Fast moves and Reggae grooves will be all the rage at the free London 2012 Olympic attraction known as Jamaica House. The Caribbean island nation is celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence — and hopes to make the event even more special with some gold medals by its sprinters. We’ll be live-blogging from Jamaica House throughout the Games, and we’ve got all the essential info you need to plan your visit below.
Sunday, 5 August
10:14 p.m. The party has officially kicked-off at Jamaica House. The DJ is spinning Jamaican tunes, while you can grab some food and your choice of a few different brews. The party goes on until 3 a.m., so come on down!
9:55 p.m. The race is over and the crowd screams loud cheers of “U-sain Bolt, U-sain Bolt!” Bolt wins Men’s 100 M dash in 96.3 seconds.
9:41 p.m. Just minutes away from Usain Bolt’s race and you can already feel the anticipation! Folks here are rooting for Jamaica, but there are a few American supporters eager to see who will win gold.
9:05 p.m. The excitement is building as Jamaica’s Usain Bolt gets ready to run the 100 meter -dash. The crowd is singing along with the live band just as the music stops to hear the television.
8:57 p.m. The groovy Jamaican music is blasting directly from a live band. If you’re looking for a beer at Jamaica House, prices are capped at £4. Red Stripe, Guinness, Dragon Stout and Guinness Punch are all £4. Non-alcoholic fruit punch costs £2.50.
8:15p.m. Jamaica House is definitely the place to be this evening! Right now queus to get in aren’t that long, but you’ll be standing for a while to get into the main arena area. It is, however worth the wait. Once you make it into the O2 Arena, you can hear the music from far away and smell the aromas of authentic Jamaican cuisine just before you step into the party. Once you hit the door, You’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the island.
Friday, 3 August
13:02 Just a heads up for those hoping to watch the Games: This is a house that has just opened, so I’m sure this is just a teething problem that will be sorted out, but big screens here seem zoomed in and are missing part of the picture — making it difficult to work out exactly what is going on on the screen. The picture also seems to be being streamed over the internet and occasionally buffers.
12:41 Visitors here can enjoy mini-table tennis as well as inside deckchairs to watch the games in. As far as entertainment, musical acts include Toots & the Maytals, Junior Toots, Chantelle Ernandez and Sir Lloyd Coxsone & Fatman Hi Fi, playing until late tonight. Visitors to this house can enjoy the Bob Marley exhibition at the British Museum of Popular Music.
12:36pm Cheers for Alan Campbell here as Team GB pick up another medal. Beer here is £4 a pint of Becks/Stella/Bud/Kopparberg.
12:31pm There are also screens inside as well, a nice dry place to enjoy the venue in this unpredictable weather. People who visit this house will be subject to the same search regulations as those entering the arena for sporting events.
12:25pm The rain has passed here at the O2 and people are enjoying the Olympic action on the screens here at Jamaica House. All cocktails are £5.50 and can be enjoyed to the soundtrack of some smooth reggae tunes.
Where is it: Inside the O2 Arena (called the North Greenwich Arena during the Games).
Nearest Tube: North Greenwich Station
Opening Hours: 4pm to 12am daily through August 12
Watching the Games: Yes, on giant screens
Highlights: A wide range of entertainment planned including live music and comedy. A bar and authentic Jamaican food. Opportunities to learn about the country’s culture and history. An attached exhibit on the life of Bob Marley.
Restrictions: Jamaica House requires reservations to attend in the evening, however the pre-booking slots are already full. Jamaica House will let people enter using a one-out, one-in policy after 6:30pm each night.