Mayor unveils host of London 2012 Paralympic Games celebrations

19 August 2012
  • Liberty festival celebrates 10 years as leading showcase of disabled artists, with events in Trafalgar Square, Potters Fields Park and on the Southbank
  • BT London Live Trafalgar Square will bring live action from the Paralympic Games, as well as live music and have a go sports
  • Agitos to go on Tower Bridge and National Gallery, historic projections to appear on Houses of Parliament
  • Free events continue around city, including Showtime and Secrets: Northala, a celebration to mark the Paralympic Torch Relay

The Mayor of London has announced details of celebrations being organised to coincide with the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Across the city a range of free cultural events and other activities is being organised, running to the final day of the Paralympics on 9 September.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'In this momentous year, the Paralympic Games are an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the contribution that deaf and disabled people make to the life of the capital, through the achievements of some of the finest sportsmen and women, as well brilliantly talented artists and performers.'

The Mayor'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, the South Bank Centre, BFI Southbank, and Picture, the Mayor of London's Live Site at Potters Fields Park, next to City Hall.

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.

The Mayor continued: 'I am delighted that the Liberty Festival is returning to London to celebrate its tenth anniversary in tandem with the 2012 Paralympic Games. London is home to a fantastic array of deaf and disabled artists, and the Liberty Festival is a brilliant showcase for their enviable talents, as well as those of performers from across the world.'

Liberty is being staged at a number of different venues throughout the weekend. Highlights include a cabaret showcase of comedy, film and music at the Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, on 1 September 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 1 September, 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 a jazz, blues and R&B spectacular from award-winning singer Lizzie Emeh of Heart n Soul; Finnish sign song superstar Sign Mark; and a set from the cast of Graeae's blockbuster theatre show Reasons to be Cheerful.

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; blues and slide guitar from inspiring singer songwriter Tom Doughty; and classical north Indian musician Baluji Shrivastav playing sitar and tabla.

As part of Showtime, which is presented by the Mayor of London with London 2012 Festival, there is a Best of Liberty programme which includes Sign Dance, 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. As part of Secrets: Hidden London, which is presented by the Mayor of London with London 2012 Festival, the conical hills at Northala Fields, which run alongside the M40, have been transformed with a series of stunning natural greenwood towers. 'Northala' has been built by environmental arts group Red Earth in partnership with producers ArtsAgenda, and will culminate in an atmospheric celebration on 24 August, involving sound and fire lit from the Paralympic Flame.

Paralympics themed projections are due to appear on the Houses of Parliament each evening from 29 August to 9 September (excluding 3-6 September), depicting iconic moments from the first Paralympics Games to today.

In addition, Paralympic Agitos are also to be suspended from Tower Bridge from 24 August to 10 September and also in front of the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square from 29 August to 10 September.

More information about these and other celebrations for the London 2012 Games can be found at

Event: Liberty festival

Date: 1-3 September 2012

Locations: Trafalgar Square, National Theatre, Southbank Centre, BFI and Potters Fields

Times: Various



Event: BT London Live Trafalgar Square

Date: 29 August to 9 September 2012

Location: Trafalgar Square,

Times: 11am-10pm



MEDIA ATTENDANCE AND ENQUIRIES · Liberty/Mayor of London Presents: Please contact the Mayor of London 's press team – [email protected] / 020 7983 4070· BT London Live: Please email [email protected]