The opening ceremony
Of course the official opening ceremony is one of the biggest celebrations and, for those without tickets, will be broadcast on big screens at public events across the U.K. Set to take place at the new Olympic Stadium on Friday, July 27, the task of designing and creating such a mammoth event has fallen to film director Danny Boyle. Titled "Isles of Wonder," the ceremony will kick off at 9 p.m. with the sound of the largest harmonically-tuned bell in Europe. The bell has been produced by the Whitechapel Foundry who famously also created "Big Ben." The stadium will then be transformed into the British countryside for the opening scene "Green and Pleasant," which includes real soil, real farmyard animals and, if the British weather has anything to do with it, real rain.
The closing ceremony
The closing ceremony will be an emotional and no less spectacular farewell to what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest events to take place in Britain in decades. Entitled "A Symphony of British Music," it will focus on Britain's contribution to the musical arts over the last five decades. As well as celebrating the victories at this year's games, London will hand over the torch to the next host city, Rio de Janeiro, who will host the games in 2016. Taking place on Sunday, Aug. 12, the worldwide broadcast of the ceremony will start at 9 p.m. and feature more than 4,100 performers.
BT London Live 2012
If you aren’t able to be there in person, BT are hosting ticketed concerts with footage from the stadium to coincide with both the opening and closing ceremonies. Friday, July 27 will be headlined by '80s favourites Duran Duran, who will play alongside other well-known acts including the Stereophonics, Snow Patrol and Paolo Nutini. The closing ceremony concert on Aug. 12 will be headlined by Blur. In between — from July 28 to Aug. 11 — Hyde Park will be hosting a series of Free to Access days when the games will be broadcast on giant screens. As well as watching the sport, visitors will be able to enjoy child-friendly activities and more live music from other British artists such as Tom Jones, McFly and Alexandra Burke.
London 2012 Festival
London may be the host city but it isn’t the only place in the U.K. celebrating the Summer Games. Over 12,000 events have been organised across the country as part of the associated cultural festival. Aimed at both adults and children and including everything from theatrical performances to food, fashion and art installations, the festival began on June 21 and will continue until Sept. 9 2012. Check the London 2012 Festival site for details of events near you.