Open East Festival

A celebratory weekend event marking the public opening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, featuring music, food, art and theatre experiences.

On the first anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games Create, in partnership with the Barbican and the London Legacy Development Corporation, hosted a spectacular event to celebrate the opening of the first part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

This two-day event filled the park with the sights, sounds, flavours, creativity and style of east London. Affordable and accessible for local residents, Open East Festival helped to cement the Park’s new identity as a major hub for artistic, cultural and community activities.

The line up included a host of international acts: The Waterboys, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Robert Glasper and Dead Prez and a supergroup of Malian artists assembled by celebrated duo Amadou and Mariam. There were also appearances from the West End’s War Horse as well as East End art sales at the Art Car Boot Fair and a spectacular surprise finale along the banks of the River Lea each evening.

Meanwhile on the Caught by the River Stage catch live musical performances from DJ Don Letts, Wire, Stealing Sheep and The Rockingbirds on the banks of the River Lea as it runs past the velodrome and down towards the stadium. Over the two days of the festival, Caught by the River hosted talks and readings as well as the Ten Mile Beer Festival featuring beer sourced from within 10 miles of the park.

Visitors were able to sample the flavours of the world at the Real Food Festival, take part in the extraordinary Banquet on the Bridge or take time out for a quiet picnic in the landscaped gardens of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

At this family-friendly event, children were enchanted by The House of Fairy Tales, transported by the interactive storytelling at Discover Children’s Story Centre and enjoy a multitude of things to make, see and do.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be London’s newest urban park. This will be no ordinary average green space. State-of-the-art venues and attractions will sit alongside homes, schools and businesses amongst green open spaces and pieces of art in the heart of east London. The Park will be fully open by Spring 2014.

Produced in partnership with the Barbican. Commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation.

Open East was supported by Legacy Trust UK and Arts Council England.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity, supported Open East Festival by funding local volunteers to help manage the delivery of this event.