Let the Games Begin…Again!
Fond memories of last summer's 2012 London Olympic Games are soon to return to the fore as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is set to open in less than a hundred days. The former Olympic park sites – which were shut to the public almost immediately after the Games ended – has been undergoing a £292 million (around $440 million) transformation to become London's newest urban park and one of the largest in all of Europe.
Hard Rock Calling
First up on the park's agenda is music festival Hard Rock Calling, which will be June 29th and 30th with Kasabian headlining on the 29th, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band taking the stage on the 30th. Other acts include The Black Crowes, Klaxons, Paul Weller, Kodaline, Miles Kane, Alabama Shakes, Tribes and The Cribs.
After that, the initial phase of the park's official reopening comes a little later with the North Park area being made accessible to the public in July. This section includes the Copper Box, London’s third largest arena (more than 2,700m² and roughly the same size as a dozen badminton courts) as well as a cafe and a new playground along with lots of open space for visitors to explore. The Copper Box will be home to a community sports centre with gym, fitness suites and sports courts. It will also be used by professional athletes, becoming home to the London Lions basketball team as well as events and international and community competitions.
The park will play host to the Gentlemen of the Road festival on July 6th with London folk rock band, Mumford & Sons, playing their biggest headlining show to date alongside an impressive list of acts such as Ben Howard, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Vampire Weekend, Bear’s Den and HAIM. The Yahoo! Wireless Festival will hit the park for even more epic summer fun with stars such as Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z headlining from the 12th to the 14th of July. And on July 20th, the park will see world famous music event, the Electric Daisy Carnival set up shop with headliners AVICII and Tiësto as well as Hardwell, Alesso, Madeon and Angello and more performing across one main stage and three arenas.
Of course, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park won't just be a setting for live music. Given its history as a setting for world class athletics, the park will be a great place to catch some amazing sporting events. From July 26th to the 28th to commemorate the one year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, the park will host the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games with a number of Olympians returning to compete, including Usain Bolt.
Another sporting event coming to the park this summer will be Prudent RideLondon, a two-day festival of cycling during the weekend of August 3rd and 4th. The first day of the event will feature a family fun ride with up to 70,000 cyclists participating over an eight-mile loop of closed roads and taking in some of London’s most iconic sights. The next day will see up to 35,000 amateur, world-class elite and club cyclists competing around a 100-mile course which will begin at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Beyond Summer 2013
There's such more on the horizon at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer and beyond with the entirety of the park set to open by spring 2014. For lots more information visit noordinarypark.co.uk.
Photo: Chris Osburn