LONDON — With Olympic fever still rife in the U.K. as the London Games wind down, anticipation is turning to Sunday’s closing ceremony.
Officials are trying to keep the details secret, beyond the known traditional elements, including the march of the athletes and the handover of the flame to the next host city, Rio de Janeiro.
Music director David Arnold, who worked with artistic director Kim Gavin and designer Es Devlin on the ceremony, told Blighty’s Daily Telegraph, “To me, this should be the greatest after-party in the world.
“It is a celebration of Britishness in terms of the arts: design, fashion, fine art, poetry and playwriting, all sitting fairly and squarely on popular music.
“Hopefully it will wrap up the spirit of what these Games have been, which is slightly anarchic, slightly mischievous, funny, heart-warming, emotional, inspiring and uniquely British.”
Arnold said he had been working on the project for two years, and had to turn down all other work for over a year, including scoring the new James Bond movie “Skyfall.”
Twenty or more major artists are expected to take part. George Michael recently tweeted that he would be involved, while the band Muse revealed its inclusion to NME magazine. Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran claimed he will perform “Wish You Were Here” with members of Pink Floyd, although the band have denied it.
Other acts rumored to be performing are Paul McCartney, Elton John, Adele, the Rolling Stones, Ray Davies of the Kinks, the Spice Girls, Liam Gallagher, Take That, the Who, Queen, Paul Weller, One Direction and Kate Bush.
The closing ceremony of the 30th Olympiad starts at 9 p.m. in London (1 p.m. PST) and will feature more than 4,100 performers, including 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 school children from the six east London host boroughs.