As part of the London 2012 Olympic celebrations, BT London Live offers free all day events that have everything you could need for a great summer day out.
In Victoria Park (near Mile End tube station), you can expect live music, three big screens bringing you the latest from the Olympic events, free activities and even a few bars and places to eat. Table Tennis tables are free to use, along with tennis serve speedometers, and aim practice targets. There are classes throughout the day where you can learn Basketball, Judo and other sports. For the more adventurous, there are other activities such as zorbing, a huge zip line, and a big wheel; which are among the only activities that you need to pay for. Prices start at around £5.
There is a wide range of free live music throughout the day, from local talent Community Music, classic rock songs from Tenors of Rock, and Britain’s got Talent finalists Jive Aces. Plus loads more big acts yet to come over the next few weeks of the event. I also managed to see the Pearly Kings and Queens performing a rendition of the British National Anthem, a bit of London’s tradition and history right there.
So you’d think this was going to be one packed out event, right?
I did too, especially when my way into the park I was greeted by a number of really helpful Olympic volunteers, all in place for the crowds they were expecting, and who get me through the security process in a flash.
Although there was some turn out at the park, it clearly was nowhere near the volume that was to be expected, and I’m really surprised when I arrive at the lack of crowds.
What’s the reason for this?
Well, talking to a few of the visitors, and a handful of my Londoner friends, it quickly becomes clear that those who live in London have been so frequently warned to stay at home to ease congestion, that that’s exactly what they are doing.
To add to this, those not living within immediate surroundings of Victoria Park don’t seem to know this event is taking place. Maybe it’s all just a lack of advertising?
One drawback about the event, and one that is brought up to me quite often, is that you cannot picnic in the park, and therefore all food is confiscated before you can enter the park. There are, however, many options for food inside the park, all ranging between £5-10, and free water stations. So surely this can’t be the sole reason behind the lack of participation.
If you happen to live anywhere near Victoria Park, within tubing distance, or are just visiting London with some time on your hands, I really would urge you to take the trip and make the most of this event.
Whether you just fancy a laze around outside watching the Olympics on the big screen, enjoy a bit of live music, or want a day out to entertain the family BT London Live is catering for everyone. This is a great way to get into the Olympic spirit (especially if, like me, you couldn’t get tickets), and to get involved with part of London’s celebrations!