Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Festival of Flame to end the Games

The closing ceremony of the Paralympics has been dubbed the Festival of Flame
The closing ceremony of the Paralympics has been dubbed the Festival of Flame

The Paralympic Games closing ceremony will bring the curtain down on an extraordinary sporting summer.

The ceremony will take on a festival feel - featuring flames, armed forces personnel and a legion of "travellers", games bosses have revealed.

Organisers partially lifted the veil on the content of the show, dubbed the Festival of Flame, within the Olympic Stadium.

British chart-toppers Coldplay, who were paid £1 for the honour of providing the musical backbone for the ceremony, will play an "unusual setlist" designed to represent the seasons of the year.

But organisers refused to confirm whether American stars Jay-Z and Rihanna would be among those joining Coldplay on stage.

Director Kim Gavin, who was also behind the Olympic closing ceremony, said: "We pay tribute to the human spirit for this wonderful sport and human achievement of the last two weeks.

"We have put together a unique group of people who storm the stadium, and bring this festival to life. The whole night is the celebration of the flame finally going out."

More than 1,000 volunteers joined Coldplay for a rehearsal of the festivities at a car park in Dagenham earlier this week. Mr Gavin added: "There is no narrative. It's not just a concert and we're not just looking at Coldplay, we have fantastic visuals and amazing stunts going on. It is a collaboration all round."

Stephen Daldry, head of Olympics ceremonies, confirmed other recording artists had wanted to be involved in the closing ceremony, but said Mr Gavin had a vision for it to "revolve around one act".

"Those requests have been turned down," he said. "We're not telling which special guests will be turning up." And he stressed: "This is not just a Coldplay concert, by any stretch of the imagination."

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