London set for another world-beating year of major events
On the eve of London's renowned and hugely popular Chinese New Year celebrations – amongst the biggest outside China - the Mayor Boris Johnson today announced that 2014 will be another world-beating year for major events in the capital.
London is known as the top choice for an unrivalled range of festivals, international sporting events, and high profile cultural and creative showcases, which bring hundreds of thousands of spectators to world-renowned venues and iconic locations, as well as onto the capital's streets. These and a wide variety of international business and trade events also underpin London's global reputation as a dynamic and attractive place to invest, helping to bring in billions to the city's economy.
Events large and small have helped to boost London tourism, which contributes £36 billion to the capital's GDP, supporting 700,000 jobs. The city is now on course to welcome over 16 million overseas visitors in one year, according to the International Passenger Survey.
One-off and special events in 2014 include the return of the Tour de France and the final leg of the Clipper Round the World Race (both July). Other newer events include the second Mayor's Prudential RideLondon cycling event (9-10 August) and the ITU World Series Triathlon (31 May, 1 June), with more established ones including: the Virgin Money London Marathon (13 April); the Pride in London Parade and Festival (28 June); Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (20-28 June); Notting Hill Carnival (24-25 August); an expanded Mayor's Thames Festival (throughout September); NFL International Series (three dates); and the Mayor's New Year's Eve fireworks display. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is also set to fully open on 5 April and will be hosting a variety of sporting and cultural events throughout the year.
One third of all visitors to the capital are motivated to travel to see major events, which, on top of the year-round attractions, deliver direct and indirect economic benefits. For example, the inaugural RideLondon generated £13 million in direct economic benefit to the capital, with one NFL game generating £23 million and the London Marathon £27 million. Participants in the London Marathon and the RideLondon between them also raised over £60 million for charity. In addition to the income that events generate, there are wider benefits for Londoners, including community involvement and participation in sport, arts and culture.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: '2014 is gearing up to be another fabulous year for major events in the capital. Whether you are interested in sport or arts and culture, here for business or pleasure, London is an unbeatable place to be. Major events add to our great city's joie de vivre. They bring colour and energy, showcasing the dynamism and excitement of the capital to Londoners, as well as visitors coming to city from around the world. My team is working closely with many partners to ensure London remains at the top of the international game for staging major events.'
One of the biggest events of the year so far is taking place this Sunday 2 February - large crowds are expected to head to Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and the surrounding area for the annual Chinese New Year celebrations, which encompass the parade and festival as well as a host of other activities. It will be followed by other celebrations in Trafalgar Square, marking the Russian festival Maslenitsa (2 March), St Patrick's Day (16 March) and St George's Day (21 April). Throughout the year the square will host a variety of other festivals celebrating London's many communities, including ones for Vaisakhi, Eid, Diwali and Pride.
Major events take many months to plan and may involve multiple organisations, for example Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, local authorities and the Mayor's promotional and investment agency London & Partners. The Mayor's Office is working closely with these and other agencies to maximise the potential of events across the year and to ensure adequate planning is in place, particularly where they may have an impact on day to day activities in the capital.
Some events requiring road closures and large crowds may necessitate changes to public transport. Throughout the year, TfL will put measures in place to ensure residents, businesses, shoppers and visitors have the information they need well in advance to minimise the impact on their travel.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London's Transport Commissioner, said: 'London's place in the elite cities of the world is already clear to see, and hosting world class events such as the Tour de France and Prudential RideLondon will cement this further – boosting London’s economy and inspiring more Londoners to get cycling.
'For some of these events we'll be asking Londoners and businesses to take the same sensible steps to plan ahead and adapt their travel that they took with such success during the London 2012 Games. We'll be making sure that everyone has the information they need to get around London and enjoy all that the city has to offer whether they are travelling to the events or just going about their business.'
Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners, said: 'As the Mayor's promotional agency for the capital our role is to attract and secure major events for London, whether it be the upcoming London Technology Week in June, or the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which returns to London this summer. Bringing major events to London not only generates millions of pounds worth of economic benefit to the capital, it also ensures our vibrant city continues to be a world-class centre for culture and the arts, sport and business for Londoners and tourists alike.'
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, the organisation that manages and maintains Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: 'Get ready as the Park fully opens from 5 April when visitors will be able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events, and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. If you sign up to get involved in Sport Relief you'll be able to run, swim and cycle in the Park on 23 March.'
Information about many events will be featured on www.visitlondon.com/events. For more details about this week's Chinese New Year celebrations go to www.thelondonchinatown.org.uk. Information to help you plan your journey will be available from www.tfl.gov.uk.
EVENTS IN LONDON 2014
The following is a list of selected events taking place during 2014. Information and dates will be subject to change.
2: Chinese New Year Celebrations, Trafalgar Square and Chinatown
14-18 London Fashion Week, Citywide
28-2 March: Art14 London, Olympia Grand Hall
2: Maslenitsa Russian Festival, Trafalgar Square
16: St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, Central London
23: Sport Relief, run, swim and cycle at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
5: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park reopens fully
6: BNY Mellon Boat Race, River Thames (Putney to Mortlake)
9-13: EASL International Liver Congress, ExCeL London
13: Virgin Money London Marathon, Central London
21: Feast of St George, Trafalgar Square
25-27: FINA/NVC Diving World Series, London Aquatics Centre,
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
4: Vaisakhi, Trafalgar Square
24: Bupa Westminster Mile, St James's Park
25: Bupa London 10,000, Central London
31: The Venture Cup, River Thames (Tower Bridge)
31-1 June: ITU World Series Triathlon, Hyde Park
14: Trooping the Colour, Horse Guards Parade
17-20: London Technology Week, ExCeL London
20-28: Greenwich+Docklands International Festival 2014, Greenwich, Woolwich, Canary Wharf, Whitechapel and Bow
22: City of London Mile, City of London
23-6 July: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon
28: Pride in London Parade, Central London
5-13: Big Dance Week, Citywide
7: Tour de France Stage 3, Citywide
10: Chartered Great City Race, City of London
12: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, River Thames (Tower Bridge)
13: British 10K Run, Westminster and City of London
DATES TBC: Gigs: Big Busk, Citywide
2: Eid Festival, Trafalgar Square
2-3: The London Triathlon, ExCel London
9-10: Prudential RideLondon, Citywide
24-25: Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill
1-30: Mayor's Thames Festival (Hampton Court to the Dartford Crossing)
5-9: Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta 2014, River Thames (Greenwich)
13-17: Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, ExCeL London
13-21: London Design Festival
28: NFL International Series, Wembley Stadium
DATES TBC: London Fashion Week
12: Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park
12: Diwali, Trafalgar Square
26: NFL International Series, Wembley Stadium
DATES TBC: BFI London Film Festival, Southbank Centre
1: Regent Street Motor Show, Regent Street
3-6: World Travel Market, ExCeL London
8: Lord Mayor's Show, City of London
9: Remembrance Sunday, Citywide
9: NFL International Series, Wembley Stadium
9-17: Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, The O2 Arena
24-30: NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
DATES TBC: Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
31: Mayor's New Year's Eve fireworks display, Central London