London may have lost its recent bid to host the World Cup, but maybe FIFA officials knew something we didn’t. The city is already set to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, but now a quick trip to the 30th Olympiad’s official website also reveals that Damon Albarn will collaborate with Gorillaz animator Jamie Hewlett to headline a date at what city officials are calling the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Helping the pair flesh out the show will be award-winning theatre director, Rufus Norris.
The news – which should also calm some of the fears of fans who thought Gorillaz was calling it quits – adds fuel to NME’s speculation that the 42-year-old Albarn is going to be tapped as one of the artistic directors of the 2010 Games’ opening ceremonies. He’s already had preliminary meetings with the organizing committee and his selection would definitely get the non-sporting, music-loving demographic to tune in to the event.
In all, the art and music festival will present more than 1,000 events over 12 weeks and runs from Midsummer’s Day (June 21st) until the last day of the Paralympic games, which is September 9th.
Mayor Boris Johnson said his city has set forth an ambitious project and seems ready to impress the world. “We’ve less than 600 days to the start of the greatest sporting show on Earth and want to match it with a cultural program that is also memorable and exciting,” said Johnson “It will be a series of fantastic events to mark an unforgettable year in London’s history.” Fantastic ineed.
A slew of other musicians, actors (including Jude Law), and artists will take part in the Cultural Olympiad and the BBC is reporting that while some of the events will be ticketed, others will be free of charge. No word on whether Albarn’s performance is gratis, but we’ll keep you updated. A full report on the events is available here.