As a city, we have endured challenging times over the past year. As we seek to get our city working again, London must be audacious.
It is less than a decade since we hosted one of the greatest Olympics – and great events are in the DNA of our city.
Indeed, the first modern world fair took place in London, in 1851. With the Crystal Palace as its centrepiece, the Great Exhibition attracted more than 6 million people to Hyde Park, from around the globe.
Not only was it self-financing: the exhibition was profitable enough to fund construction of Kensington’s famous museums, including the V&A, Science Museum and Natural History Museum.
Now is the time for London to be in the global spotlight again and provide a beacon of positivity and inclusiveness in these challenging times.
To achieve this, my first major event as your next Mayor will be The Great Celebration, a 31 day festival to enjoy all that makes our city so synonymous with theatre, music, arts, culture, food, technology, commerce and more.
With an ambitious plan to get 20 million people traveling to London over 31 days during the festival, it will also be a showcase for the businesses and industry of all Britain, as befits such an event in the capital.
Kicking off at the start of August, for one month, The Great Celebration will include:
It will be a celebration to be enjoyed by Londoners and visitors alike, and a much-needed injection of joy – as well as cash – to our moribund economy.
The Great Celebration will be subsidised by the Mayor’s office and supported by a relaxation of red tape around licensing and other logistical barriers.
Our city will work closely with the arts and entertainment world, so neglected during the pandemic, to put on a party that will make the world take notice of London, its talent and its ambition.
I look forward to welcoming you to London on August 1st!