Cultural Olympiad / News / Sun 14 Sep 2008

Newsletter No 2 - August 2008: ON YOUR MARKS...

Newsletter No 2 - August 2008:  ON YOUR MARKS...

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in the South West – Update 2

on your marks for

On the afternoon of 24th August in China’s Birds Nest Stadium, the Mayor of Beijing will hand the Olympic flag to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and the UK will officially become the host nation for the Olympic Games.
In April this year we sent out a document inviting the communities of the South West to mark this moment by making two minutes noise (an antidote to the two minutes silence we often use to mark more solemn occasions). London also sent out invitations to Local Authorities to raise a 2012 flag on the day.

We asked bell ringers to lead this celebration with a peal of bells and suggested ships at sea might blow their horns, bicycle bells might be rung and a special mobile ringtone commissioned.

FIVE MONTHS LATER...and the response to this initiative has been huge. Bells will ring from Tewkesbury to Salisbury, Bath to Minehead, Weymouth to Swanage and Exeter to Truro. The ringtone Jumping Through Hoops, by composer and sonic artist Hywel Davies, will be broadcast live from a fabulous party on Weymouth beach, and will be beamed into deep space by BT from their site at Goonhilly in Cornwall (to download your free copy, see the details below*).

But that’s not all you’re doing...we asked you to come up with your own ideas for making noise and you’ve done just that. We have samba bands in Purbeck, a Brazilian martial arts band in Cheltenham, a pipe band in Plymouth, Town Criers writing special cries for the occasion, coaching horns being blown in full livery, and we even have celebrated percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie playing the Portland stones. And hundreds of you will be raising flags, from Cheltenham to the Isles of Scilly!

So one thing we can guarantee in the South West is that the Games will arrive here in real style – thanks to all of you who have responded so well to the challenge and have a great day on August 24th!

It’s not too late – if you are planning or are inspired to plan your own Handover celebration and we don’t know about it yet, please just fill in the appropriate registration form and return it to - – and we’ll make sure you get a national listing on the London 2012 website.

*Mark the moment: get the ringtone!
Get jumping through hoops by composer and sonic artist Hywel Davies on your phone and "Make Some Noise"! * text NOISE and send to 81088 or go to:

T&Cs: Realtones cost standard text cost. "WAP" must be enabled for download. Please ensure that "WAP push" is enabled in your handset. Entering a correct code and mobile phone compatibility is the user’s responsibility; please consult your handset manual carefully. If you have a problem with your mobile content or if you are unsure of compatibility please e-mail Texting will not work outside of the UK or on Virgin Mobile.

The aim of the Open Weekend is to open up opportunities for people across the UK to visit places or to get involved in imaginative, thought-provoking, creative activities they may not have done before. Cultural, community and sports organisations and groups are being encouraged to do something unusual or open up different spaces. So whether you can offer free tickets, workshops, behind the scene tours, or open rehearsals, you could be part of the celebrations to launch the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Are you taking part in Open Weekend?

Again, since sending out information on how organisations could participate in celebrating the Launch of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, we have had a great response. Many programmes of work have been created especially to contribute to this weekend’s activities (some are now envisaged to become annual events), including:

B-Side (the Seaside) - a multimedia arts festival animating public spaces in Weymouth and Portland. It will prioritise younger artists (including students) in Dorset and recent arts graduates/emerging artists from across the South West region.

Bandstand Marathon - on Saturday September 27th there will be 50 concerts happening simultaneously between 2pm and 4pm on bandstands in different towns all across the South West of England and on Guernsey. Please view the interactive map on our website for full details of your nearest concert

The Bristol Do - a free, European style, two day outdoor arts event, based in Portland Square in Bristol's St Pauls. The event will feature dance, games, outdoor arts, circus and performance. More information from

Salisbury Arts Centre - experience Evolving Motion’s intriguing multimedia dance installation, Vanishing Point, and then enjoy a free celebration of flame with No Fit State Circus performers in the Arts Centre grounds. Look under events at

BANES Celebrates – enjoy a weekend of activities for all the family, from children’s entertainment and events to open museums and galleries and more. More information available closer to the date on

Swindon Dance – a whole weekend of activity promoted and led by Swindon Dance and headlined by Rannel Theatre Company. More info from

Wind & Sails - a spectacular outdoor event charting the story of a dangerous sea journey through live performance, pyrotechnics, sound and light, Veles e Vents, has been created by acclaimed Spanish artists Xarxa Teatre.

Pulses - a specially commissioned 10 minute dance piece, by choreographer, Louise Katerega, to be performed in Bristol, Plymouth, Weymouth and Tate, St Ives organised by Dance South West.

We also have a growing list of activities from open studios and exhibitions, to open days at BBC Broadcasting House in Plymouth and the launch of the Creative Torbay Website, a state-of the-art resource for the whole region.

Worried that you’re not on the list? There’s plenty of time to register events that you’re planning to celebrate the launch of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and still time to plan and organise events of your own. There are two registration forms included with this Update, just fill in the appropriate form – for Handover or Open Weekend (Launch) – and we will make sure these get uploaded onto the London 2012 site.
For full listings of all events included in the OPEN WEEKEND go to: and for HANDOVER:

We have made huge strides over the past few months developing the regional theme of journeys into the landscape and the QUEST programme that will help deliver them over the next four years

We are also beginning to plan the first landmark event for the Cultural Olympiad in the South West, a three day festival in Plymouth in September 2009 celebrating The Evolution of the Moving Image.

Update 3, which will follow very quickly after Handover and Open Weekend, will bring you right up to date with progress on these. But be assured – no one who wants to engage with the Cultural Olympiad has missed the boat. We are developing programmes that can accommodate a large range of projects and we still have four years to go – so there’s plenty of time to get involved!


Welcome to Tracy Samy, who is providing me with administrative support for a day a week (Tuesday). She can be contacted on 01392 437332 or at

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