Olympic closing ceremony: A mashup of music, theater and hit parade

The Spice Girls pose at a fashion show in Milan, Italy. Luca Bruno

The Spice Girls pose at a fashion show in Milan, Italy.
AP
(CBS/AP) Olympic organizers are doing their best to keep the lineup of this year's closing ceremony live artists under wraps, but Muse, The Who and George Michael have all said they will take part.

The main event will be a mashup of music, theater, circus and hit parade, created by a team used to creating rock spectaculars.

Complete Coverage: 2012 London Olympics

Tips and photos have leaked out of the rehearsal venue, an old car plant in east London.

So will the The Spice Girls sing "Wannabe"? Quite probably. Leaked photographs show the British girls group rehearsing for the ceremony.

Will Ray Davies of The Kinks perform his London ballad "Waterloo Sunset"? Very likely.

Will there be members of Queen for the old-timers and acts like Jessie J and Tinie Tempah for the kids? Definitely maybe.

Other rumored acts include One Direction, Pet Shop Boys, Kate Bush and Annie Lennox, though nothing has been officially announced.

Whoever is on the bill, one thing is certain - it will end with fireworks.

Director Kim Gavin has overseen tours for the band Take That and directed London's 2007 Princess Diana memorial concert. Designer Es Devlin has created sets for everyone from Lady Gaga to the Royal Opera.

As with the opening ceremony, London is aiming for a plucky, irreverent tone far removed from Beijing's 2008 Olympic closer, which was heavy on precision displays of fireworks, acrobatics and dancing.

The Daily Mail newspaper published photographs of what it said was the set, involving reconstructions of London landmarks such as St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge.

The show also features thousands of volunteer performers, and insiders say it will include about 30 British hit singles from the past five decades.

All of London will come alive this weekend as the Olympics comes to a close.

Some of the action will center on national hospitality houses set up by the Dutch, the Russians and the French, among others. A lucky elite, however, will take to the water for a handful of yacht parties.

Nearly a dozen of the world's most luxurious vessels, including the 413-foot (126-meter) Octopus, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, are docked in east London near the Olympic site.

"It's going to be a big party, no doubt," said Benjamin Sutton, director of communications for "superyacht concierge service" MGMT.

"Security is tight, much like any VIP event," Sutton added.

On land, Olympic sponsors such as Adidas and Omega plan parties at invitation-only pop-up clubs set up for the games. Omega hosting a Brazilian night Friday to celebrate Rio's turn as host of the 2016 Games, while Adidas is sponsoring a closing-night party with DJ team Livin' Proof on the decks.

Sportswear rival Puma - Usain Bolt's sponsor - plans a closing-night celebration at its Jamaica-themed venue in London's Brick Lane.

Budweiser is sponsoring Club Bud, transforming the Roundhouse music venue in north London into a party destination expected to draw U.S. athletes - including its biggest stars, the basketball team - as well as big-name hip-hop artists.

More accessibly, London's Hyde Park is the location for a closing-night outdoor concert featuring, Blur, New Order and The Specials.

For some 80,000 spectators inside Olympic Stadium and millions of television viewers worldwide, the celebrations will include watching an Olympic closing ceremony that music director David Arnold promises will be "the greatest after-party in the world."

"If the opening ceremony was the wedding, then we're the wedding reception," he told the Daily Telegraph.

There will be a few solemn ceremonial elements, including an athletes' march, the raising of the flags of Greece - birthplace of the Olympics- current host Britain and 2016 games host Brazil, speeches and the extinguishing of the Olympic cauldron, marking the handover of the games to Rio.

  • CBS News Staff

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