Victoria Park to host Olympic festivities


Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets will be at the heart of free celebrations for London 2012, giving people without a ticket a chance to sample the atmosphere and festival of the Olympic Games.

Large screens will convey the action in real-time while have-a-go sports arenas, zip-wires, zorbing, a 55m Observation Wheel, live music and bars will provide entertainment from 11am to late every day of the Games.

There are two BT London Live sites for the Olympics - Victoria Park and Hyde Park, which will feature a free concert by Tom Jones on July 28. For the Paralympic Games, the action will move to Trafalgar Square.

Unveiling the details at the BT Tower today, the London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "I've been going around London a lot recently and one of the things people have said to me is: 'what of Olympics done for us' - in the words of [Monty Python's] Judean People's Popular Front.

"I say, what about the regeneration of east London, the East London line? What about the extraordinary venues rising in Stratford? What about the 11,000 new homes, the 10,000 new jobs that are already being created on that site?

"And they say 'what about tickets to the Olympics'. I have to confess it's very difficult to mollify them. But the BT London Live sites will be fantastic opportunities for everybody to go for free to participate in all kinds of ways. Above all you will be able to watch the games live on enormous TV screens."

Double Gold medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes said: "There are major reasons why London will be the best Games ever: Sporting excellence from around the world, inspiring a whole nation; 70,000 volunteers bringing the games to life; and the three BT London Live sites.

"They're showcasing what we do best in Great Britain, through our culture, our entertainments and watching on those screens new stars born.

"We all want to be part of this extraordinary occasion. I've been to four Olympic Games, three I've competed in and one I have watched. I have never seen anything like this happening.

"There's never been presence for everyday people to feel part of those Games. These three sites are going to allow that to happen. From posh blokes like Boris Johnson to normal people like me."