The London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony is a 3 hour spectacular tribute to the best of British music from the past 50 years. According to artistic director Kim Gavin it will be “a fabulous emotional experience”. The spectacle will be ‘the best after-show party that’s ever been’. He added that the bonanza will be the ‘disco after the wedding’.

Popular singer Jessie J and sailing hero Ben Ainslie ill both take significant roles in the event. There will also be speeches by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge and London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe, and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be in the Stadium along with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and other members of the Royal Family to watch the flag handover ceremony.

The Spice Girls perform on top of London black cabs and wearing updated Sporty, Ginger, Scary, Posh and Baby outfits. Giant models of landmarks such as Tower Bridge, the London Eye and Battersea Power Station covered in newsprint and literary references create a city scape.

Emeli Sandé, who sang at the opening ceremony, sings Read All About It, by Professor Green, a London rapper, a reference both to London as an international media center and the global nature of the Games.

There are two stages. Musicians are on one and a second, larger stage is in the center. Four ramps lead up to it. At one point in the show they are shown inscribed with extracts from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 (My Mistress’ Eyes), Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Dickens’ Great Expectations and Boswell’s Life of Johnson.

The flagbearers of each country – including Ben Ainslie Britain’s is gold medal-winner will then enter the stadium followed by many of the Games’s 10,000 athletes, marching together rather than by nationality and accompanied by Elbow’s song One Day Like This. The London Symphony Orchestra will perform a suite of British music followed by a screening of some of the greatest moments from London 2012.

The flag of Greece will be raised to honour the birthplace of the Olympic Games, alongside the flag of the United Kingdom and the flag of Brazil, the country hosting the next Summer Olympics. Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, will return the Olympic flag to Jacques Rogge, the president of the IOC, who will then present it to Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio, the next host city, before making a speech declaring the London Games closed. A lone dancer with a broom, symbolically sweeping away the remnants of the London Games, will lead into the next sequence, designed to provide a taste of the atmosphere of the 2016 Games.

When Renato Sorriso, the dancing sweeper, reaches the centre of the main stage, dancers join him from all sides of the stadium to create a Rio-style carnival.

There are four different groups: batucada street drummers; samba dancers with the men dressed in blue, green and yellow suits and women in elaborate carnival costume; a troupe of men dancing with tasselled poles; and a group of capoeira artists, performing the Brazilian martial art.

The Olympic Flame, which has been burning in the cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick since the Games opened, will be extinguished, bringing the event to a close.

The cauldron’s individual petals will eventually be presented to each of the competing countries.

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