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What’s On: Wembley Park’s Summer of Play 2021

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Wembley Park will kick off summer 2021 with a stellar line-up of free, family-friendly events, including live music, public art trails, open-air sporting and exercise, and outdoor film screenings for locals, residents and visitors. All of which will take place in the spacious pocket parks and pedestrianised boulevards of the North-West London neighbourhood, including on the iconic and newly expanded Olympic Way, which this year will serve as the gateway to the UEFA European Champions tournament taking place at Wembley Stadium.

The world-famous Stadium will host a total of eight matches this June and July. All three of England’s UEFA EURO games in group D will take place at Wembley Stadium. First up are Croatia on 13th June, before the Three Lions face Scotland on 18th June. The group stage will conclude against the Czech Republic on 22nd June. The winners of group D will play their last-16 tie at Wembley Stadium on 29th June. The semi-final and final matches will also be played at Wembley Stadium on the 6th, 7th and 11th July, respectively. 

Complementing the match schedule inside the Stadium, and building on Wembley Park’s previous summer cultural programmes, Summer of Play is set to enrich the overall experience and ambience for Stadium ticket holders, as well as local residents, workers and visitors to Wembley Park’s al fresco dining destinations, which include London’s largest BOXPARK, Bread Ahead and Pasta Remoli. 

Just 12 minutes from Baker Street, Wembley Park is North West London’s cultural hotspot and is renowned for its music, sports and entertainment legacy. Previous partnerships with world-renowned cultural bodies have included the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, UK Asian Film Festival, as well as Wembley Park’s soon-to-be cultural anchor tenant Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Josh McNorton, Cultural Director at Wembley Park, said: Summer 2021 has been a long time in the planning, and to launch our summer cultural programme amid the UEFA EUROS taking place at the National Stadium, which is in the heart of Wembley Park, has provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate what Wembley Park is famous for – unforgettable experiences. The combination of the matches and our cultural line-up offers visitors the perfect opportunity to explore Wembley Park in an exciting new way. This year’s theme is to inspire and unleash the potential of creative talent in music, visual arts and sport while bringing Londoners together to ‘play’ in Wembley Park. The 13-week programme will give people from all over the capital and beyond, access to inspiring art, music and the rich diversity Wembley Park has to offer, over the entire summer season.

SUMMER OF PLAY 2021: WHAT’S ON

WHAT: WEMBLEY PARK LIVE 

Pop-Up Live Music. 

Kicking off the schedule of events this summer will be the community-led Wembley Park Live music programme, in partnership with Found in Music’s Busk in London, and supported by Mayor of London.From 4th June, visitors will be treated to an array of pop-up live music performances at Wembley Park’s new, showstopping Bandstand, which was designed by famed architects Flanagan Lawrence. Performers on the bandstand will include soloists and duos from the Busk in London roster; talented musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Brent-grown talent. Music will range from easy-listening and folk to jazz, classical, showtunes and pop favourites.

When: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between Friday 4 June – Sunday 27 August 2021.

Friday: 3pm-5pm, 5pm-7pm. 

Saturday: 12pm-2pm, 2pm-4pm, 4pm-6pm.

Sunday: 12pm-2pm, 2pm-4pm, 4pm-6pm. 

Where: The Bandstand on Olympic Way and Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley Park.

Price: Free.

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WHAT: WEMBLEY PARK LIVE ACADEMY & INTERNATIONAL BUSKING DAY 

Committed to nurturing creative talent and the performing arts industry, Wembley Park will launch the Wembley Park Live Academy, a mentoring scheme for emerging musicians, which aims to teach, mentor and employ 10 North West London locals, culminating in paid performances at Wembley Park’s International Busking Day, now in its third year in the neighbourhood since relocating from Trafalgar Square.

Shortlisted applicants of the scheme will have the opportunity to attend an ‘Academy Day’ at The Yellow, Wembley Park’s community centre, events space, learning hub and fitness spot, where they will be given performance training, personalised coaching, and taught key industry skills. 

Successful trainees will be represented by Busk in London and paid to perform at Wembley Park and other Busk in London locations throughout the summer. Talented hopefuls have until Friday 21st May to apply to the scheme, via www.foundinmusic.com/wembleyparklive.

Returning to Wembley Park for its third year, International Busking Day is a popular free and family-friendly day-long celebration of pop-up music and street performances, supported by the Mayor of London and featuring performances by international and home-grown grassroots talent. 

When: International Busking Day will take place on Sunday 25 July 2021, 2pm-8pm. 

Where: Various locations across Wembley Park.

Price: Free.

WHAT: GAMECHANGERS

Re-writing the Rules of Football. 

For the first time, Wembley Park will host GameChangers for a weekend of special football activities for all to enjoy. Over two consecutive days before the start of the UEFA European Championships, Wembley Park, the home of international football, will invite people from across the capital to play football with new rules created by leading videogame designers.

In 2015, Sport England awarded Nottingham the UK’s first ‘City of Football’ title. This two-year scheme was about getting new people into football. As part of the project, the GameCity Festival produced ‘GameChangers’, where 10 videogame designers were invited to create ten  new versions of the beautiful game, for everyone to try out and take away.

In addition, Wembley Park will be publishing the football rules in a new training brochure, providing a legacy for Wembley Park and the 2020 UEFA European Championships.

When:  Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July 2021.

Where: Olympic Way, Wembley Park,

Price: Free.

Visit https://www.wembleypark.com/gamechangers for further information on how to take part.

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WHAT: NEW SUMMER COMMISSIONS TO BE ADDED TO PUBLIC ART TRAIL

Wembley Park is excited to launch four new summer commissions to its art trail, adding to the collection of outdoor public art for visitors to experience. Wembley Park’s free art trail currently consists of 15 pieces across various mediums, including paint, digital mixed media and upcycled materials, and includes artwork and installations, such as The Shadow Wall by Jason Brugeslocated on the Royal Route Underpass and Mr Doodle’s graffiti spaghetti upcycled cylinder blocks located in Market Square (plus more). Details of the four new commissions will be announced soon.

The art trail forms part of Wembley Park Arts, an extensive cultural programme of live music, sports, entertainment and theatre designed for its community and visitors to enjoy alongside shopping or eating out. 

A digital map is available at www.wembleypark.com/art, along with QR codes on each piece, will allow visitors to discover the art ― including about their background, significance and creator ― as they explore the neighbourhood.

When: Throughout June to September 2021.

Where: Various locations across the neighbourhood.

Price: Free.

WHAT: SUMMER ON SCREEN

North-West London’s Free Open-Air Cinema.

From Thursday 29 July, Wembley Park’s popular free outdoor cinema, Summer on Screen, will return for five weeks in the Events Pad, across from the London Designer Outlet, on Wembley Park Boulevard. Visit Summer on Screen for an exceptional outdoor cinematic experience of hand-picked films under the summer night sky, with a choice of socially distant deckchairs or beanbags for a comfortable experience. 

Choose from 18 cinema gems including cult classics, magical musicals, and family favourites. Best of all, screenings are completely free, so be sure to arrive early for pre-show entertainment, food, drink, and to secure seats.

When: Thursday 29 July – Sunday 5 September.

Where: Events Pad, Wembley Park Boulevard.

Price: Free.

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Wembley Park is London’s globally renowned entertainment district, now transformed into a 365-day neighbourhoodAlready home to The SSE Arena, Wembley, London’s most iconic concert and events venue and Wembley Stadium, Wembley Park is building on its international reputation for music and sporting events and becoming a landmark destination with culture, entertainment and community at its heart. It includes homes, shops, and places to work, as well as attractive public spaces, with parks and gardens, public squares and wide boulevards for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. When completed, nearly half of the 85-acre site will be open space. 

The neighbourhood continues to welcome innovative food, retail and leisure experiences, including Fuller’s, The White Horse, Black Sheep Coffee, Bread Ahead, Pasta Remoli, Twenty3c, Chop-Chop London and MoreYoga studio. A unique shopping option, Wembley Park Market, combines lifestyle, fashion, food, arts and crafts, health and wellness, with a selection of pop-up boutiques offering the best in ethical fashion from local designers and craftspeople, as well as healthy frozen foods, confectionaries and pantry staples from independent traders. The presence of four hotels, and London Designer Outlet (LDO), which includes over 70 shops and restaurants with premium brands that offer 70 per cent off RRP, and BOXPARK Wembley, which has brought independent and established street food traders to the area, make Wembley Park an exceptional destination for culture, food and shopping.

Wembley Park is also home to Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, a star cultural attraction inside the former Fountain Studios. 

Follow: @wembleyparkldn / @WembleyParkLDN / https://wembleypark.com/summer-of-play/ to stay in the loop about upcoming events and more.