UF band heads for London to perform at summer Olympics

Published: July 18 2012


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — More than 230 members of the University of Florida Gator Marching Band will leave Monday to represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games in London.

Invited to perform at several London locations by the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and for American VIPs, the Gators are finishing their last-minute rehearsals, packing equipment and prepping for their departure. They return July 31.

The media are invited to join the Gator Marching Band from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday for its final rehearsal at Steinbrenner Band Hall on the UF campus.

News media are invited to experience “Olympic London” through the eyes of band members as they complete their rehearsals in London, enjoy sightseeing at recognizable London locations.

The University of Florida also will provide daily updates, HD video and photos of the band throughout their trip through a shared DropBox folder. Please email one of the contacts below for access to this content.

Live updates will be posted to the band’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/UFGatorBand) and Twitter account (www.twitter.com/UFGatorBand).

In addition, the band will perform at the British Telecom “London Live” celebration during the games at Victoria Park, adjacent to Olympic Park, entertaining thousands prior to the Opening Ceremony. Their tour is slated to end with performances for U.S., Olympic and other high-ranking officials.

“The Gators have been raising funds and working intensely to make this dream a reality for six months, and for many it is the pinnacle of their performance career to date,” said Jay Watkins, associate director of bands. “The band is deeply honored by the unique invitations they have received.”

While some of the highest profile performances remain confidential, a general itinerary is included below.

For more information on the University of Florida or the Gator Marching Band please contact:

Steve Orlando (will be in Gainesville for the duration of the trip)
Director – UF News Bureau
352-392-0186 (office)
352-273-3819 (direct line)
352-327-1277 (cell)

Steve Johnson (will be with the Gator Band during all events on the trip)
Senior Producer – Special Projects at the University of Florida
407-782-2910 (cell) (will work in London)

University of Florida Gator Marching Band Itinerary
July 22-31

Olympic Games start July 27
All times are local to the band’s location

Sunday, July 22 – Gainesville, Fla.
8 a.m.-10 p.m. Rehearsal day / load equipment truck / photo availability all day
1:30-2 p.m. – Media availability

Monday, July 23 – Gainesville, Fla. – Orlando, Fla.
7:30 a.m. – Breakfast provided for Gator Band
9 a.m. – Flight 1 bus leaves music building for Orlando Airport
12:30 p.m. – Flights 2 and 3 bus leaves music building for Orlando Airport

Tuesday, July 24 – London
6:30-10 a.m. – Three flights arrive at London Heathrow
3 p.m. – Check-in at hotel
4 p.m. – Rehearsal at hotel
7 p.m. – Welcome dinner at hotel

Wednesday, July 25 – London
9 a.m.-noon – Windsor Castle tour and rehearsal
4 p.m. – Full band dress rehearsal

Thursday, July 26 – London
9 a.m. – Greater UK Tours (Stonehenge and Bath, Warner Brothers Studios and Oxford)
6:30 p.m. – West End theater night

Friday, July 27 – London (Opening Ceremony Day)
8 a.m. – Leave hotel for performance in support of U.S.
8 p.m. – Performance No. 1 at Victoria Park (pre-show for Opening Ceremonies)
9 p.m. – Performance No. 2 at Victoria Park (Parade of Nations)

Saturday, July 28 – London
Free day of sightseeing with professional tour guides

Sunday, July 29 – London
8 a.m. – Chamber Music Groups performance in support of U.S.
Noon – Full band performance (Location TBA)

Monday, July 30 – London
Free day
6 p.m. – Dinner cruise on Thames River

Tuesday, July 31 – London
7:30-9 a.m. – Depart for airport
7 p.m. – Arrive in Orlando