Organisers say the closing ceremony of the London Games will feature a ‘Symphony of British Music’ stretching from Elgar to the present day. The show, lasting just under three hours in total, will invite athletes into a ‘mosh pit’ for the spectacle, and pay tribute to the work of 70 000 volunteers over the course of the Games, as well as featuring a Brazilian performance to build anticipation for Rio 2016 before the ritual extinguishing of London’s Olympic flame. Stephen Daldry, executive producer of all the Olympic ceremonies, said Kim Gavin, director of the closing ceremony, had been given a simple brief; “which was to celebrate the athletes, to celebrate the volunteers, to celebrate London, the country and – should the Games be successful – to celebrate the world that has come together for these extraordinary Games, and they have been an extraordinary Games.” Gavin told a news conference in the Olympic Park that he relished the challenge. “It’s always been a blessing to have this job of putting on an aftershow party after the main event, and obviously I want it to be a celebration, I want people to have fun, I want it to be colourful, and also remind you of certain eras of music collected over the 50 years, of popular music but not only of popular music, of fashion, culture, so I wanted it to be the best aftershow party that’s ever been,” said Gavin. In what LOCOG chairperson Seb Coe described as a ‘sprint finish’, organisers of the closing ceremony face the logistical challenge of transforming the stadium into an event venue just hours after the conclusion of the athletics competition. The technical innovation and critical success of Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony may also be adding to the pressure.

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