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Olympics Live Site set to transform city centre

Visitors to Manchester city centre will be able to watch Olympic sporting events – and Jubilee celebrations – from the comfort of an urban garden.

The London 2012 Live Site will open in Exchange Square on Friday June 1, transforming the area in time for the Queen’s Jubilee.

A ‘pop-up’ bar called the Summer House will be set up, allowing visitors to enjoy food and drink on picnic tables, surrounded by trees, foliage, and even garden gnomes, in a clear-roofed pavilion surrounded by white picket fencing. The bar has been created by Heart Soul Rock And Roll with a look inspired by urban gardens from across Europe.

Visitors will be able to watch sporting and cultural events on the Exchange Square big screen, including this weekend’s Jubilee celebrations, Olympic Games events – including Team GB’s opening football match against Senegal at Old Trafford, the 100m final and the opening and closing ceremonies – and the Paralympic Games.

A range of Shakespearean films will also be screened, as well as Royal Opera House productions and the Last Night of the Proms.

The Wimbledon tennis championships and non-England Euro 2012 matches will also be shown on the big screen throughout the summer.

Musicians and DJs will perform in the Summer House and a programme of activities has been planned in and around the site, scheduled to tie in with Olympic Games activities. More details of these events will be available on:

www.manchester.gov.uk/ExchangeSquare2012

Visitors will also be able to try a range of Olympic sports for themselves, with special ‘have a go’ interactive sites set up in Exchange Square and Corporation Street, while the Torch Relay will go past the live site on its way to a special evening celebration in Albert Square on Saturday June 23.

Cllr Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “Manchester is the UK’s real home of sport and the live site will provide a fantastic opportunity for people visiting the city to enjoy watching the Olympic Games – and other sporting and cultural events over the summer – in a relaxing outdoor setting.

“The live site will also provide a chance for Manchester residents to have a go at sporting activities themselves, and hopefully some future Olympic athletes will discover their passion for sport over the summer.”

Chris Legh, director at Heart Soul Rock And Roll said: “We’re really excited about launching Summer House in Manchester. It’s a truly unique concept that is set to bring something vibrant, modern and fresh to the city. “We’re going to have lots of exciting events at the venue and can’t wait to add to the carnival atmosphere that the screening of great sporting events such as the Olympic Games, the Euros and Wimbledon will be bringing to Exchange Square. We will most definitely be offering the best seat in the house.’’

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