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Press release

Tickets on sale for Open East Festival

Tickets on sale for Open East Festival - weekend of music, food and theatre to celebrate the anniversary of London 2012

  • Open East Festival, 27 & 28 July, to mark one year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony with a weekend of entertainment
  • It marks the start of the phased opening of the Park, with full opening in spring 2013
  • Line-up of leading artists & attractions programmed by the Barbican and Create London announced today
  • An affordable family day out in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with day tickets priced at only £6.00 for children and £9.50 for adults, under 5s free
  • Priority tickets for residents of east London host boroughs to be released first on Friday 31 May
  • Tickets on general sale on Monday 3 June

Download pictures taken today of artists launching the Open East Festival in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - here

The Barbican, Create London and the London Legacy Development Corporation have today announced ticketing details and the line-up for Open East Festival – a weekend of music food, theatre, family fun and much more taking place in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 27 and 28 July 2013 to mark the first anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The north area of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open up to thousands of people for a packed weekend of entertainment and activity, art and food, programmed by the Barbican and Create London.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

"The sizzling line up of music, performance and food makes the Open East Festival a fabulous curtain-raiser to another exciting summer in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Whether you live locally, or are coming from further afield, the cultural and sporting events planned for the park show why it is set to become a must see destination. It's a winning attraction, which is also shaping up to boost the local economy, by bringing jobs and growth to the area."

Ticket holders will discover a host of international acts on the main music stage, featuring Toots and the Maytals, The Waterboys, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and a supergroup of Malian artists including celebrated duo Amadou and Mariam, Vieux Farka Touré and Fatoumata Diawara assembled by Cheick Tidian Seck. Meanwhile on the Caught by the River Stage catch live musical performances by DJ Don Letts, Wire, Stealing Sheep and The Rockingbirds, on the banks of the river Lea as it runs past the Velodrome and down towards the stadium. Over the two days of the festival, Caught by the River will  host talks, DJs, bands and readings as well as a load of interesting booze at the Ten Mile Beer Festival (featuring beer sourced from within 10 miles of the park)

Open East Festival promises a fantastic day out in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for all the family. Young visitors will be enchanted by The House of Fairy Tales who will be presenting their legendary Travelling Art Circus (which includes Gavin Turk’s Space Pyramid), be transported by Discover Children’s Story Centre and Charlie Dark on a hip-hop, poetry puppet adventure, The Hare and The Tortoise Remixed, and encounter Joey from the acclaimed National Theatre production War Horse. They will be dazzled by a multitude of things to see, make and do.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park itself will be one of the stars of the show, with events and moving music performances programmed to encourage audiences to discover the riverbanks and parklands. An array of pop-up performances and participation will surprise and delight audiences exploring this part of London’s newest park throughout the day, and the Open East Festival will culminate each day with a spectacular finale, details of which are being kept under wraps as the organisers, aim to save the surprise.

Visitors will be able to sample the flavours of the world at 70 stalls of London's best street food sellers and food producers that make up the Real Food Festival, join in a communal feast on the bridge over the River Lea set against the vista of the stadium and the Orbit, sample beers from local breweries from within a 10 mile radius of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at the Ten Mile Beer Festival or simply take time out for a quiet picnic on the banks of the River Lea.

Open East Festival celebrates the first anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the first phase of the Park opening. There will be a number of Games related performances as audiences remember the great summer of sport and culture. The Pandemonium Drummers and BMX riders from the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony will make an appearance as will the Opening Ceremony ‘Thanks Tim’ choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and members of Boy Blue Entertainment. Graeae present Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man Directed by Jenny Sealey, the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony Co-Directorthis classic modern fable features a colossal iron puppet taller than a double-decker bus.

The best local talent will also feature with leading east London artists and organisations taking part in the day’s activities, including Theatre Royal Stratford East, Barbican Drum Works, LSO Discovery and local bands from Continental Drifts. Ida Barr – the “old time Music Hall turned rap superstar” character of Christopher Green, will lead a mass, inter-generational sing-a-long with friends from the east London community and Rebecca Davies will host bespoke East End mass bingo games around her Beau Belles Ice Cream Van produced by Artsadmin. Also produced by Artsadmin is Handbag, Geraldine Pilgrim’s celebratory dance performance which features great music, dancing and handbags and will animate the areas on the riverbanks, where you can hop onboard the Floating Cinema.

Art lovers will also get the chance to unearth a future masterpiece at the Art Car Boot Fair and discover hidden treasures at the Urban Bazaar, an art and design community, showcasing the best in UK made, sustainable, up-cycled, vintage and contemporary design featuring Alex Noble.

Open East Festival builds on the long-standing commitment of the Barbican and Create London to bring great arts experiences to the heart of east London communities, and aims to commemorate the creative legacy of London 2012, celebrate its landscape, and bring it to life for everyone to enjoy. 

Louise Jeffreys, Director of Programming at the Barbican said:

“After playing a leading role in the hugely successful cultural celebrations surrounding the 2012 Olympics, the Barbican is thrilled to be continuing the Olympic legacy by being one of the producers of Open East Festival.

“The Barbican’s world-class arts programming and our long history of working with arts organisations and communities across east London mean we’re ideally placed to offer people across the city an unforgettable weekend of outstanding performance and exciting new experiences.

“Open East Festival is the Barbican’s largest offsite project to date and we can’t wait to welcome people from all over London to the city’s newest park.” 

Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create London, said:

“We're part of this as we wanted to give the opportunity for local residents and people from across London to visit their new park for the first time.

“The Open East Festival, taking place in the heart of Queen Elizabeth Park, builds on the creative legacy of London 2012. It's an unusual mix of being both affordable and completely brilliant - one of the best family days out in London this summer in a new part of the city with world-class food, art, theatre, dance and music.”

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“Open East Festival is one of a fantastic series of events this summer and marks the start of the first phase of opening for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It’s a wonderfully varied event for families and friends and we can’t wait to welcome local people back in to the Park and deliver something truly magical for Londoners. From July the Copper Box and some of the parkland in the north part of the Park will be open to the public, the rest of the Park will open in phases as we complete it, with the Park opening fully in spring 2014.”

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open in phases between July 2013 and spring 2014.

An exclusive pre-sale is available to residents of the six east London host boroughs (Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham, WalthamForest, Greenwich and Barking & Dagenham) from Friday 31 May.

Tickets will then be available to members of the public from Monday 3 June.

Thanks to the support of Arts Council England and the Legacy Trust UK day tickets are priced at just £9.50 for adults, £6.00 for children aged 5 - 16, and under 5’s go free.

Tickets will be available from

-       Ends -


For more information please contact:

Cult Brand or 020 7749 6850 or 020 7749 6850

Media Team at the London Legacy Development Corporation

+44 (0) 20 3288 1777, +44 (0) 7817 386 499 or email:

Barbican or 0207 382 5274

Notes to Editors:

Full details on the complete line up are available here

About the Barbican

A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does. Over 1.5 million people pass through the Barbican’s doors annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre.

The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, and Associate Producer Serious. Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment, Cheek by Jowl and Michael Clark Company. International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Find us on Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | YouTube

About Create London

Create London are the associate partner of the Barbican and are supported by main sponsor Deutsche Bank, the Legacy Trust, Arts Council England, London and the six east London Boroughs.

Producing and commissioning socially engaged projects in east London for the past four years, Create London exists to spread the benefits of the artistic and creative community of east London to local people. Create London commissions and produce multi-disciplinary art projects in east London, which extend the barriers of socially engaged practice. Our conviction is in the power of art to make a positive contribution to our daily lives, encouraging debate, constructive change and social progress.

By working outside of traditional cultural spaces and building virtuous circles between artists, creative organisations and local people, we strive to nurture and grow the ambitions of our communities. Despite having the highest concentration of artists and creative businesses in Europe, east London has remarkably low levels of cultural engagement and remains one of the most deprived parts of the UK. Create London works to bridge the traditional divisions of class, culture, education, and social background between our creative community and local people.

By commissioning major projects, attracting new audiences and working in partnership to profile the cultural life of the area, Create London has a vital role to play in the continued economic regeneration of east London. Our programme is underpinned by Create London Jobs, which provides mentoring, support and paid employment opportunities for local young people.

For more info go to, or find us on Twitter

About the London Legacy Development Corporation
The London Legacy Development Corporation promotes and delivers physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding area, in particular by maximising the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will begin to open from July 2013 and will be fully open from spring 2014, it will be a whole new part of the city to enjoy and will provide jobs and homes for east London.

For more information about the Legacy Corporation visit:

For more information about Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park visit:


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