- United Kingdom
- Olympic Stadium
More from year 2012
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On June 4th 2012, The Queen would celebrate her Diamond Jubilee and it was so special in many ways. This was the first time I performed in front of her since her last Jubilee, and seeing all the people stretching down Pall Mall was great, as was meeting other members of the Royal Family afterwards. It was a great weekend to be British.Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, September 8, 2022
The Diamond Jubilee Concert was held on 4 June 2012 outside Buckingham Palace on The Mall in London. Organised by BBC Events with help from Gary Barlow, the concert was part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
[…] The concert took place on bank holiday Monday 4 June as part of the extended weekend celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee, which ran from 2 to 5 June. The acts performed on a specially constructed stage, with a canopy, around the Queen Victoria Memorial, in front of the palace. The stage was designed by Mark Fisher. Performances included one-off collaborations between artists.
From paulmccartney.com, February 7, 2012:
Paul will perform at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, on Monday 4th June, Buckingham Palace. Paul joins a royal line up of musical stars from the worlds of rock and pop, along with the best of classical music and musical theatre. This historic concert, a celebration of The Queen’s 60-year reign through music, will be attended by Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and other Members of the Royal Family.
Staged in the stunning surroundings of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, the BBC and Gary Barlow have brought together leading talent from the world of music. The concert will include classic hits and one-off collaborations from artists including Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS, Elton John, Tom Jones, Lang Lang, Annie Lennox, Madness, Cliff Richard and Ed Sheeran.
The concert will be broadcast live on BBC One, BBC One HD and on BBC Radio 2 in the UK and to millions around the world. Viewers in the United States will be able to watch exclusive highlights on ABC the next day.
Today a national ballot is launched through which 10,000 members of the public will be selected to receive free tickets to this unique event. People are invited to apply by logging on to www.bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee or by post, anytime between 7th February and 2nd March. Tickets are not being allocated on a first-come first-served basis, sothere is as much chance of being selected if an application is made on 7th February as on 2nd March.
Those chosen by the ballot will be invited to attend both the concert and a Jubilee Picnic in the Buckingham Palace Garden. These ‘Diamond Ticket’ invitations will be allocated according to the broad spread of the population around the UK. In addition, a significant number of people from a selection of nominated charities will receive invitations to the concert.
It was so special in so many ways. You’re only doing 15 minutes, which makes it different from all the other gigs so you’ve just got to concentrate all your energy into that 15 minutes and make it tell. The fact we’re playing for the Queen was very special. Seeing all the people stretching down Pall Mall was great, as was meeting members of the Royal Family afterwards. It was a great weekend to be British.Paul McCartney – From For Whom The Bell Tells, July 2, 2012
From paulmccartney.com, June 5, 2012:
Last night Paul gave a show-stopping performance at the Palace, which kicked off with ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ‘All My Loving’. Paul then moved to the piano for ‘Let It Be’ creating a mass sing-along. Up next was ‘Live and Let Die’ which saw fireworks light up the night sky and the crowds celebrating with flag waving and dancing all the way down the Mall. Paul brought the night to a spectacular close with ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ as the entire cast joined him onstage.
From For Whom The Bell Tells, July 2, 2012:
I have to remember that standing on the side of the stage watching Paul bring the Diamond Jubilee show to an epic finale was actually real. I did actually get to do that. And for those who say it must suck having to work on a bank holiday, you are absolutely wrong. It was a magical night. The perfect end to a great day. It was surreal watching across to the Royal Box and seeing them up on their feet dancing and singing along to ‘All My Loving’; perhaps we’ve more in common with them than I thought! There was also another career first for Paul too, as The Times were to later note, ‘Of all the achievements in one ex-Beatles career, getting the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most Rev Rowan Williams, to sing along to All My Loving must rank amongst Sir Paul’s oddest.’
I had even more fun catching up with Paul about it over a cup of tea and some bagels just days later, getting all the inside gossip (more of that to come!). The last I saw of Paul on the evening itself was spotting him being hurried along with his wife and the band to the Palace to party with the Royal Family. My Macca AAA pass normally gets me into most places but that night, me and the rest of the crew, had to do our partying in the backstage compound as rock royalty was whisked off to mingle with actual royalty.
Although we were onsite from about 10am and the show didn’t finish until nearly 11pm, it was one of those days that seemed to last just a heartbeat. At 10am the place still felt weirdly quiet, although from the stage you could see the crowds starting to gather all around the grounds. At midday, Paul arrived ready for his soundcheck. Wearing special Jubilee sunglasses, he greeted us all in his friendly style and then took to the stage. The stage manager noticed that rather a lot of people had gathered in front of the stage at this point and he kindly asked anyone who didn’t need to be there to get back to work. This dispersed the crowd of ‘workers’ for all of about 30 seconds before they all found new positions to watch Paul rehearse from with their iPhones in hand. Well, if you had the chance, you would too! On the other hand, it was the one moment all day the tight security found itself vulnerable, as the heavily armed police swapped their machine guns for their mobile phones.
After rehearsals, Paul dashed off home for his own family’s Jubilee celebrations until his call time later that afternoon. My phone was ringing off the hook from the world’s media. They all wanted a piece of the big man. Paul agreed to talk to the media on site upon his return so you can imagine the media’s delight. For some reason I became a very popular man all of a sudden.
In the cramped but friendly backstage corridors, both artists and music execs seemed to have a whole list of excuses – ‘I’m just looking for so and so’ etc – in order to come down to the end of the corridor near Paul’s dressing room hoping for a glimpse. And when Paul did arrive back on site, the traffic in his end of the corridor increased tenfold. From Gary Barlow to Stevie Wonder, they all came by to say hi to our man.
And so to the media commitments… we walked from the dressing room compound to the mini makeshift media village. Even though I’d let the relevant producers know that Paul would be coming, they had been texting and emailing every two minutes just to double check so there was obvious excitement and relief on their faces when Paul arrived. Paul was happy to chat to everyone and really made a lot of people’s day. The best moment had to be when Radio 2’s Chris Evans was chatting with Will.i.am and excitedly brought Paul in to the conversation. He asked Will.i.am to ask Paul some questions. There was a long pause as Will.i.am, looking a little stunned, just stared at Paul. ‘I’m a little star struck here’, he eventually managed before clicking into gear and chatting with Paul.
Before we knew it, time had flown past and Paul and the band headed to the stage to wait for their anticipated performance. Golf buggies, the only way to travel, appeared at the dressing rooms and took the guys off at what seemed like breakneck speed. When the guys arrived at the stage, they were then taken into a room directly behind the stage where all the others were gathering for the big finale. Heads swiveled as Paul walked in. This time, it was the artists and presenters pulling out their mobile phones trying to get a photo with Paul and Paul, as always, was very obliging. Finally, Paul, Wix, Brian, Abe and Rusty made their way to the stage as the crowd’s excitement reached deafening levels.
With 17.1 million people (in the UK alone) tuned in to the BBC, Paul kicked off with ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and next came ‘All My Loving’. Paul followed these up with ‘Let It Be’, which sparked a mass sing-a-long around the Palace and down the Mall with projections of candles on the Palace itself. Then it was ‘Live and Let Die’ which saw the crowd punching the air and waving flags in delight as fireworks and lasers pierced the skies. After ‘Live and Let Die’, Paul got down from his piano stool and was handed a specially made Union Jack Hofner bass guitar to huge cheers before launching into a joyous ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’, which the Telegraph described as an ‘utterly appropriate ending’. Paul was joined on stage by the entire line up before introducing Her Majesty to the stage.
How about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?
I met the Queen there. I met Prince Charles, now King Charles. I met Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath. I met Brian May, Eric Clapton … And there’s Phil Collins, one of my heroes from Genesis. You can’t even glue it all together. It’s one of those big events that I would never have the luxury of being involved with if it wasn’t for Paul. I’m just very thankful.Rusty Anderson – Interview with Rolling Stone – October 11, 2023
Last updated on October 15, 2023
This was the 1st and only concert played at Olympic Stadium.
Setlist for the concert