The Olympics: BT London Live

Hyde Park & Victoria Park
July 27 – August 12th


by Joanna Orland

For the duration of The London 2012 Olympics, BT London Live is a free event for guaranteed ticket holders who want to collectively participate in the spectating of the Olympics alongside British music and athletic greats.

Hyde Park is where the main event was held. Screens were set up across the grass, allowing spectators to gather with their picnic baskets and blankets to relax with the rest of the crowd and enjoy the main Olympic medal events on a large screen. Some of the live British music acts at Hyde Park included Will Young, Lemar, Alexandra Burke, The Feeling, Rebecca Ferguson, Dodgy, The Temper Trap, Ocean Colour Scene, Feeder, The View, McFly, Saint Etienne and more. Obviously a very diverse representation.

While the weather was a huge factor in the enjoyment level of these BT London Live events, a good vibe was felt across them all, and those who weren’t amongst the few to have snatched Olympic Event tickets, were lucky enough to find a public space to enjoy the events on a big screen with like-minded spectators.  On our second trip there, Loose Lips got a wee bit silly and hyper off of iced lattes, which will help to explain all of our very ridiculously silly photos.  Yes, yes… it was the coffee….

It was during this second visit that the joy of the BT London Live was certainly felt.  The weather was sunny for a change, which meant we could actually enjoy ourselves!  We sprawled out on the woodchippings to watch the diving, but our favourite moment came from backstage as we watched the Chinese trampolinist Dong Dong bouncy bounce on the bdoing bdoing.  We then passed out from a caffeine crash in a sandbox, but not before terrifying everyone around us by taking a million photos with the rogue Union Jack pillows.  Needless to say, we made many new friends that day.

Whereas Hyde Park was for the mainstream masses, Victoria Park in East London, closer to the actual Olympic park, was more for the Hipster crowd who wanted their fair share of Olympic spectating. With screens for watching events still a feature, the entertainment side of things was a lot more off the beaten track than at Hyde Park. This included more versatile entertainment such as Swing Patrol, Club De Fromage, Norman Jay and Friends, Misha B., Guilty Pleasures, Acid Jazz Presents 25th Anniversary Special including Matt Berry and Gino Washington, and the legendary Horsemeat Disco.  Our Loosely Lipped man-on-the-scene Jon Burns was there to report.


by Jon Burns

British weather can certainly throw a curveball when it fancies, and it certainly did on Monday night at BT London Live, in Victoria Park, Hackney.

In case you’ve been living in a cupboard in a fruitless attempt to avoid the Olympics, BT London Live is a series of days featuring music and entertainment from afternoon to the late evening in Victoria Park and Hyde Park. In fact, you’ll have spotted Local buffoon / Mayor of London Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire at Victoria Park just last week.

As Loose Lips headed down for our second trip to Victoria Park (the first being the opening ceremony), the sunshine of the daytime turned to overcast cloud and drizzle, but that wasn’t enough to dampen the spirit of the folk already in the park. Granted the place was very quiet, but when you can get a pint and a seat to watch the games on a huge screen, who’s complaining?

Loose Lips arrived just as London’s finest gay DJ team, Horsemeat Disco, took to the decks on the main stage for an Olympic themed set. What was looking like a washout soon turned into a hundred or so dancing disco in the rain with a bit of Bob Marley dropped in a nod to Usain Bolt’s Sunday 100 meter victory and a 50 years of Jamaican independence. Add top notch olympic athletics into the mix like Christine Ohuruogu’s blistering performance to get silver for Team GB, and we were set up for a fabulous evening for dancing and sports.

If only the weather had held up and more could have enjoyed the party! We were there for the olympic opening ceremony, and despite the two and a half hour queue to get into the site (everyone had the same idea), the atmosphere was amazing for the 20,000 who got in.

There is much to do at BT London Live, most of which we missed (think observatory wheel and zip wires), but if you are looking for a day of free sports, events and music from the likes of Soul II Soul, check out the BT London Live website here:

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