Big Chill, a large Victorian Pub in the heart of London’s King’s Cross, has been chosen to be the Irish House during London 2012.
The venue, described as “a super cool space”, is expected to accommodate up to 40,000 visitors during the 17 days of the Olympics and is promising to feature appearances from leading Irish musicians, comedians and actors.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Big Chill House as it is an iconic brand and its owners bring a wealth of entertainment experience to the table,” said James Sinton, the chief executive of THG Sports Tours, who are organising the House in association with the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).
“They have long been associated with cutting edge music venues and bars as well as the hugely popular Big Chill Festival. This really is going to be an exciting summer celebrating with Team Ireland as it goes for Olympic gold.”
Choosing an Irish House has been a controversial topic with the Roundhouse at Camden the first choice before that deal collapsed when the proposed sponsor pulled out.
The Irish House at Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics was one of the most popular attractions of the Games.
“We want the Irish Olympic House to be the number one party destination at the Games and so we are working with some of Ireland’s top artists to ensure we can replicate the atmosphere and excitement of a true Irish night out,” said Sinton.
“By concealing the names of our ambassadors, we will be creating word of mouth and social media excitement which, we believe, will drive high levels of repeat visitors to The Irish Olympic House, making it the number one entertainment destination for visitors during the Olympics.”
Kings Cross will be one of the main transport hubs during the London Olympics and a frequent Javelin train will run between King’s Cross St Pancras station and the Olympic Park, taking just seven minutes and carrying up to 25,000 passengers per hour.
“The London Games are so geographically close to us that we are treating it as a ‘home’ Olympics,” said Patrick Hickey, the President of the OCI. “Therefore we feel a strong obligation to cater for Irish people travelling to the event to support Team Ireland and to the Irish diaspora living in the UK.
“The Irish Olympic House will undoubtedly be a magnet for our supporters due to its excellent central location and superb facilities. It will, of course, be open to all-comers and nationalities and we expect it to be a huge success.”
See www.irishhouse-london2012.com for updates.