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Press release

The Bandstand Marathon

The Bandstand Marathon

Westminster hosts London’s flagship event of nationwide celebration of the London 2012 Games

The bandstand in Paddington Recreation Ground, Westminster hosts the flagship event for London as part of Bandstand Marathon – a nationwide celebration of the final day of the London 2012 Games.

Paddington Recreation Ground, Westminster is set to host London’s flagship event of the nationwide Bandstand Marathon on Sunday 9th September, the final day of the Paralympic Games. The official closing event of the London 2012 Festival, Bandstand Marathon will see hundreds of outdoor community concerts take place throughout the UK in a national musical celebration of the London 2012 Games and a fantastic summer of sport and culture. There are 30 events taking place across London.

Bandstand Marathon has been supported in London by the Mayor’s Culture Squad apprentices as part of Showtime, London’s biggest ever outdoor arts festival, supported by Arts Council England. For more information on events taking place across the Capital visit

From 1pm until 5.30pm the bandstand will be alive with a vibrant and soulful musical programme of the best local talent. Highlights include: Angie A, who had number 1 chart success as a backing singer with Olive and the song You’re Not Alone, the Soul Harmony Choir, Alaman Bansuri playing the bamboo flute; salsa with Josefo Neves; Nathan Watson & The Freakanomics performing funky, soulful rock, and street dance from The Street Level Crew Dancers and The Butterkush Fam Dance Crew.

Paddington will also join in a collective moment across Bandstand Marathon events nationwide whereby musicians at each location will perform their own unique rendition of Coldplay’s anthemic hit Viva La Vida. This will take place simultaneously at 2pm in bandstands across the UK, including the bandstand on the Olympic Park, ahead of Coldplay’s headline performance at the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony later that evening.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin said: “It’s a great honour for us to be part of the celebrations for the Paralympic Games and it should be a great moment when the bandstands of Great Britain strike up in unison.”


Location: Paddington Recreation Ground

Address: Maida Vale, W9 1PD

Times: 1pm – 5.30pm

Other Bandstand Marathon events taking place across Greater London are in:

Barking (Barking Park)

Battersea (BatterseaPark)

Beckenham (Croydon Road Recreation Ground)

Chistlehurst (Chistlehurst Recreation Ground)

Chiswick (Dukes Meadow)

Clapham (Clapham Common Bandstand)

Croydon (Queen’s Gardens)

Dagenham (PondfieldPark)

Dollis Hill (GladstonePark)

Ealing Broadway (Haven Green)

Eltham (Tudor Barn)

Enfield (Ponder’s EndPark; AlbanyPark; Hillyfields)

Hackney (SpringfieldPark)

Harrow (Harrow Recreation Ground)

Ilford (ValentinesPark)

Islington (Northampton Square)

Lewisham (The Albany)

Leyton (CoronationGardens)

Merton (Merton Abbey Mills)

Orpington (The Walnuts)

Palmers Green (BroomfieldPark)

RegentsPark (Camden / Westminster)

Ruslip Manor (ShenleyPark)

Stratford (Olympic Park Bandstand)

Tower Hamlets (Victoria Park)

Twickenham (DiamondJubileeGardens)

Woolwich (The Royal Arsenal)

From Inverness in the Scottish Highlands to Penzance on the tip of Cornwall, and from the historic town of Armagh, Northern Ireland to Llandudno on the Welsh coast, Bandstand Marathon will present a unique portrait of the UK’s diverse musical tastes and styles in 2012.

For more details about Bandstand Marathon 2012, including the full list of participating locations, visit 

For more information on the London 2012 Festival, and to find out what’s going on near you, visit

Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London 2012 Festival said: “The Bandstand Marathon is encouraging local music groups to showcase their talents and be part of the London 2012 Festival. We hope everyone will join in to end the London 2012 Festival and Games with a UK-wide celebration of musical and sporting talent.”

Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles said: “The spectacular summer has shown off the strengths of our country in style and it hasn’t ended yet. It continues with the Bandstand Marathon and everyone should come out to enjoy the musical events at their local bandstand.”

He continued: “2012 has been the year for all our communities to come together, from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Torch Relay and of course the Games themselves, reinforcing our shared identity and celebrating our great country. We have seen how these big national events can have a positive impact on local communities, bringing people out into our parks and onto the streets in their thousands, bringing a sense of joy and championing all those things we share together rather than keep us apart.” 

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Millions of people across the capital have already enjoyed an astonishing variety of music, drama, and spectacle from around the world and the Bandstand Marathon renditions of Coldplay’s instantly-recognisable megahit Viva la Vida will be fittingly upbeat coda to the London 2012 celebrations. We want as many Londoners as possible to take part and after the Games are over I hope many more will be encouraged to bring the sound of beautiful music to their local communities. Long live life indeed!”

Katharine Lane, Associate Director, Superact said: “London 2012 has been an incredible success and the UK public has played a huge part in this, embracing the Games and taking part in the wealth of fantastic events across the country in the run up to and throughout the Games. We’re delighted to present Bandstand Marathon, the official finale event to the London 2012 Festival – bringing families, friends and communities together in a nationwide musical celebration of what has been an unforgettable summer.”

Bandstand Marathon is produced by not-for-profit arts organisation Superact and Making Music, the UK’s number one organisation for voluntary music. Support from The Department for Communities and Local Government is enabling Bandstand Marathon to expand and enhance its existing annual programme, doubling the length of the local events to four hours this year, and providing opportunities for training, community networking and audience participation, and linking musicians together across the country.


Media Contact

For further information / interviews / images contact:

CultBrand: +44(0)20 7749 6850

Emily Airton:

Tani Burns:



Superact is a not-for-profit arts organisation using creativity to improve the health and wellbeing of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. We use artists and musicians, both amateur & professional, to deliver highly successful projects in the healthcare, education and criminal justice systems.


Making Music

Making Music has been the UK’s number one organisation for voluntary music since 1935. They thrive on encouraging all kinds of music groups and individuals to be part of a vibrant multi-cultural music scene. Their 3,000 members include choirs, orchestras, music promoters, jazz and wind bands, community festivals, samba groups, sitar ensembles, barbershop choruses and brass bands. These groups come to Making Music for the expert help they need to set up, run and develop music groups in their communities. Making Music is here to help everyone flourish in their music making.


London 2012 Festival

The London 2012 Festival is the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 over 18 million people all over the UK have already participated in or attended performances and workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012 and funded by our principal funders and sponsors.  Since the beginning of the London 2012 Festival on 21st June 2012, over 12 million people have attended Festival events, made possible by all of our partners. The London 2012 Festival runs until the last day of the Paralympic Games, on 9th September.

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.

Supporters of the London 2012 Festival are BMW, Eurostar, Freshfields, King’s College London, Panasonic, Samsung, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, BBC, British Council, Creative Scotland, DCAL, DCMS, Festivals Edinburgh, Mayor Of London, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Visit Britain and Visit Scotland.

For more information on the London 2012 Festival:


Mayor of London Presents

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 the 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. As well as Bandstand Marathon, the Mayor is supporting Gigs: Big Busk, which sees young musicians aged 11-25 performing at a variety of locations across the capital for prizes including a licence to busk on the London Underground, with the grand finale at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush on 1 September.

Showtime and the Mayor’s Culture Squad

Showtime is the Mayor’s biggest ever outdoor arts festival across 33 council areas and lasting 7 weeks, closing on 9th September. Showtime is funded by the Mayor and Arts Council England, and is part of the London 2012 Festival.

Five ‘hub’ producers were employed to programme Showtime, each responsible for one sub-section of London - North, South, East, West and Central. The Mayor also invested in five young apprentice producers – the Culture Squad, to work closely with these hub producers whilst on a 12 month accredited apprenticeship (Level 2 Live Events Framework) at LewishamCollege.

Bandstand Marathon was the main project undertaken by the Culture Squad, who have played an active role in the programming of the event at locations across the Capital, working closely with the Showtime team and other Bandstand Marathon partners.



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