LONDON (AP) — London's summer in the international sports spotlight ends Sunday, with Coldplay headlining a Paralympic closing ceremony that will recreate the feel of festivals throughout British history.
The rock band will perform hits and collaborate with other stars in the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium in a ceremony drawing on, among other things, the traditions from ancient Stonehenge.
"We're known as a nation for having the most festivals — it's something we do with 600 festivals a year," artistic director Kim Gavin said Saturday. "The festival approach is purely to bring this celebration of the last night of the games in London ... ancient festivals were our inspiration. For instance, the summer solstice and the autumn equinox."
The "Festival of the Flame" will feature the cauldron at the heart of the ceremony before it is extinguished following the biggest games in the 52-year history of the Paralympics.
"What an amazing 10 days we've had. We've seen champions made and watched more records than ever before," organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe said. "Fifty-odd countries have now won gold medals and 70 have won medals.
"We've had an extraordinary level of engagement with the public in our stadiums and on television. In any metric you look at this, it's been unprecedented. So tomorrow night's ceremony will be a celebration of all of that."
Coldplay will be the ceremony's only major band. It will perform what is described as "unusual" set list that organizers tweaked to ensure that it reflects the four seasons that are at the heart of the show.
How to Profit From Fracking and Shale. Access Our Free Report Here.