling, walkabout street theatre and bug hunts.
22 September (12pm – 5pm) – ‘By the River’ – a celebration of all things Latino from salsa and zumba workshops to carnival processional bands and a unique opportunity to see Latin bands perform on a barge on the River Lea.
29 September (12pm – 5pm) – ‘By the River’ – Floating Folk showcasing wonderful folk music floating by on a musical barge and opportunities to join in a hip-hop maypole dance or pop up ceilidh with Folk Reworked.
6 October (12pm – 5pm) – ‘By the River’ – an African Adventure celebrating traditional and new wave African music with drumming workshops, processions and bands from the African disapora.
12 October (11am – 5pm) – The Park hosts The Big Draw – an amazing family day out run by the National Campaign for Drawing featuring dynamic works of art and a range of workshops from animation to caricatures and sculpture.
29 October (11am – 3pm) – Hallowe’en and Diwali craft workshops with sessions for children to make crafts to take home.1, 2 and 3 November (4pm – 9pm) – Light Night – a stunning celebration of light based on the theme of Diwali where visitors can explore the Park and river in their illuminated glory. At night Emily Tracy will create a dynamic work of art using Duchamp inspired mirror scope as well as various light installations.
11 November (12am – 4pm) – An old style music hall knees up at Timber Lodge. Local people will be invited to the Unity Kitchen Cafe to have tea and cakes as well as enjoy music hall style entertainment.
20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 November – The East London Mobile Studio makes a special appearance by Timber Lodge on its journey around east London. Running music workshops with renowned musician Yuri Suzuki, people will have a chance to make their own instruments out of every day materials. See the website for further details and times: www.elmoworks.co.uk
6 December (2pm – 10pm), 7 and 8 December (10am –10pm) A vintage Christmas market selling seasonal gifts, food and vintage wares. A roller disco with DJs into the night and a wonderfully festive stage programme. A real ale festival topped off by a Christmas walkabout and a few festive surprises.
More events will be added to the programme over the coming weeks so keep an eye on www.QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk or sign up to our newsletter here.
Over the summer the Park hosted performances from global superstars including Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, 2012 heroes including Mo Farah, Hannah Cockroft, Richard Whitehead and Usain Bolt returned to the Stadium to storm to victory again, children’s favourites Peppa Pig and Rastamouse entertained the young and not so young, and the very best arts and culture was showcased including award winning theatre company Graeae’s ‘the Limbless Knight’ and Sacrilege – a life size inflatable Stonehenge by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller.
Almost 700 volunteers played their part making each event a success and 7,000 free tickets were given to local people so they could enjoy events taking place on their doorstep.