From the Editor: We've best talent, but will transport derail 2012 bid?

London's profile has risen to new heights recently thanks to an events calendar that is packed to bursting. Tourism body Visit London calculates £3.3bn is spent annually on events in the capital (page 16). But that figure is sure to rise as suppliers say they have never seen it so busy at this time of year.

Open spaces from Clapham Common in the south up to Finsbury Park in the north have been used to stage high production events. Hyde Park hosted a string of concerts, including Party in the Park and Simon and Garfunkel.

The royal parkland also featured the largest UK stage set ever built for three sell-out Red Hot Chili Peppers gigs.

Over on the Mall meanwhile, about 70,000 people watched a free Olympic Torch concert featuring James Brown and Rod Stewart. And more than 300,000 motor racing fans lined Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street to watch F1 drivers stake a claim for a London Grand Prix to rival Monaco (page 7).

While the cream of the UK events industry has been holed up in London hotels, Jack Morton has been preparing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Athens Olympics and London outfit Rhubarb is tackling the lion's share of the Greek catering contracts.

The capital's event talent should put the decision as to who would make the best 2012 Olympic host beyond doubt. But with every step forward the problem of London's struggling transport system rears its ugly head. Industrial action on the tube on the opening day of The Exhibiting Show (page 11), kept people away and a derailment after the Chili Peppers gig caused major disruption. Regular travellers around the capital know only too well how a simple 15-minute journey routinely turns into an hour-long trek. Concerted action is needed to solve the problem. If not we can say Au revoir to any chance of a London Games.

Finally, the deadline for entries into the 2004 Corporate Event Association awards is 13 August. Grab the opportunity now to showcase your company's talent at the November ceremony.


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