Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Champions


This summer has seen the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (the new name for the London 2012 Olympic Park) partially re-open a year ahead of schedule to allow a series of over 20 major music and sporting events to take place within the Park.

Following the success of the Games Makers at London 2012, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Champions was formed in association with activeNewham and Newham Council (one of the main host boroughs for the games) to allow volunteers to have a key role in helping to ensure the success of this summer’s concerts and festivals and be responsible for welcoming visitors to the Park.

Park Champions comprised a healthy mixture of Games Makers, Ceremonies Volunteers, and General Public in helping to enhance the visitors experience of this summers festivals and sporting events.

Events supported include EAST (North Park Opening Event), Electric Daisy Carnival, Festival of Disability Sport, Hard Rock Calling (Bruce Springsteen and Kasabian), Join In, Lollibop, London Anniversary Games,
Mumford & Sons Concert, National Lottery Anniversary Run, Ride London 100, Wireless (Jay Z, Justin Timberlake).

Following a successful 2013, we await with baited breath news on what 2014 may bring and hope that the Park Champions are reformed to help with future events in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


London Flashmob – Dance the Dream

On 28th August, 2013, over a hundred Olympic and Paralympic volunteers were invited by the English National Ballet to join them in commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Led by Jenna Lee, choreographer and English National Ballet soloist, rehearsals took place at the English National Ballet’s Markova House, near the Royal Albert Hall, in central London, the weekend before the performance. The Flash Mob itself took place at Potters Fields alongside the River Thames, from 6pm to 8pm, on the 28th August, and was broadcast on the large screens at New York’s Times Square at 8pm as part of the celebrations.

The mission of Dance the Dream is to demonstrate the creative dynamism of cultural diversity, to build stronger communities based on mutual understanding and respect, and to inspire and empower the next generation to follow in the foot steps of Martin Luther King, Jr. and change the world. Photo (c) Andrew Forey 2013


Photo (c) Vilma Laryea 2013

Dance the Dream was also performed in Atlanta, Australia, Beirut, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris, Shanghai, and Singapore.

Dance the Dream is a featured presentation of THE [email protected], which is produced by Richard Karz in partnership with the United Nations (Academic Impact, DPI), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), YouTube, International Theatre Institute, Global Arts Link, Americans for the Arts, Dance/USA, National Dance Educatio Organization, National Education Association, National Art Education Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, Arts Schools Network, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Dance Camera West, and the Dance Films Association. 

Anniversary Parties

To celebrate one year since the Olympics Opening Ceremony a re-union party was held at the Railway Tavern in Stratford, a favoured haunt of many a ceremonies volunteer. Occurring the same day many volunteers where still very busy in the Olympic Park as Park Champions, singers in Vision, drumming with the Pandemonium Drummers… it was very good turnout.

As BBC Three just happened to be broadcasting a repeat of the Opening Ceremony the same evening, we had to tune every television, and speaker, in the place to join in. Our wonderful sound man even over-played the “in-ear” instructions that we performers had to endure enjoy listening to whilst performing, lovingly played in sync with the BBC broadcast.

Of course, as a few familiar sections came on we could not help but repeat our performance there and then… here is a video of one during a quieter moment. As the evening wore on, and peoples various shifts finished, the place got VERY busy and very happy!

OOC Impromtu performance, video by Derek Moore

And for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony party on 31st August, the lovely POC Umbrella performers regaled us with a performance from Rihanna…

Summer Madness – July Gone Crazy

July 2013 has been everyone’s busiest month to date, after lots of rehearsing and shows (we only feature a small selection on this site to give you a taste, more details on the groups own websites) we have had a packed month with no sign of slowing down!

Pandemonium Drummers have been out every weekend, including a 10 day stint as the closing act each night at the Henley Festival plus an emotional hone-crowd performance to 35,000 in the Olympic Park.

Ceremonies Carnival crew has paraded at London Pride, Newham Carnival, plus smaller events such as school fetes, and have manned the large Olympic Area at the Newham Town Show over a weekend featuring lots of props, costumes, and torches.

POD dancers have been rehearsing twice a week with performances scattered around London.

Vision Choir has, after several months rehearsing, been out singing at various London events – including their own composition Keep The Flame Alive.

Paralympic Umbrella performers (Seg87) have reformed and been performing most weekend at events in London and beyond. This has inspired the Olympic Truck Party performers to reform and start performing, with people already approaching us for booking as far ahead as October.

In addition many of us are now Park Champions and have been volunteering every spare minute back at the Olympic Park, not forgetting the thousands that attended and performed at Go Local event in the Olympic Park (headlined by McFly, who POD performed with earlier in the year) plus those that took part in the Anniversary Run, running around the Olympic stadium track on the first day its been used since the Games finished.

And a group organised a general Open Day at 3 Mills in London (next to our audition and rehearsal site) featuring photo’s, costumes, performers, etc on a free open day for the public.

And the madness is set to continue for a while yet!

The Olympic and Paralympic legacy is going strong 🙂

We are now about to dash off for an 8 hour volunteering shift at the first day of the Anniversay Games in the Olympic Stadium… look forward to seeing some of you real soon


Enough Food For Everyone IF…


On Saturday 8 June, around 50,000 people gathered in Hyde Park for the Big IF London Rally to make a massive noise demanding that G8 leaders – meeting in Northern Ireland on 17-18 June – take action to tackle global hunger and save the lives of millions.

A major part of the event, the Mass Lab team helped create an amazing “Big IF” art installation made up of 250,000 spinning flowers, with each one of the millions of petals representing a child’s life lost each year because of malnutrition.


Photo © Save The Children

Windmill flower building starting on Thursday by a small army of dedicated volunteers in what became to be known as the “Rave area” – thanks to the pumping music to help production!

mass1Planting starting at noon on Friday with a celebrity ceremony, with volunteers working late into the night and from the early hours of Saturday morning to ensure the “Big IF Bowl” was completed at 10:45 am on the Saturday, in time for the public opening.

Once open, members of the public were freely invited to come in and plant windmill flowers, either ones they have created themselves or ones built by volunteers.

Planting in the “mouth” of the bowl allowed visitors to fill the bowl with “food”.

Everything was free and extremely well received, with many visitors coming along to help make their own personal statement and to help raise awareness of the global cause.


Image © Andrew Forey

All the action was captured by time-lapse camera’s overlooking the installation

After planting visitors were welcome to come along and visit the official Viewing Platform where they can see the work of art taking shape.


After the event finished, the art installation was began to be dismantled (for safety reasons) and windmill flowers freely distributed to welcome visitors as a memento of this special day…

With kind thanks to Phil Scotton for capturing the real Lorne Browne

Every windmill was made from recycled and biodegradable materials by CHX Products , with the stems from recycled yoghurt pots. As the installation is dismantled the stems and petals will be separated by hand, ready to be recycled once again.


Image © Andrew Forey

Mass Lab is the brainchild of Steve Boyd (Director and Designer of Mass Choreography, Parade of Athletes, and Mass Logistics) and who’s members consist of the experienced and highly enthusiastic volunteer performers and marshals from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Image © Andrew Forey

Based in Los Angeles, Steve (third from the left in this photograph) has built his career specializing in Olympic ceremonies and large-scale events that meld mass spectacle with mass logistics. He has recently completed work on four ceremonies as Head of Mass Movement Choreography for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Photo © Phil Scotton


Photo © Phil Scotton

The following images are reproduced here with very kind thanks to fellow Mass Lab and Olympic Ceremonies volunteer Andew Forey…

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UEFA Champions League Final 2013

The Pandemonium Drummers performed on the turf of Wembley Stadium just before the kick-off of the UEFA Champion’s League Final 2013 between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

For a full round up and lots of lovely pictures please visit The Pandemonium Drummers Web Site


‘Save Our NHS’ Demonstration and March

In the long tradition of keeping the spirit of the people alive, as highlighted by the Protest and Working Men segments of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, a group of Ceremony Volunteers joined the “Save Our NHS” demonstration in London today.The British National Health Service earned its own unique segment in the Olympic 2012 Opening Ceremony, in conjunction with the renowned Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Primarily funded through general taxation, rather than requiring private insurance payments, the NHS provides a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use for residents of the United Kingdom


‘Save Our NHS’ March London May 18 2013 Image (c) Copyright Phil NIXON

Protesters took to the streets of London to show their anger at decisions to downgrade A&E departments in hospitals across London. The march was backed by unions, and the event included the handing in of a letter at No 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister David Cameron, asking him to put a stop to “closures and privatisation threats to the NHS”.


‘Save Our NHS’ March London May 18 2013 Image (c) Copyright Phil NIXON

This is not the first time volunteer cast members have joined protests about changes to the world famous NHS service. On 20th October 2012 they joined the TUC “A Future That Works” rally in London and in January 2013 the Save Lewisham Hospital mass rally.


TUC ‘A Future That Works’ Rally – 20 October 2012 Image (c) Copyright Vilma Laryea



At this year’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Television Awards within the Royal Festival Hall the Olympic and Paralympic Ceremony Volunteers were out in their best finery for a well deserved special night out.


Greeting the stars on the Red Carpet (c) Copyright Vilma Laryea 2013

Not only were the television stars greeted on the famous Red Carpet by members of the Pandemonium segment of the Opening Ceremony, in addition many volunteers had tickets to attend the ceremony and it was great for those lucky enough to be there to meet up with friends out of costume, with the ladies dressed in the most beautiful dresses and gowns, plus the gentlemen strictly black tie.


Pre-Show Drinks at The Royal Festival Hall

The London Olympics was recognised with three nominations at the BAFTA television awards, with Channel 4’s London 2012 Paralympic Games winning the Best Sport and Live Event Award.

The BBC “Twenty Twelve” sitcom (that spoofed the preparations for the Games) gained four nominations and won awards for Best Situation comedy and for one of its star’s, Olivia Colman, the award for Female Performance in a Comedy.

Clare Balding, who won a Bafta Special Award, said she was “aware this would not have happened if it weren’t for the magic of last summer”, referring to the 2012 Games, when she presented for both the BBC’s Olympic and Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage.


Working Men and Women from the Opening Ceremony (c) Copyright Vilma Laryea 2013

Hamish Hamilton, who directed the TV broadcasts of the London 2012 opening and closing ceremonies, was honoured by receiving the Special Award at the BAFTA Craft Awards on 28 April.

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On the Red Carpet at the BAFTA 2013 Television Awards


Museum of London – Opening the Olympics Exhibition

To see a selection of Olympic and Paralympic Costumes, along with a whole heap of other interesting items, we strongly recommend that your head on down to the FREE Opening the Olympics exhibition at the Museum of London


Hear personal accounts from those who attended and were involved in the Games, and see a selection of objects and costumes from London 2012, many on view for the first time since the close of the summer spectacular.

Recognisable items on display include Tom Daley’s 28” Union Jack swimming trunks, the yellow jersey which Bradley Wiggins wore in the opening ceremony, and an Olympic torch from the official relay.

You can also step back in time to the Opening and Closing ceremonies which are recorded with a display of costumes and accessories from Mary Poppins outfit to the dramatic punk heads from the Paralympic Opening ceremony. In addition a display of protest material captures a full picture of London 2012, remembering the ‘unofficial’ Olympic stories.


St Patrick’s Day Parade, London

Our first Carnival appearance today was a resounding success – the rain stopped, the wind calmed down, even the sun made a guest appearance!

If you came to the Parade we hope you also enjoyed seeing some of the lovely Team London Ambassadors who welcomed the World to our fair city, along with a selection of the Working Men and Women, and drummers, from the Opening Ceremony.

The crowds that thronged the entire route, from Green Park to Trafalgar Square and beyond, were amazing and plenty of smiles and cheers brightened up a typically grey London day.

We’re all very much looking forward to some more amazing Carnivals during the coming months, when even more of our Ceremonies Crew (Performers, Props, Costumes, and others behind the scenes) will come to help keep the flame alive.


Partying just before the start – we all had a good dance to the band on the lorry




Many thanks to Petula Dennis and Paul Degnan for the photographs