•Countdown begins to the second London Games Festival
•First confirmed events include opening weekend’s games concert and a closing weekend parade
•Festival runs 30 March to 9 April at various venues across the city
The London Games Festival has unveiled four key cultural events that take place as part of the 11-day celebration of games and interactive entertainment hitting the capital next month (30 March to 9 April).
Key moments on the schedule this year include a games music concert featuring a big-screen game play-through with accompanying live music; the return of the Now Play This games exhibition with an extended run at Somerset House; a school-focused eSports tournament; and a closing weekend parade on the streets of London. Tickets for select events are on sale now.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Growing the city’s culture and creative industries is so important, and as Mayor, I’m delighted to welcome this year’s London Games Festival, which promises to showcase the best of the city’s imagination, game design and innovation. Home to more than 500 games companies and top talent from around the world, London is right at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, and this exciting festival celebrates the richness of our thriving games industry.”
London Games Festival runs from 30 March to 9 April and is organised by Games London, a partnership between the capital’s screen industries agency Film London and games trade body Ukie, supported by the Mayor of London’s London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP).
The LGF 2017 schedule also includes EGX Rezzed (30 March to 1 April), the Games Finance Market (4 April to 6 April), BAFTA Games Awards (6 April), plus a city-wide Fringe of quirky events. A Summit programme of insightful talks and thought-provoking lectures will be unveiled shortly.
LGF will cover nearly 40 events across 30 different venues, with 50,000 expected to attend over the eleven days.
The cultural highlights announced today are:
Dear Esther Live – 7pm, Saturday 1 April, St John’s at Hackney, E5 0PD
London Games Festival will host a revival performance of The Chinese Room’s sell-out show Dear Esther Live ahead of its UK tour later in 2017. The event showcases a big-screen play-through of the Brighton games studio’s award-winning game plus an accompanying live soundtrack performance. The concert takes place at the historic The Church of St John-at-Hackney. Tickets priced at £20 inc VAT (+ booking fee) on sale at https://www.universe.com/lgf-dear-esther-live
Digital Schoolhouse eSports Tournament Grand Final – 10.30am to 3.30pm, Tuesday 4 April, Gfinity Arena, SW6 1BW
Digital Schoolhouse will be hosting the final of the first UK inter-school eSports competition, which has seen 400 secondary and sixth form students across the country taking part. The tournament is designed to promote digital careers and engage students in cross-curricular creative computing. The final will see four regional finalist teams battle it out on Rocket League in the professional studio in front of a live audience.
Now Play This – 7 April to 9 April, Somerset House, WC2R 1LA
A three-day celebration of games design, featuring over 50 games to play from international artists and respected designers. This year, Somerset House is extending the experience for a month, with a free exhibition, Game Changers: Another Way to Play running until 7 May. More info at nowplaythis.net. Tickets for Now Play This are £8 (under 12s free) and can be bought direct from Somerset House at www.somersethouse.org.uk – or available as part of the LGF Super Pass, which goes on sale from 23 February.
LGF Games Character Parade – 1pm, 8 April, Route TBA
The final Saturday of LGF will see hundreds of games characters take to the streets of London in the very special Games Festival Character Parade. Welcoming both video games-inspired cosplayers and official mascots and characters, this first-of-its-kind games event will see iconic interactive entertainment heroes in even more iconic London locations. More details, including the parade location and other highlights, will be unveiled shortly. But the call for parade participants is open now, information and guidelines at www.games.london/parade