diamond geezer

 Thursday, November 24, 2011

Did you miss out on Olympic tickets? And Paralympic tickets? And tickets for those cycling and diving test events that sold out last week in a few minutes? Well, never fear, because London Live is here.
Welcome to London Live
Free to enter and held across three iconic locations London Live will give Londoners and visitors to the city the chance to join in the excitement of the biggest sporting event on the planet – the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
That's right. If you're in London for the Olympics next summer but don't have a ticket to the proper Olympic Park, you can join in the fun in another London park instead. No need to feel like you're missing out at all, you'll be right in the thick of things.
The Olympic Games coverage, from the BBC, will be broadcast at both Hyde Park and Victoria Park from 27 July to 12 August 2012.
The Paralympic Games coverage, courtesy of Channel 4, will be broadcast at Trafalgar Square from 29 August to 9 September 2012.
Expect several giant screens on which to watch the Games, especially for people who aren't at home so can't watch exactly the same events on smaller screens there. I'm sure visitors to town will make a special effort to visit these two parks to enjoy the sporting megavideos and all the available facilities. But that may not be the case for the Paralympics, which is no doubt why London Live then relocates to Trafalgar Square - a much smaller venue with a greater potential audience in the local vicinity.
A combination of multiple state-of-the-art screens and concert quality sound systems will show all of the London 2012 action. Everything from sports participation activities, live music and cultural entertainment will be on offer from early morning until late evening so get involved!
That sounds pretty good. Victoria Park will be the more sporty of the two Olympic sites, with particpatory games and coaching experiences, plus a "double zipline offering a unique perspective of London Live, as riders zip down the two high-tension steel lines, high above Victoria Park’s trees". A whizz down the zipline will cost you money, as will a ride on the 40 metre high observation wheel that will "highlight Victoria Park’s proximity to the Olympic Park, offering stunning views of both the Olympic stadium and the city’s skyscrapers." And Hackney Wick too, as an added bonus.
The Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said "Just a javelin throw from the Olympic Park itself, London Live in Victoria Park will give Londoners and visitors alike the chance to be at the heart of the excitement of what promises to be a fabulous 17 day period to celebrate London 2012.
Just a javelin's throw, really? If Lutfur can find anybody local who's capable of hurling a sharp pointy object more than 500 metres, I do hope he'll urge them to win gold for Tower Hamlets in the Games. Meanwhile, over in Hyde Park, expect more of an entertainment vibe. There'll be live music throughout the day (could be Coldplay, could be a lady from Peckham with a banjo). There'll be performers from the London Outdoor Arts Festival (could be tightrope-walking fire-jugglers, could be a lady from Peckham with a banjo). There'll be hands-on sport, and kiosks selling falafel and burgers, and also a rather more commercial side...
Olympic and Paralympic sponsors will also use Hyde Park to showcase and entertain visitors with a number of fun and interactive public pavilions being created especially for London Live. Hyde Park will also offer hospitality opportunities for both groups and individuals via 'Live Nation Experience'.
So we can expect exhibits of BMW cars, and a walk-through display of Panasonic televisions, and some freebie giveaways from Procter & Gamble, and probably a Thomas Cook pavilion too if they're still trading. And it's all free, remember, all of it, apart from the bits that aren't free.
Starting early morning and running through to midnight each evening (Trafalgar Square will run until 11pm*) (* subject to licence), London Live is free to attend apart from the 2 celebration concerts, for which ticket prices will be announced in February. Either turn up on the day, or to guarantee entry on a specific day and avoid potential queues you can book Guaranteed early entry tickets which will be available from February 2012.
The two big celebration concerts sound potentially excellent, and I'm sure people will happily stump up hard cash for those. Entrance will otherwise cost you nothing, but only if you can get in. Special "early entry tickets" will guarantee entry to the sites at Hyde Park and Victoria Park before 2pm, which presumably means anyone without a ticket won't be allowed access until after 2pm. And that's only if there's space, which I suspect there won't be. Capacity in Hyde Park is set at 50000, and in Victoria Park at 30000, and we've already seen how fast any kind of Olympic ticket gets snapped up. Especially when they're free tickets...
Advance tickets - up to four tickets will be able to be booked in advance for entry to Hyde Park and Victoria Park before 2pm each day for a transaction fee of £3.50 per booking. Registration via the website will be required for these tickets.
OK, the tickets may be free but they come with a mandatory booking fee of £3.50, no doubt because posting a strip of cardboard is so very expensive. With 80000 tickets available each day for 17 days, bookable in groups of no more than four, I make that a minimum turnover of £1,190,000. Nice little money earner, these free tickets. And then there's the perils of registration.
By registering for advance London Live tickets you agree to receiving regular news and updates about events from Live Nation about London Live.
T&C 3.2: From time to time, we may use your Personal Data to let you know about other services and products that we or our associated companies provide, special offers and also to provide news about our business. You will be given an opportunity to unsubscribe every time an electronic marketing communication is sent to you by us.
The organisers seem very keen to get you to sign up now, even though no tickets will be available until February. They claim it's so you can "get the most out of your London Live experience", but really it's so they can fire marketing spam at you for a few extra months. If you're really interested, bookmark the site today and wait. But don't be surprised if, come the summer of 2012, this is yet another must-visit Olympic event that you can't get into.

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