In the-lead up to the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the London 2012 Festival on 9 September, audiences across the UK will be brought together in community-wide celebrations of music and dance. Some of the artists appearing in the final week of the London 2012 Festival include: Michael Clark, Gilles Peterson, Talvin Singh, Laurence Clark, Gruff Rhys, Constanza Macras, Baaba Maal, Emgreen & Dragset, Claire Cunningham, Graeae & Strange Fruit, and Générik Vapeur.
The week also marks the last chance to see some of the highlights and exhibitions of the London 2012 Festival, including Unlimited at London Southbank Centre and Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary – an insight into the creation of the Olympic and Paralympic Cauldron at the V&A, London – as well as a number of free and pop-up events. And this year's BBC Proms season culminates in the UK's biggest night of classical music with the Last Night of the Proms 2012.
The Africa Express is just one of the events opening this week, as a collective of African and Western musicians steam into town. Led by Damon Albarn, Baaba Maal, Rokia Traoré, Amadou & Mariam, Gruff Rhys, Eliza Doolittle and The Noisettes are just some of the artists playing unexpected gigs in unexpected places, including homes, schools, factories and shopping centres. The Africa Express train journey culminates in a finale concert in London's Granary Square, King's Cross, at 8pm on 8 September.
Bandstand Marathon - Communities in Tune is the official finale of the Festival on 9 September. it sees hundreds of bandstands around the UK, including the Olympic Park Grandstand, strike up at the same time. As part of the celebrations, British band Coldplay, who play the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony the same night, have endorsed the playing of their song Viva La Vida simultaneously at 2pm.
Other events opening this week include: Branches, award-winning Argentine choreographer Constanza Macras' site-specific show in the forests of North Wales; Michael Clark's Barrowlands Project communal dance experience in Glasgow; Mandala, a bold fusion of South Asian dance, music and groundbreaking 3D projection at Birmingham Town Hall and Nottingham Town Hall; Scandinavian duo Elmgreen & Dragset's new work as part of the Liverpool Biennial Commissions; and Waterlitz, the brand-new creation from French street-theatre company Générik Vapeur in Great Yarmouth on 8 September.
By the time the Festival comes to an end, it will have featured around 12,000 events across the UK, including 9.6 million free tickets and opportunities to get involved. A total of 2.9 million people took part in the 'All the Bells' event on 27 July alone.