BT River of Music
BT River of Music was a once-in-a-lifetime two-day free festival of live music from all Olympic and Paralympic nations, which took place on Saturday 21st and 22nd July welcoming the world to London the weekend before the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games.
The festival had been in development for over three years, with projects being shaped by a network of partners, emerging artists and thousands of participants across the UK in anticipation of a series of final performances for the BT River of Music stages.
Over the festival weekend these specially curated projects featured alongside international superstars, displaying a kaleidoscope of the word's best contemporary and international music. The stages, situated at landmarks along the River Thames, ran as follows: Asia at Battersea Park, Europe at Somerset House and Trafalgar Square, Americas at Tower of London, Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands) at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich and Africa at London Pleasure Gardens.
Particular highlights included Beninoise star Angelique Kidjo performing on the Africa Stage with the Manchester World Voices choir, whilst Wantok Musik Sing Sing brought together Oceania's most exciting singers, musicians and dancers under the direction of David Bridie. Jools Holland appeared with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra at Somerset House and Bosnian singer Amira presented Reka at Trafalgar Square: a project that reached across conflict lines and drew together musicians from the Balkan countries. Arun Ghosh led his Arkestra Makara on the Asia Stage and the Olympic baton was handed over to Rio by Brazilian superstar, Carlinhos Brown on Sunday night at the Americas Stage.