Leading international artists head up first commissions for the London 2012 Festival | December 2010 | London 2012.

The first group of commissions for the London 2012 Festival were announced today, featuring leading artists from around the world.

The finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival will be a 12-week UK-wide cultural celebration that opens on 21 June 2012, Midsummer’s Day, and runs until the last day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. The Festival will provide an outstanding summer of arts and creativity in the UK.

Cate Blanchett, Toni Morrison, Olafur Eliasson, David Hockney, Mike Leigh, Jude Law and Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris and Jamie Hewlett head the line-up of artists featured in the first group of commissions.They will come together to give everyone the opportunity to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation – leaving a lasting legacy for the arts in the UK.

Over 1,000 events will be featured on a special website that will go live from summer 2011. The aim is for over three million people to attend and be part of the Festival. Some of the events will be ticketed, and some will be free of charge to attend. Further information on ticketing, pricing and promotional plans will be provided next year in the build-up to the first tickets going on sale in October 2011.

Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board, said: ‘This is an exciting first group of commissions for the London 2012 Festival and there is much more to come, which will be announced next year. Leading artists from all over the world will come together for a wonderful finale of the Cultural Olympiad. 2012 is going to be a stupendous summer of sports and arts – the whole of the UK in celebration.’

Ruth Mackenzie, Director of the Cultural Olympiad, said: ‘From 21 June to 9 September 2012, across the whole of the UK, new work from the best artists, musicians, writers, comedians, film makers and other creative talent will be presented in the largest festival in the country. From food to fashion, street dance to digital, from pop to opera, the festival will offer once in a lifetime chance to be inspired by the best in the world.’

Principal funders of the London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the London 2012 Festival.

Read the full media release

Download a PDF showing the full list of commissions announced today

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