Time: 7:00 pm ET, PT and 6:00 pm CT, MT
TV Coverage: Tape delayed on NBC
Venue: Olympic Stadium
Title: A Symphony of British Music
Duration: Broadcast is four hours; ceremony itself is two-and-a-half to three hours
The end of every Olympic Games is certainly a bittersweet occasion for sports fans, but the spectacle known as the closing ceremonies help ease the pain, providing a tidy wrapper for the end of competition.
The 2012 closing ceremonies promise to offer a fun, exciting end to the London Games.
David Arnold is the music director for the closing ceremony. He was a bit tight-lipped when he spoke to The Telegraph, but he gave up a few thoughts on what viewers can expect.
If the Opening Ceremony was the wedding, then we’re the wedding reception. We’re the one where everyone gets out of their cars at the village hall, goes 'Wasn’t that lovely, everyone looked great, let’s put on Blame It On the Boogie and have a laugh.'
It needs to be something where everyone, including the athletes, is going to be able to let off steam. There are seven and a half thousand of them there, so it’s a show for them all to get involved with, and hopefully it will wrap up the spirit of what these Games have been, which is slightly anarchic, slightly mischievous, funny, heart-warming, emotional, inspiring, and uniquely British.
I seem to have missed the part of the games that pushed the envelope, but if the anarchic comment is referring to issues the organizing committee had with finances and ticket sales, I'll play along.
The closing ceremonies will feature over 4,100 performers, 3,800 of which are volunteers. There is an original score that will be mixed in with performances from some famous British musicians.
The London Symphony Orchestra recorded the instrumental tracks, but the vocals will be live.
As for whom to expect, Arnold is doing his best to keep information under wraps. "I’m always disappointed when something leaks," he told The Telegraph. "It’s like telling someone what they’re going to get for Christmas. You might be excited when you hear about it, but when it comes to opening the present you’ve already moved on."
He did reveal there will be about 30 pieces of well-known music from 20 or more popular artists. He gleaned pieces from the top 20 British songs per year since 1956.
CONFIRMED: Take That, 1D, Jessie J, Tinie Tempah, The Spice Girls, Ed Sheeran, George Michael & Annie Lennox!— Nessa1dee (@Nessa1dee) August 12, 2012
There are some other spoilers that have been leaked and Arnold told Neil McCormick of The Telegraph that his information was “scarily accurate.” His list includes:
- Ray Davies of the Kinks singing "Waterloo Sunset"
- Paul McCartney performing a hit Beatles song
- The Spice Girls spinning "Wannabe"
- Adele, "Someone Like You"
- Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye
- Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and members of Pink Floyd performing "Wish You Were Here"
- Kate Bush, "Running Up That Hill"
- Also expected to perform: Take That, the Who, Muse, George Michael, Queen, Paul Weller, One Direction, Elton John, and the Rolling Stones
While Arnold doesn't want to guarantee any of these performances, the artists have.
Good morning London! X vb twitter.com/victoriabeckha…— Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) August 12, 2012
According to The Raw Story, artistic director Kim Gavin pledged it will be "the best after-show party there’s ever been.”
The closing ceremonies will also feature the traditional events. The Queen will address the stadium, the Olympic flame will be extinguished and the flag will be passed to the organizers of the Rio Games.
The start of the show will be a 20-minute “day in the life of London” overview. It will offer a “cacophony” of music from the past 50-plus years. Thereafter, it will celebrate the athletes, volunteers, city of London and the international group that made the games a success.