2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony
The closing ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, also known as A Symphony of British Music, was held on 12 August 2012 in the Olympic Stadium, London. The chief guest was Prince Harry of Wales representing Queen Elizabeth II. The closing ceremony was created by Kim Gavin, Es Devlin, Stephen Daldry, David Arnold and Mark Fisher. The worldwide broadcast began at 21:00 BST (UTC+1) and finished on 13 August 2012 at 00:11, lasting three hours and eleven minutes.
The stadium had been turned into a giant representation of the Union Flag, designed by Damien Hirst. Around 4,100 people partook in the ceremony; which reportedly cost £20 million. The 2012 Summer Olympics were officially closed by Jacques Rogge, who called London's games "happy and glorious." The ceremony included a handover to the next host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro and saw the Olympic flame extinguished and the Olympic flag lowered. The main part of the evening featured a one-hour symphony of British Music as a number of British Pop acts appeared. Tributes to John Lennon and Freddie Mercury and the fashion industry were included in the section. Rio marked the handover with an eight-minute section known as "Embrace" created by Cao Hamburger and Daniela Thomas, featuring Pelé. Sebastian Coe gave a speech, and the volunteers of London 2012 were thanked.
An average of 23.2 million viewers in the United Kingdom watched the event, with an estimated 750 million worldwide. Critics were generally positive, but noted that it was not as good as the opening ceremony. Some of the foreign reviews questioned whether everyone would have understood the nods to British film and television. George Michael was roundly criticised for his song choice while Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Russell Brand were criticised for not demonstrating the Olympic ethos in their past behaviour. Some performers were initially reluctant to appear, and other high-profile acts turned down invitations to perform at the ceremony. NBC in the United States, TV5 in the Philippines and Prime TV in New Zealand were criticised by viewers for their broadcasts of the ceremony. There was also a concert in Hyde Park to close the Olympics, featuring Blur, New Order, and The Specials.