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“A few hours well spent” 4 of 5 stars
Review of British Music Experience

British Music Experience
The Bubble | The O2, London SE10 0DX, England
020 8463 2000
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Ranked #699 of 853 Attractions in London
Type: Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: Britain's interactive museum of popular music. Combining cutting edge audio-visual technology with some of the most coveted music memorabilia – the only exhibition where you can select your favourite content to keep. Trace era defining moments through 60 years of music and its influence on art and fashion. See iconic British music memorabilia from David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust costume to Amy Winehouse’s dress. Develop your skills on guitar, bass, drums, vocals and even your dance moves!
Sleaford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A few hours well spent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

I took my 16 year old son here as we wanted a day trip in London and to visit something a little different - all on a budget.

I'm really pleased to say that the ticket prices are very affordable, I pre-booked online the evening before and printed the e-ticket. But for what we paid we definitely got lots for our money.

We both love music and overall the exhibition had interesting information about the history of modern music, with lots of memorabilia and items donated by musicians, etc which was very impressive.

The interactive technology was a good idea and mostly working. Although it did take me a while to work out how to wave my hand over some exhibits - less waving and more touch as you move up and down the interactive keyboard, so maybe the instructions could be a little clearer.

Although it was busy (we went on a morning at the same time as 2 school trips), the way it's laid out and the size of the rooms meant we didn't struggle to find a free exhibit to view.

The interactive studio was a little busier and my son was keen to get on the drums but didn't manage to as one set was out of action and the other two were taken up with school children. However we managed to have a go on the guitars - although I did have to tune them...! I managed to record my play along to the Magic Numbers.

The smarticket is a brilliant idea (and part of the ticket price :)) the dance moves I recorded in the dance studio will definitely NOT be going onto Facebook, but a fun reminder of the day. I don't think the ticket has recorded any of the information I wanted it to save, firstly because I probably didn't fully understand how to use it at first, however once I'd got the hang of it, there are still things not recorded.

We spent 2 hours there and overall I was quite impressed, thanks.

Visited October 2013
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Edinburgh
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“FANTASTIC MUSIC EXPERIENCE/MUSEUM BUT WITH SOME FLAWS”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We absolutely loved our visit to the British Music Experience - my son is a 14 yr old 60's/70's music fan and I found the BME through Trip Advisor whilst researching a day trip to London. We took a Thames Clipper from Tower Bridge via a combined BME/Thames Clipper return commuter ticket (via the Thames Clipper website) really good value. The hands on exhibits at the BME and Smart Ticket technology is really impressive, as are the many original costumes, musical instruments and various pieces of music memorabilia, many donated by the artists themselves. In many ways, the BME is a combination of a music exhibition at the V & A combined with a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe, although without the food.
To sum up, I would heartily recommend this exhibition to music fans, but unfortunately the BME lets itself down on some levels. Firstly, they must get their exhibits to work - several items weren't working on the day we visited, including the Dance Booth and some pieces in the Interactive Studio. ON the day we visited, there was also a set up for a 'corporate event' that evening, even though we were there from when it opened at 11am. This meant that the final part of the BME experience was 'off limits' for the set up. I found this to be quite unacceptable. If they want to offer a lesser experience, maybe they should charge a lesser price. Secondly, get more attendants/stewards to supervise the use of the instruments and exhibits. The Interactive Studio is basically a huge room full of amazing guitars keyboards and drums you are able to play (if they work!). Unfortunately, I think the reason they don't work is because following our visit there were at least four huge school trips behind us - and the school children are allowed 'carte blanche' to use the instruments without supervision. Hence, the exhibits out of order. It's a real shame there are these negative points because we very much enjoyed our visit and it really enhanced our trip to London. So BME - sort it out!!

Visited October 2013
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Bucks
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A Real Disappointment”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

Visited before a concert at the 02, and glad I had not made a special journey. The selling point of an interactive card to store music and info on to take home did not work. The dance booth - something we are told about in the opening sequence was out of action, as were about half of the interactive displays. None of this was explained as we handed in our tickets. There was also a lack of explanation about the entrance and the exit. Both large screen experiences were a waste of time. The best bit was being able to play real instruments, however there were not many people there and 10 minutes to learn a simple song on a guitar seemed a bit tedious. There is so much to do in London, and of good quality - sorry folks this was way down the bottom, we can do better.

Visited October 2013
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best for Overseas Tourists & Children”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

This place is wonderful...if you fall into one of the following categories:

* you're not British and want to learn about the history of British music
* you're a teenager/in your early 20s and want to learn about the history of British music
* you ARE British, have been living in a cave/nuclear bunker for the past 40/50 years and want to learn about the history of British music

What I'm saying is that if you are well-learned on the timeline of British pop music then this museum won't tell you anything you don't already know. Rock n' roll, through Beatles, glam rock, punk, new romantics, Britpop and whatever it is we have now. Hey ho.

Good points? Lots of interactive, touchy-feely things to force you to get your hands out of your pockets...just as long as there isn't somebody else looking at the same bit at the same time as you and you end up "fighting" over which bit to select and listen to/watch. The "talking tables" interviews and insights are quite interesting as is the memorabilia in the glass cases, and it was good to see lots of musical sub-genres being covered. Genesis' 'Suppers Ready' gets a mention in the prog rock bit, a good "nod" in that genre's direction for the museum to make.

Other bad points? I can't really comment on the entrance price as I got a reduction being an attendee at an O2 concert later that day but, for what it's worth, £15 does seem a tad steep. I also thought a lot more could have been made of the part that highlights the ways and technology we have used to consume media/music over the years. I'm also not sure why there is a "no photography" policy. Those interactive smart cards you get given are useless and all - tried twice to capture information (as explained by the girl at the door) but it didn't work...so I gave up and really couldn't be bothered asking for help.

So, so-so. Evidently for overseas tourists, in my opinion.....

Visited October 2013
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Cambridge
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Time in London”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Some of the hands on did not work. The ones that did lasted approx. 10 to 15 seconds , not long enough....very disjointed...just not worth the entrance fee.....

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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