While an estimated billion people tuned in to see Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday night, several thousand made their way to Haggerston Park in Hackney to watch it on the big screen. Armed with picnic blankets and umbrellla, groups of family and friends settled on the grass to watch what was billed as ‘the best opening ceremony ever’. Did it live up to the hype? EastLondonLines reporter Ines O’Gorman went along to find out.
Tom Baxter, 22, student, Hackney:
“I think it was pretty epic, slightly over dramatic, didn’t really understand most of what went on but I was feeling it. I liked what I thought were people dressed as Abraham Lincoln dancing in unison but I’m told they weren’t Abraham Lincoln”.
Cathal Turley, 29, banker, Wapping:
“I thought it started pretty poor but in the end it was good. I think the music was great, they did a lot there. They went through every genre of music which I really enjoyed. The Cure coming on was my favourite bit of the whole ceremony and Mr Bean”.
Stefaine McDonald, ecological economist, 34, Edinburgh:
“It was amazing visually but a bit over indulgent. I think Danny Boyle went off on a ‘I’m a film director’ tangent. I didn’t like the NHS beds bit at all”.
Jennifer Hughes, 27, shop owner, Islington:
“I was a bit confused to honest, I didn’t get what was going on at all. It was hard to hear where we were sitting which didn’t help either. In the end it was pretty spectacular though”.