Details of interim results from research, surveys and polling have outlined the scale and reach of the largest UK-wide cultural festival ever staged, engaging with larger audiences than the Festival of Britain.
As the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad the London 2012 Festival ran from 21 June – 9 September and offered an opportunity for people across the UK to participate in events linked to the celebration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Participation at London 2012 Festival events topped 19.8million and the final figures show that 621 productions and projects in the London 2012 Festival resulted in 13,006 performances and events at 1,270 venues across the UK. The Festival contained more than 200 commissions, 160 world and UK premieres and has left a legacy of 176 permanent artworks.
A key aim of the London 2012 Festival was to use the power of the Games to engage new audiences with the arts. Over half a million people signed up to London 2012 to receive information on cultural events linked to the Games, and polling shows that 20% of all UK respondents (the equivalent of more than 10 million people) have been personally inspired to take part in more cultural activities in the future, with the strongest interest coming from young audiences, women and BAME people. Awareness of the Festival was highest amongst younger age groups (16-24’s at 38%), BAME people (48%) and was equally as high across all sociodemographic groups.
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad said: ‘We asked partners and artists from round the World a to create ‘Once in a Lifetime’ new work to match up to the ‘Once in a Lifetime’ ambition and scale of the London 2012 Games, and they rose magnificently to the challenge – they showed that the UK creative and cultural sector are world leaders, and world class artists amazed us with the risks they took and the quality of the work they created.’
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: ‘2012 has been a phenomenal year for culture in our city. Londoners and tourists alike have been treated to an astonishing variety of artists and performers throughout this extraordinary period. In bringing such an unparalleled number of experiences to every corner of the capital, the London 2012 Festival helped us create an historic summer like no other. This has strengthened London's reputation for creativity and as a great world city for culture.'