Live music & new artistic commissions part of National Paralympic Day

29 August 2014


• Liberty, UK's groundbreaking showcase of Deaf and disabled artists, returns as cultural centrepiece of National Paralympic Day 

• Acclaimed chart topping singer Ren Harvieu on line up 

• New commissions include Deaf Men Dancing, whose duet 'TEN', takes its inspiration from artists Gilbert and George 

• Jez Colborne and Mind the Gap present 'The Gift', an immersive sound installation 

• Stop Gap present 'The Awakening', choreographed by Chris Pavia 

• Paul Evans and Amelia Cavallo's new collaboration combines the talents of an aerial and vocal specialist and a visually impaired aerial singer 

• Mayor of London's message for National Paralympic Day at 


The Mayor of London's Liberty Festival returns to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park tomorrow, Saturday 30 August, as part of this year's National Paralympic Day celebrations.


Liberty has become the country's foremost showcase of Deaf and disabled artists over the last decade and is once again bringing a lively and eclectic line-up of live music, street theatre, dance, film and plenty of fun activities for children and families to enjoy – and all for free.


 It is one of the highlights of a day of sporting and cultural activities taking place in the park to mark National Paralympic Day.


It builds on the success of last year's event - which attracted thousands of people to the park - and the legacy of the London 2012 Games, which were acclaimed for raising the profile of disabled athletes and artists on an international stage.


This year's Liberty line-up includes the integrated dance company Moxie Brawl, who will be evoking the spirit of the 1940s; Deaf Men Dancing, whose duet 'TEN', takes its inspiration from artists Gilbert and George; singer Ren Harvieu, acclaimed for her top five album 'Through the Night'; a special digital music making experience from Heart n Soul; and 'The Gift', an immersive sound installation from Jez Colborne and Mind the Gap.


Other artists and performers include Stop Gap's 'The Awakening', choreographed by Chris Pavia; Louise Rutkowski, who has sung with This Mortal Coil; pop mavericks Paul Hawkins and the Awkward Silences; Kali Perkins and Too Hot for Kandy, one of Heart n Soul's rising start; musical prodigy Derek Paravicini; and Paul Evans and Amelia Cavallo are presenting a new collaboration, combining the talents of an aerial and vocal specialist and a visually impaired aerial singer.


There are films curated by Carousel's Oska Bright; artists from the Drake Music Project play a live electro soundtrack to a sci-fi short film, in association with the BFI; Access all Areas present 'Eye Queue Hear', an audio-tour performance using headphones adapted for the Olympic Park, a piece that started life on the streets around Brick Lane and East London.


Newham based organisation Together 2012! are presenting a community programme of film and performances; there will be a DJ area curated and presented by Deaf Rave and Incloodu.


There is a showcase and demonstration of work by mouth and footpainting artists. Children's arts include Rachel Freeman and Everybody Dance's 'Lovely Bugs', an aerial piece on a dome rig and giant spider's web; Hijinx Theatre's 'Snooks Brothers Aquatic', a non-verbal, but interactive show featuring clown performers and a synchronised swimming routine.


The Big Dance Bus is also heading to the park, featuring DJ, MC and 10m x 10m dance floor, plus content from Candoco2, Laura Dajao, Ready Willing Able and other integrated and youth companies.


There are 10 performances over the course of the afternoon with workshops between shows. MCs for the music stage are Deepa Shastri and Ashley Kendall.


As well as the Liberty Festival, visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of sporting action – to watch and to take part in.


Exactly two years to the day since Great Britain won its first medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, sporting superstars, including 10 ParalympicsGB medallists, will return to the water at the London Aquatics Centre for two thrilling sessions of racing.


There are top athletes from the three Paralympic sports of Boccia, Goalball and Wheelchair Basketball, who will be in action at the Copper Box Arena.


Tickets for these events and for the swimming sessions will cost just £5 per person. They are on sale at


There are lots of opportunities to try out different disability and inclusive sports for free, including wheelchair basketball, inclusive cycling, tennis and boccia.


Representatives from community groups and disability sports project Motivate East will be on hand to provide advice about opportunities to take up sports or get involved in the local area. There is even be the chance to meet some of the stars of London 2012.


Presented by the Mayor of London, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the British Paralympic Association, National Paralympic Day featuring the Mayor of London's Liberty Festival is generously supported by The Spirit of London 2012 Trust and Arts Council England. 


The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'London is home to some of the finest Deaf and disabled artists and performers in the world and this year's Liberty has something to appeal to everyone. With Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park now transformed and fully open, National Paralympic Day will be even better than last year's successful event. Whether you are disabled or not, we're putting on a fantastic line-up of top flight sporting action as well as some brilliant arts and performance. It's going to be one of the best events this summer.' 


Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, who is due to attend tomorrow's event, said: 'Two years ago the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony was an unprecedented opportunity for Deaf and disabled artists and performers to showcase their talents to the world. For more than a decade, the Liberty Festival has also been breaking down barriers and challenging preconceptions, as well as entertaining people. This year's event offers plenty for everyone attending the National Paralympic Day celebrations to enjoy.' 

Notes to editors


National Paralympic Day featuring Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival is brought to you by the Mayor of London, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the British Paralympic Association. Now in its second year, National Paralympic Day was first held on Saturday 7 September 2013 to celebrate one year since the London 2012 Paralympic Games. In 2014 the event will continue to relive the spirit of the Games through the very best of disability sports and arts. For more information visit 

The Mayor of London's Liberty Festival has over the past decade been the UK's most high profile platform for Deaf and disabled artists, helping pave the way for events such as 'Unlimited', which was staged as part of the London 2012 Festival. Liberty is organised by the Mayor and supported with Lottery funding by Arts Council England. For more information go to For more information please contact Ben McKnight on 020 7983 4071 / email [email protected]

London's newest visitor destination, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a place unlike any other. Visitors to the Park are able to enjoy beautiful parklands and waterways, world-famous sporting venues, arts and events and spectacular views from the ArcelorMittal Orbit. As a new heart for east London, the Park will also provide new homes, jobs and a cultural and education quarter. 

Motivate East offers disabled people living around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park the chance to participate in new sport and physical activity. It is delivered by the London Legacy Development Corporation in partnership with London Sport, UEL, WheelPower and the Bromley-by-Bow Centre. The project is funded by Sport England and the London Legacy Development Corporation with additional funding coming from local boroughs, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and WheelPower. For more information visit 

Spirit of 2012 was established by the Big Lottery Fund with an endowment of £46m from the sale of the Olympic and Paralympic villages. It believes in equal chances; working to ensure the country as a whole benefits from the values, opportunities and spirit of events such as the London Games. By connecting events to communities across the UK, it ensures investment is of local, regional and national benefit. It tackles isolation and disadvantage by supporting those providing opportunities in sports, the arts and volunteering. It is investing in happiness; empowering people to get out, be involved and feel better. It is chaired by Duglad Mackie. 

The British Paralympic Association is the National Paralympic Committee for the UK, responsible for the promotion of the Paralympic movement in Great Britain and selecting, entering and funding the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic team. ParalympicsGB is the name for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team that competes at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. The Team is selected and managed by the British Paralympic Association, in conjunction with the national governing bodies, and is made up of the best sportsmen and women who compete in the 22 summer and four winter sports on the Paralympic Programme. There is only one Paralympic team from Great Britain and Northern Ireland; ParalympicsGB. There is not a Paralympic Swimming team or Paralympic Tennis team. The individual sports join to become ParalympicsGB, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team. We are proud of our tradition of outstanding performance at the Paralympic Games: ParalympicsGB finished second in the medals table at three consecutive summer Paralympic Games and won 120 medals at London 2012. The BPA would like to thank the National Lottery and our official partners adidas, BP, BT, Deloitte, EDF Energy, Hogan Lovells, Mondelēz International, Nissan and Sainsbury’s for their support. 

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.