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London 2012 Open Weekend: Opening Up Arts, Culture and Sporting Opportunity for Everyone Across the UK


- London 2012 Open Weekend supported by BP

London 2012 today announces the return of the London 2012 Open Weekend and invites local authorities, sporting organisations and venues across the UK connected with arts, culture and other major themes of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to register events at to showcase their work.
The London 2012 Open Weekend is supported by BP and will take place on the weekend of 24 July - 26 July 2009.
The aim is to open up new sporting opportunities, enable access to excellence in the arts and offer the experience of great cultural events to people of all ages across the UK.
Last year over 700,000 people attended events all over the UK to mark the inaugural London 2012 Open Weekend, which celebrated the launch of the Cultural Olympiad.
BP, London 2012’s official Oil and Gas Partner has supported arts and culture for 30 years in the UK and is pleased to support this year’s London 2012 Open Weekend and all those planned for the following three years.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee said: “Inspiring change and opening up new experiences for people is the heart of our vision for the build up to the London 2012 Games. The London 2012 Open Weekend invitation to organisations the length and breadth of the UK to be part of delivering this ambition whilst boosting their work on audience development is hugely exciting. The London 2012 Open Weekend’s celebration of participation in sport and culture is undeniably powerful and will lead us proudly into the three years to go countdown on 27 July 2009.”

Tessa Jowell, Olympics Minster said: "Our vision has always been to deliver a Games that involves and inspires people across the country whilst delivering a lasting legacy.

“Last year’s London 2012 Open Weekend events were a great success and I would urge organisations across the UK to get involved this year - the events are a great way to get people across the nation inspired by the Olympics, bringing together projects in sports, arts and culture that celebrate the Olympic spirit long before the sporting competition kicks off in 2012.”
Des Violaris, BP’s UK Director for Arts and Culture said: “BP is pleased to be able to support the London 2012 Open Weekend programme, stimulating new interest and participation in arts, culture and sport which contributes to the economic and social fabric of the UK.”

Steve Miller, Chief Executive of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said: “Taking part in the London 2012 Open Weekend in 2008 was one of our highlights. Our event was the West Midlands launch of the Cultural Olympiad and showcased the cultural and historical importance not only of this World Heritage Site but of the region as a whole. Through the event we were able to reach key politicians, funders, the press, other influencers and 1000 members of the regional community, many of whom were first time visitors to the museum.

We are now looking forward to programming the Coalbrookdale Festival as part of the 2009 London 2012 Open Weekend to celebrate 300 years since the birth of the Industrial Revolution in Ironbridge. The local community and artists from across the world will work together to make magnificent cast iron plaques and sculptures.”

In the summer of 2012, the whole country will join in to celebrate the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the London 2012 Open Weekend will help mark the annual countdown to the start of the Games. Whether it’s trying out a new sport, or learning to be a DJ; exploring unseen parts of the community or sitting in on rehearsals for a forthcoming show, London 2012 is opening up new possibilities and offering organisations the opportunity to showcase their summer programmes.

Participating organisation and events will have a unique opportunity to access London 2012 Open Weekend promotional materials to publicise their involvement in the programme and help attract new audiences.

Many of the over 100 mass participation projects already in the London 2012 Inspire Programme are also expected to take part in the weekend to showcase their work.
Further information
For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog
LOCOG now has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF Energy, Lloyds TSB and Nortel. There are three domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, Cadbury and Deloitte and three domestic Tier Three Suppliers – Airwave, Atkins and Boston Consulting Group. The Worldwide Olympic Partners already signed up for 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung and Visa.
Notes to editors

About BP and its cultural support in the UK
BP’s arts and cultural support touches the lives of millions of people worldwide - enabling them to enjoy the best in arts and culture Each year over 1.4 million people attend a BP supported event across the country. Some 850,000 adults and 50,000 children visit the BP British Art Displays at Tate Britain. At the National Portrait Gallery, London, the BP Portrait Award is its most popular exhibition with 280,000 people visiting it either in London or on tour. The BP special exhibitions at the British Museum attract thousands of visitors –. In addition, some 50,000 people in venues throughout the UK enjoy live relays of opera and ballet from the Royal Opera House on the BP Summer Big Screens.
Highlights of The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s London 2012 Open Weekend 2008 event
The spectacular open air concert and light show at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron brought to life the cultural and historical importance of not only this World Heritage Site but the whole of the West Midlands.

Over 5000 people turned out to see the dramatic illumination of the Iron Bridge re-igniting the local community’s and council’s sense of ownership of the Bridge. There are now plans to see if the Bridge could be illuminated every year as part of the World Heritage Site Festival.

Presenting the Iron Bridge in a fresh and exciting fashion helped people to see the monument in a new light and recognise not only its significance in history but its economic potential as a generator of tourism income.

Taking part in Open Weekend has greatly helped reposition Ironbridge as a vibrant destination, where exciting cultural events happen and where creativity and innovation are still very much alive and well.
About the London 2012 Inspire programme
The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 Games - a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, medal table performance development, education, sustainability, business skills and volunteering. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in.


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