London 2012 Non-Sporting Events
One of the biggest aims of the London 2012 organising committee was to broaden the celebration to include not just sport, but also culture. The result was the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad- the largest cultural celebration in the history of the Olympic Games.
From 2008 huge numbers of projects, programmes and exhibitions took place throughout the UK, all inspired by London 2012. In all, more than 16 million British people took part in or attended performances, over 169,000 people attended more than 8,300 workshops, and more than 3.7 million people took part in nearly 3,700 Open Weekend events. Staggering numbers.
To get an idea of the sort of events and festivities that took place, check out the official Cultural Olympiad homepage.
The London 2012 Festival
The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad was the London 2012 Festival. Overlapping the Olympic Games themselves, the festival ran from July 21st to September 9th 2012, and included events from every aspect of British culture. Live music, comedy, film, theatre, art, literature, fashion, food and museums were all available- mostly for free.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, joined in with the idea whole-heartedly and used the cultural side of the Olympics to promote London to the world. A separate series of events called Mayor of London Presents ran alongside, with much, much more of the same type of events.
There were far too many events happening for us to describe them all here, so check out the London 2012 Festival website, and have a look at their Twitter feed below to get an idea of what was on offer.