Maori and Irish cultures fusing for free London Olympics show

An ensemble of contemporary and traditional performers from New Zealand and Ireland will integrate Maori and Irish music, dance and poetry for BT River of Music in London.


Whirimako_Green_Fire_Islands_live_in London

THE twin domes of Sir Christopher Wren’s riverside masterpiece, the Old Royal Naval College provide a suitable stunning backdrop for the BT River of Music Oceania stage, featuring music, theatrical and dramatic performances from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. And the tickets are free!

Taking place Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July, BT River of Music is billed as a once-in-a-lifetime two-day free festival of live music, welcoming the world to London the weekend before the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A spectacular global summit of rhythm and song, the two-day free even – featuring separate stages around London representing Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania – will act as a curtain-raiser for the sporting celebrations to follow and will feature artists representing all Olympic and Paralympic nations, from the largest nations to the tiniest ocean island.

Maori culture highlighted on Oceania stage

Green Fire Islands (pictured) is a creative and inspiring show that integrates Maori and Irish music, dance and poetry of old with the stories of today. For BT River of Music, dynamic guitarist and musical director Steve Cooney leads a stellar ensemble of the leading lights of both contemporary and traditional musical circles from Ireland and New Zealand in an in-depth discovery of musical connections between two island cultures.

Also on stage will be Sing Sing. Since the 1990s, the Sing Sing (a phrase from Papua New Guinea meaning a music party celebration of song and dance) concerts have brought together some of the most important singers, musicians and dancers from the Oceania region in unique performances to explore shared traditions. For BT River of Music, David Bridie’s Sing Sing brings together musicians from 18 different nations in the Australasian region.

Joining them on the Bt River of Music Oceania stage over the two days are The Barons of Tang, The Black Arm Band Company, Coastal Voices and Australian sensation, Gurrumul.

Tickets for BT River of Music are free (except for small administration fee of £3 per ticket) and are booking fast. For info and tickets see: