Send us news, start your message Messenger News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Olympic festival starts with a bang
Fireworks will light up the Lake District as a "once in a lifetime" arts festival launches to celebrate the Olympic Games.
The first events in the 12-week celebration include a performance by a symphony orchestra, a concert featuring Pixie Lott and Imelda May and an inflatable replica of Stonehenge.
London 2012 Festival director Ruth Mackenzie said: "When the UK won the bid for the Olympics in 2005, we promised to return to Baron Pierre de Coubertin's original idea of an Olympic Games based on the three pillars of sport, art and education."
She continued: "This summer, London 2012 Festival showcases the world's greatest artists alongside the stars of the sports world, a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience to match the once-in-a-lifetime visit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the UK."
There are more than 130 events during the opening few days and more than 25,000 artists from all 204 Olympic nations will take part over the duration of the festival.
French pyrotechnic team Les Commandos Percu have promised a spectacular show to light up Windermere in Cumbria, while the inflatable replica of Stonehenge made by artist Jeremy Deller will go on show at the National Botanical Gardens in Carmarthen before being taken around the UK.
The performance by the 200-strong Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in the shadow of Stirling Castle will be shown on BBC Four.
Other highlights in the first week include comedian and musician Tim Minchin performing at The Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall, Jay-Z and Rihanna headlining the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend and an exhibition of Olympic and Paralympic posters at Tate Britain in London.