(CBS/AP) Alongside the Olympians competing for gold this year, celebrities and entertainers from Paul McCartney to Brangelina will be in London for the 2012 Olympics Games.
Britain is organizing a banquet designed to demonstrate, as Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt put it, that "culture is to Britain what the sun is to Spain."
On July 21-22, the "River of Music" will feature six stages along the Thames each named for a different continent with music from artists including Baaba Maal, Wynton Marsalis, the Kronos Quartet and the Scissor Sisters.
The arrival of the Olympic Torch on July 26 will be celebrated with a concert in Hyde Park featuring Wretch 32, Dizzee Rascal, The Wanted and Mark Ronson.
The next day Paul McCartney will close the opening ceremony, a three-hour extravaganza directed by "Slumdog Millionaire" filmmaker Danny Boyle.
Daniel Craig, the current James Bond actor, reportedly will open the Games with a short film clip titled "The Arrival." According to reports, the clip shows Bond arriving at Buckingham Palace to get his instructions before being taken by helicopter to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London, where he will parachute into the arena.
Across town in Hyde Park, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics, Paolo Nutini and 1980s heartthrobs Duran Duran are headlining a celebratory concert.
Outdoor concerts will continue in the park throughout the Games, with Rebecca Ferguson, Alexandra Burke, Amy Macdonald and Alyssa Reid among the scheduled performers.
A musical theme also dominates the Aug. 12 closing ceremony, billed as "A Symphony of British Music," with George Michael, Take That and The Who rumored to be taking part. In Hyde Park, Blur, New Order and The Specials are lined up for a closing-night concert.
London 2012 Festival director Ruth Mackenzie said London won the Games by promising to live up to the ideal of modern Olympic movement founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin, of "an Olympic Games based on the three pillars of sport, art and education.'' In the 21st century we might add a fourth pillar: celebrity.
Celebrity-studded parties and benefits are clustered around the Games, kicked off by a July 25 bash for the Sports for Peace charity that will honor boxing great Muhammad Ali. Among the guest at the event at Victoria & Albert Museum will be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.