London 2012: Olympics Closing Ceremony Will Be 'Party, Party, Party' Says Seb Coe

'Party, Party, Party'

The Olympic closing ceremony will be "party, party, party," London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said today.

Artistic director Kim Gavin said: "We want it to be the best after-show party there has ever been."

Tomorrow's two hour and 45 minute grand finale starts with Elgar and Waterloo Sunset at 9pm.

"Any more than that and we would spoil the surprise," Mr Gavin said at a press conference.

"We are still rehearsing and waiting for the final line-up."

There will be just hours, starting at 11pm tonight, to turn the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, where athletes such as Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Usain Bolt struck gold, into an arena fit for a showbiz spectacular.

The handover from London 2012 to the Rio 2016 team will take place along with the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, which has stayed alight throughout the competition. This signals the end of the Games.

Traditionally, it is a chance to celebrate what the athletes have achieved and also for a massive party.

The 2012 closing ceremony - called A Symphony of British Music - will celebrate music as one of Britain's strongest cultural exports over the last 50 years.

Mr Gavin said: "It is about British creativity in the arts.

"There is a hell of a lot of talent and music and a hell of a lot of show in the show."

It is set to be more relaxed than the Danny Boyle-masterminded opening ceremony which was packed with references to British history and culture.

The sight of pop stars such as the Spice Girls, George Michael, the Pet Shop Boys, Jessie J and Tinie Tempah, who have been photographed at rehearsals, may have whetted the public's appetite.

Mr Gavin said: "I wanted to make a very exciting after-show party. I wanted to make it a celebration. We have got 15 minutes of the athletes walking in down through the audience.

"We do have a lot of music in there, without giving too much away.

"We start with the big opening scene saying `we are in London'.

"There is more than just music. It is not just the songs - it is visually creative.

"When we ran the show the other day it felt like very minimal speeches and protocol. It flows really well and I am really proud of it."

Then there is eight minutes of the handover to Rio 2016, the next host Olympic city.

More than 4,100 performers, including 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 schoolchildren from the six east London host boroughs, are involved in the ceremony.


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