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As the 2012 Olympic Games come to a close, Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Gabby Douglas and thousands of other athletes have victories to celebrate. (And those who fell short could use a chance to blow off steam.) So this Sunday, the London 2012 Olympic Games will go out with a bang.
The 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony (Sunday, starting at 7 p.m. ET, on NBC) will be a two and a half hour party called "A Symphony of British Music." But don't let the highbrow name fool you; this should be a raucous event. "If the Opening Ceremony was the wedding, then we're the wedding reception," said its music director David Arnold. "There are seven and a half thousand [athletes] there, so it’s a show for them all to get involved with, and hopefully it will wrap up the spirit of what these Games have been, which is slightly anarchic, slightly mischievous, funny, heart-warming, emotional, inspiring, and uniquely British."
The musical extravaganza -- which Arnold promises "should be the greatest after-party in the world" -- will include 3,500 adult volunteers, 380 schoolchildren, and 20 or so big-name British performers -- whose names, of course, have not been disclosed. Oh, but the rumored roster of acts sounds pretty fantastic.
There's something for everyone here, from current pop hitmakers (Adele, One Direction, and Muse, whose song "Survival" was written for the Olympics); classic rock icons (The Rolling Stones, The Who, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Ray Davies of The Kinks); and nostalgic, quintessentially British pop acts (the Spice Girls, Liam Gallagher from Oasis, George Michael, and the Pet Shop Boys). All told, about 30 pieces of music will be performed.
The ceremony will also say farewell to the athletes, have a little speech from Queen Elizabeth and take care of one last piece of business: the passing of the torch to the next Summer Olympics host.
Farewell, London. Hello, Rio de Janeiro!