Bowie centre stage at O2 hall of rock fame

PUBLISHED: 16:26 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:43 12 August 2010

A MUSIC exhibition of British artists ranging from David Bowie to Iron Maiden has opened at the O2. The British Music Experience (BME), a

A MUSIC exhibition of British artists ranging from David Bowie to Iron Maiden has opened at the O2.

The British Music Experience (BME), a permanent fixture at the top floor of the Greenwich Peninsula venue, opened to the public on Monday (9).

The interactive space will include more than 500 pieces of memorabilia, including Bromley legend David Bowie's Ashes to Ashes clown suit and the coveted Ziggy Stardust costume.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who played the drums whilst opening the BME last Friday, said: "As the home of the UK music industry and all the major record labels, London's musical heritage is unrivalled.

"From the 1940s to the present day, it encapsulates the excitement and innovation that have made British music a force around the world."

Hundreds of artists will feature at the O2 Bubble's 22,000 sq ft exhibition, which also traces the impact British music made on fashion, art and politics.

Gibson guitars will be available for the public to pick up and play, and unlike Mike Myers' 90s film Wayne's World, visitors can even play Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.

The interactive area also has bass guitars and Slingerland Drum kits, a vocal booth for aspiring singers, and Dance the Decades, will let visitors practice dance moves.

After four years in the making, the BME will be a major addition to Greenwich's music status, together with the Trinity College of Music, which moved to the Old Royal Naval College in 2001.

As a charitable foundation chaired by promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who worked with Bob Geldof in 1985 on Live Aid, the BME will be managed by a board of trustees.

Adult tickets for the exhibition cost £15, concession tickets are £12, and a family ticket costs £40. The ticket will also allow visitors to download music from the BME website.

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