Mayor of London says get ready for awe-inspiring Thames Festival

07 September 2012

The Mayor of London has welcomed the return of one of London’s most popular free cultural events, the Thames Festival, this weekend (8/9 September).

The Mayor’s Thames Festival coincides with the closing weekend of the Paralympics Games and is set to be one of the most spectacular events of the year. The festival, now in its 16th year, is expected to attract around 800,000 people of all ages to celebrate the role of the river in London's history and the rich cultural diversity of the capital with music, dance, interactive art and much more.

The hugely popular event marks the end of an incredible summer for London, which as well as the Olympic and Paralympic Games also celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee – Thames Festival Director Adrian Evans was Pageant Master at one of the highlight celebrations, the historic River Pageant.

A number of performances will use historic London landmarks as backdrops. HMS Belfast will stage an unforgettable choral performance composed by Orlando Gough, Tower Bridge will be the back drop for an acrobatic spectacular by Circolombia and steel pan groups from across the country will perform on Jubilee Gardens in front of the EDF London Eye as the attempt to break a world record.

The climax of the weekend will be the illuminated Night Carnival on Sunday evening, which will see over 1,500 dancers, drummers and masqueraders performing along London’s Victoria Embankment. This will be followed by a river-based firework spectacular against the London skyline.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'Get ready for a weekend of awe-inspiring performances that will be awash with colour, music and dance - there really will be something for everyone. This year, the festival will play an important part in our 2012 Games celebrations and will showcase the vibrancy, diversity and rich culture that our great city has to offer.”

Adrian Evans, Festival Director, said: 'This year is going to be a true spectacular. The Festival brings Londoners together to celebrate the things that make the city great and this year we’re proud to be the capital’s celebration of an incredible summer.'

For more information or to register for a media pass, please contact Sam Kidby on 07946278480 or at [email protected].

Notes to editors


  1. The Mayor's Thames Festival is London’s largest free festival, a spectacular two-day celebration of London and the River Thames, attracting over 800,000 people every September. The festival transforms spaces on and around the River Thames with a vibrant mix of music, dance, carnival, river races, art installations and street performances. It takes place every September, with a weekend of outdoor events on the river from the London Eye to Tower Bridge to St Katharine Docks. Via its year-round learning and participation programme Thames Festival Trust works with over 300 schools and community groups across London, engaging 3,000 young people. The Thames Festival Trust is a not-for-profit charitable trust with an independent board of trustees. For more information, please visit
  2. The Mayor of London is supporting 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. As well as Parade: Our Greatest Team, 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 and once in a lifetime experiences to locations familiar and unusual, above your heads and atop landmark buildings. For more information about this Summer Like No Other, go to / /