"Your Entertainment Source" – WWW.INSIDEBOXMAG.COM
The view from our seats of the Olympic Stadium
By TheBOX Car’s featured Travel writer Sharen Ram
It was no fluke that I was in London during the end of the Olympics for the off-chance that I might be able to find a way into the Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony without forking over an insane amount of dough. Tickets were being released daily on the ticketing site but no amount of staring at a screen and hitting refresh got me the results I wanted. I tried the site strictly for UK and EU residents (yes, I knew if I struck gold, someone I knew would have to grab the tickets for me but who cares!) and the one that was designated for Canadians which was a total bust as well. Nothing I did worked and so I moved onto Plan B – get myself as close to Olympic Park on the day in order to easily become a “bum on a seat” if they needed any seat fillers or frankly anything else that was necessary that required a body (is the last day too late to register as a volunteer?).
I scoured this little thing called the internet for locations that would suit and came across a pop up bar called Fringe 2012. The photos from the opening ceremony at this classy warehouse converted into a bar for the posh set seemed to fit the bill as it was just 100 meters away from Olympic Park. The bonus was that tickets were relatively inexpensive so there wouldn’t be any second guessing if I were able to upgrade my venue at the last moment. Tickets were secured and I was still trying harder than hell to strike gold at the online ticket lottery when tragedy struck. On Saturday, I received an email stating that the event at Fringe 2012 had been cancelled and I would be fully refunded. WTF! So here I was, super late in the game and back at square one. So as anyone would do, I turned to the internet and attempted to find out what everyone else was recommending. Sadly, most other things that appealed to me were already sold out – I’m mainly referring to the BT London Live Closing Ceremony Concert in Hyde Park as I had chosen the Fringe venue over this and would rather not talk about regret at the moment. After giving online ticket one last college try, I decided to book at another pop up venue done by the Maddox Club at Forman’s Fish Island Riviera. Turns out this was also 100 meters away from Olympic Park. It was a beach club venue and aside from the sand in uncomfortable places, it would do the trick.
The 1st set of fireworks at the beginning of the night
We turned up early but not early enough as the queue for ticket holders had already formed around the venue. Luckily, we were quick on the draw and secured seats where we had a great view of the screen as well as the Olympic stadium directly behind us. We were surrounded by a crowd of locals who would go nuts over every part of the ceremonies. They knew every performer and every word to every song that was sung. It was hard to distinguish if the singing, merriment, and cheer was coming from our group or from the people lucky enough to be in the stadium. I wasn’t as enthused about the entire evening as I was left slightly puzzled at the artists that appeared (or didn’t appear) and why the supermodels and their connection to music other than dating the talent of course. Anyway, despite the fact that I didn’t find myself in the stadium during the games, what I did find is I had the best seat in the house for what turned out to be my favorite part – THE FIREWORKS! They were what I thought made the closing ceremony spectacular and was glad I didn’t dip into my savings to shell out for an unaffordable ticket inside the stadium when I saw the best of it from the outside.