Liberty festival marks 10 years

30 August 2012

As London celebrates Paralympic Games, Liberty festival marks 10 years at vanguard of disability arts

· Events in Trafalgar Square, Potters Fields Park and on the Southbank· BT London Live Trafalgar Square will also bring live action from the Paralympic Games, as well as live music and have a go sports

The Mayor of London's Liberty Festival marks ten years as one of London's foremost showcases of deaf and disabled artists when it returns to the capital as a centrepiece event during the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Taking place on 1-3 September, this year's programme features its biggest ever line up and will take place at several locations across London, including Trafalgar Square, the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, BFI Southbank, and Picture, the Mayor of London's Live Site at Potters Fields Park, next to City Hall.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'With the huge interest in the Paralympic Games we have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the achievements of deaf and disabled people like never before. It is a wonderful coincidence that the Liberty festival is also celebrating ten years at the forefront of deaf and disabled arts and we've put together an eclectic mix of talented artists and performers, who will be appearing at different venues throughout the weekend. From music to cabaret and dance to film, this is not just about changing attitudes, its fabulous entertainment.'

With more live music, dance, street theatre, film and cabaret than ever before, Liberty is free to attend and everyone is welcome. Featuring a mix of homegrown talent and international artists, the special 10th anniversary festivities are produced by the Mayor of London with Greenwich+Docklands Festivals, and will include some of the best showstoppers from previous years as well as a number of new works. This year's event also coincides with Unlimited, the London 2012 Festival's showcase of disabled artists and Showtime, the Mayor's pan-London outdoor arts festival, which will feature many artists seen at Liberty over the years.

Liberty is being staged at a number of different venues throughout the weekend. Highlights include a cabaret showcase of comedy, film and music in the Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, on Saturday 1 September, which is being presented by the Mayor of London as part of the Southbank Centre's Festival of the World.

The same day will see local and international DJs taking centre stage on the Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre, playing a mix of music including electronica, world music and soul, alongside a visual art installation by Sally Booth, commissioned through an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts. In the evening the Clore Ballroom cabaret will take place, hosted by Liz Carr and Tanyalee Davis, a short film, VJs, six cabaret acts and a big musical finale.

Also on Saturday, as part of the National Theatre's Watch This Space festival, there will be live music, choreography and audience participation from Chutney creator Kuljit Bhamra; the unique sci-fi kinetic sculpture Fittings’ Sputnik; a solo dance show from US performer Bill Shannon; Jez Colborne and Mind the Gap’s Irresistible, a musical preview of Jez's epic Unlimited Festival commission; Tracking by StopGap, the UK’s leading integrated dance company; and a late night outdoors showing of a brand new film by the Freewheelers Theatre Company.

The BFI Southbank will be showing short films and feature films on 1 September, while a video installation focusing on artists and filmmakers connected to previous Liberty festivals will run on a continuous loop.

On 2 September, the Paralympics BT London Live event in Trafalgar Square will host Finnish sign song superstar Sign Mark, a jazz, blues and R&B spectacular from award-winning singer Lizzie Emeh of Heart n Soul, and the cast of Graeae's blockbuster theatre show Reasons to be Cheerful, both of whom performed at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

On 3 September, Picture: Potters Fields, by City Hall, will include live big screen action from the London 2012 Paralympics and a line up of music starting at 2pm compered by comedian Gareth Berliner. Performers will include soprano Victoria Oruwari singing jazz and classical sounds; Fish Police, funk/punk trio from south London with a unique sound from Heart n Soul, who also performed at the Paralympics Opening Ceremony; blues and slide guitar from inspiring singer songwriter Tom Doughty; and classical north Indian musician Baluji Shrivastav playing sitar and tabla.

As with previous Liberty festivals, the event welcomes everyone, and is organised to be as accessible as possible for artists and audience. Over the course of the festival, Liberty stewards will be on hand to help people navigate their way around the sites, and information and access points will be available. People are advised to check the website during the summer for regular updates and access information

As part of Showtime there is a Best of Liberty programme which includes Signdance Collective, Mark Brew and Fittings Multi Media Arts, who will perform across London from 23 August to 8 September. There are BSL and audio described performances every weekend until 9 September. Check website for more details.

The Mayor is also backing BT London Live in Trafalgar Square, which will run alongside the Paralympic Games from 29 August to 9 September. The free event will open every day of the Paralympics from 11am-10pm, with the chance to watch Channel 4's coverage of the Games live on a giant screen. There will also be live entertainment each day from 1pm-1:30pm and 7pm-7:45pm, including live music from the likes of Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band, Musical Youth and The Beat, as well as performances by deaf and disabled artists. There will be daily on stage appearances from Paralympic medallists and Have – a- Go Paralympic sports at the Sports Court, including Wheelchair Basketball, Judo, Wheelchair Tennis, Sitting Volleyball and Athletics. There will be outlets offering food and drink and there will be plenty of seating.

Event: Liberty festivalDate: 1-3 September 2012Locations: Trafalgar Square, the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, BFI and Picture: Potters FieldsTimes: VariousEntry: FREE – ALL WELCOMEInformation:



Liberty at National Theatre's Watch This Space FestivalTheatre Square, SE1 9PX

Compered by Francesca Martinez

1pm & 6:30pmBombay Gold, a new show by Kuljit Bhamra, creator of Chutney.

2pm & 4:30pmSputnik, Fittings Multimedia Arts presents performance art.

2:30pm & 5pmStopGAP Dance Company, UK’s leading integrated company.

3pm & 5:30pmBill Shannon presents Spatial Delivery, a solo dance show.

4pmIrresistible, Jez Colborne and Mind The Gap with a live band.

9pm – 10:30pmA film by Freewheelers projected onto the National Theatre.


Liberty at the BFI SouthbankBelvedere Road, SE1 8XT

12:30pm – 7:30pmA multimedia installation by Caglar Kimyoncu, digital artist, filmmaker and producer.

12:30pm – 1:50pmNew short films from international disabled filmmakers including UK premieres.

2:30pm – 3:50pmNew short films from around the UK, with a particular focus on films from the regions.


Liberty at the Southbank CentreBelvedere Road, SE1 8XX

1pm – 8:30pm: DJs and live art - Riverside Terraces1pmA selection of tracks from PigPen’s Ben.

2:30pmRay Campbell plays soulful 80s and 90s tracks.

4pmTroi 'DJ Chinaman' Lee, an eclectic mix from the founder of Deaf Rave.

5:30pmPaul Hanson Gundry AKA Purple Paul, with chilled electronica.

7pmJamie Renton with world music sounds.

8:30pmAnya Ustaszewski creates electro acoustic soundscapes.

1pm – 7:30pmSally Booth creates a sculptural live drawing piece.

7:30pm – 10:30pm: Cabaret - Clore BallroomCompered by Liz Carr, presenter of the BBC Ouch! podcast.

Highlights include VJ collective Mouseonthetelly; videos from Caglar Kimyoncu and Simon McKeown; comedienne Liz Bentley; US singer songwriter Jonny Crescendo; sign song artist Caroline Parker; comedian Laurence Clark; funk diva Minika Green; a music finale with pop sensation Susan Hedges and The Paul Hayes Collection.

Until 9 September10 Years of Liberty exhibition at the Southbank Centre.


Liberty at BT London LiveTrafalgar Square, WC2N 5DS

1pm – 4pmHighlights include:

1:30pmSign Mark, Finland's sign song superstar.

2:30pmLizzie Emeh, with a unique sound from Heart n Soul.

3:30pmMusical set from Reasons to be Cheerful, Graeae's blockbuster theatre show


Liberty at Picture: Potters FieldsThe Queen’s Walk, More London, SE1 2AA

Live big screen action from the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

2pm Comedian Gareth Berliner is compere.

2:15pm Victoria Oruwari, jazz and classical sounds from the soprano singer.

3pm Fish Police, funk/punk trio from south London with a unique sound from Heart n Soul.

3:50pm Tom Doughty, blues and slide guitar from inspiring singer songwriter.

4:35pm Baluji Shrivastav, classical musician from north India plays sitar and tabla.


Please contact the Mayor of London's press team – [email protected] / 020 7983 4070


Notes to editors

1. The Mayor of London is presenting a huge programme of free events and cultural activities to add to the excitement of 2012. Working with outstanding international artists and world-class cultural organisations this unprecedented Mayor of London Presents programme is taking place in every corner of the capital to add to and complement the London 2012 Festival. It includes Secrets: Hidden London, with artists and performers transforming hidden and lesser known locations; Showtime, the largest outdoor arts festival ever seen in the capital, with dozens of electrifying artists from the UK and abroad coming to every borough, in high streets, parks and town centres; BT London Live, bringing live action from the Games, as well as sporting activities and entertainment to Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square; and Surprises bringing pop-up performances, such as Sacrilege, and once in a lifetime experiences to locations familiar and unusual, above your heads and atop landmark buildings. To be the first to know what's happening in this Summer Like No Other, sign up or follow us at / /

2. As part of his commitment to making sport accessible to all, the Mayor’s Sports Legacy programme has funded projects specifically designed for disabled people, including £180,000 for the Inclusive Fitness Initiative to make gyms more accessible and more than £250,000 for the Pentathlon Challenge, which provides funding for coaching, as well as funding for disabled young cricketers and wheelchair basketball. As well as Have-a-Go sports at BT London Live Trafalgar Square, the Mayor is also urging Londoners to take advantage of his Freesport programme, with around 130 locations across the capital offering opportunities to try out a range of sports for free until 31 October. For more information go to and

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