*A bevy of musical stars, including Jay-Z, Rihanna, David Guetta and Elton John, will take part in the London 2012 Festival, a cultural celebration across Britain tied to the Summer Olympics that kicks off on Thursday.
Films from such directors as Alfred Hitchcock and Mike Leigh and art from Yoko Ono and others will also be featured at the festival, which runs through Sept. 9, includes 12,000 events and performances across the country in celebration of the Summer and Paralympic Games.
Organizers say there will be 10 million tickets for free and paid-for events in such fields as film, music, theater, fashion, dance and art.
One of the most star-studded events will be a BBC Radio 1 show that the station says will be its “biggest-ever free live music event.” The lineup for the June 23 and 24 extravaganza that will feature six stages in the Hackney Marshes area of East London includes Jay-Z, Rihanna, Flo Rida, David Guetta, Jessie J, Lana del Rey, Leona Lewis, Tinie Tempah, Plan B, Florence and the Machine, Dappy, Jack White and more.
With a budget of around £55 million ($86 million), the festival is seen as a chance to showcase Britain’s cultural heritage and put the country in the Olympic spirit.