Londoners will be able to watch the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on big screens in Potters Fields Park next to City Hall, Mayor of London Boris Johnson confirmed last week.
The Mayor of London, the Royal Parks and Tower Hamlets Council have appointed Live Nation Music UK as the event organiser and promoter of London's four 'festival live sites' during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The big screens planned for Hyde Park, Victoria Park, Trafalgar Square and Potters Fields Park will enable Londoners and visitors to come together to experience and celebrate the excitement of the Games on large outdoor screens.
“I want every Londoner and all our visitors to be able to share the experience of the greatest show on earth," said Boris Johnson.
"These fantastic live sites will mean everyone can soak up the atmosphere and revel in the excitement of this sporting spectacular. Whether it is watching the Games as they unfold, or seeing a fabulous international act performing against these wonderful backdrops, we're in for a summer to remember.”
Cultural Olympiad boss Ruth Mackenzie last month appeared before a London Assembly committee and stressed the links between the live sites and the arts programme.
"I don't think we can afford to see them as separate," she said.
"We have been working very closely with the Mayor's cultural department and LOCOG on ensuring that there are appropriate cultural opportunities, recognising that most people will go to the live sites to see every single minute of sport and that is the priority.
We will be working on a live programme so you get that festive feeling: it's extremely important that you get the things that London is so fantastic at: you get music, you get street arts, you get family activities at the live sites."
The Mayor has confirmed that each site will be ticketed to control numbers. During most of the Games access to the live sites will be free to the public. Tickets will need to be purchased for some events and concerts on the key days of the final torch relay, the opening and closing ceremony and concerts in Hyde Park and Victoria Park. Ticket prices for these events have not yet been finalised.
Southwark Council has complained that it is not receiving any financial support to recognise the impact of Olympic crowds on the borough.
"It baffles me that when we are talking about additional funding coming to London boroughs to cope with the Olympics, Westminster Council is receiving about £5 million – even Hammersmith and Fulham is receiving £100,000 – but Southwark is receiving nothing," council leader Peter John said at a recent meeting of local business leaders.
"Are you telling me that we are not going to see an increase in visitors and we're not going to have extra work to do as businesses and as a local authority? Because they are coming to Southwark."
During her appearance at City Hall Ruth Mackenzie also talked about the River of Music weekend to be held on 21 and 22 July 2012.
"This is a programme of concerts by musicians from around the world on iconic stages in the centre of London," she said.
"It's going to be a series of free concerts for 500,000 people but those pictures of those musicians and those crowds in the Tower of London, on the South Bank, in Greenwich, in Battersea – those will be amazing pictures that will go round the world and that express some of the key creative industries economic and cultural tourism messages that all of us are dedicated to."
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