Last weekend saw a once in a lifetime festival of free music across London to welcome visitors to London on 21st and 22nd July ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, created by live music producers Serious.
Music from every country involved in the Olympics, was featured across 6 diverse stages along the Thames River in London covering 2 for Europe (Trafalgar Square and Somerset House), Americas (Tower of London), Africa (London Pleasure Gardens), Asia (Battersea Park) and Oceania (Old Royal Naval College Greenwich).
The British Council’s music team who Emily Wilcox works with in London delivered 5 ambitious musical collaborations in partnership with Serious, and working with a range of creative producers and artists as part of the festival, including Matthew Herberts All Russian Big Band for Europe, dance group Transglobal Underground for the Asia stage, latin beats from Ondatropica on the Americas stage, as well as 9Bach and Black Arm Band on the Oceania stage and the Nigerian legend King Sunny Ade on the Africa stage.
A real highlight was getting to see the Ondatropica musicians in rehearsal in lead up to the event, led by Will Holland aka Quantic and Mario Galeano of Bogota’s pioneering group Frente Cumbiero along with Como No! and featuring artists from across Latin America – the group also did an amazing performance at a packed out Hackney Empire on Friday night with people dancing in their seats!, before seeing the guys perform at the stunning Americas stage – with the crowd enjoying the sunshine and views of the castle beside them as they lounged on the grass and soaked up all the amazing music.
This week's blog is brought to you by our currently featured blogger from London, Manuel Sanmartin!