Museum of London: Music festivals, DJ sets and overnight visits to mark relocation

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It’s a final opportunity to see the museum at its existing home, ahead of a relocation to its new home in West Smithfield, where it will reopen in 2026.

The Museum of London will celebrate a major relocation with a series of festival weekends, boasting DJ sets, overnight opening and late night cinema screenings.

The museum’s London Wall site will close on December 4 after 45 years, following music festival and family weekends featuring immersive theatre and a table football tournament.

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Dubbed London’s Greatest Weekends, the free blockbuster events will be held across November 26 to 27 - for children and families - and December 3 to 4 - for festival goers.

It’s a final opportunity to see the museum at its existing home, ahead of a relocation to its new home in West Smithfield, where it will reopen in 2026, rebranded the London Museum.

Director Sharon Ament said: “We’ve planned a fantastic party to celebrate 45 years at London Wall and I look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to mark the end of an era with us.”

Families can enjoy a baby rave at the Museum of London. Photo: Museum of LondonFamilies can enjoy a baby rave at the Museum of London. Photo: Museum of London
Families can enjoy a baby rave at the Museum of London. Photo: Museum of London

Families can enjoy creative and fun activities from arts and crafts and face painting to a baby rave, theatre performances, immersive tours and musical shows to bring the galleries to life.

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While music fans can enjoy the capital’s greatest hits of five musical decades, from disco and punk to dub and grime, with DJ workshops and female and non-binary DJs from platform Sisu live on the decks in Ellipse Hall, alongside free music display, ‘Grime Stories’.

Visitors who take part in London’s biggest table football competition, which opens the weekend, have a chance to win a signed shirt by England football captain Harry Kane - inspired by the 2022 World Cup and the free exhibition ‘Harry Kane: I want to play football’.

And night owls can enjoy strolling the galleries by night when for the first time in the museum’s history, it will be open for 24 hours on December 3, before closing for a final time.

The Museum of London will leave its site at the London Wall. Photo: Museum of LondonThe Museum of London will leave its site at the London Wall. Photo: Museum of London
The Museum of London will leave its site at the London Wall. Photo: Museum of London

Treasures including Oliver Cromwell’s death mask, Admiral Nelson’s sword, Selfridge’s art deco lifts, and a 1960s Beatles dress are among the rare objects on show at the museum.

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Walking Theatre Company actors will impersonate London’s historical characters, as visitors experience the immersive pleasure gardens and Victorian Walk before the site closes.

Film London will collaborate with a film festival, with screenings celebrating the capital city.

The final day features closing celebrations inspired by lighting the copper cauldron sculpture for the 2012 Olympics - a symbolic passing of the flame from the museum’s past to its future.

Music lovers can enjoy a festival of sounds ahead of the museum’s closure. Photo: Museum of LondonMusic lovers can enjoy a festival of sounds ahead of the museum’s closure. Photo: Museum of London
Music lovers can enjoy a festival of sounds ahead of the museum’s closure. Photo: Museum of London

The Museum of London will reopen at West Smithfield, rebranded as The London Museum, welcoming its first visitors to a festival in 2025 and opening to the public in 2026.

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But the Museum of London Docklands will remain open to visitors throughout and will become The London Museum Docklands from January 2023.

Ms Ament added: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened our site in 1976 and we have enjoyed some fantastic moments here - whether that’s marking the history of the coronation, the 2012 Olympics, the Cheapside Hoard, or Vivienne Westwood’s wardrobe.

“Over 21 million people have visited our galleries to find out more about this great city, its history, and its people. We’re looking forward to one final hurrah before we continue the museum’s next chapter in our new location at West Smithfield.”

And Sisu founder Melissa Kains said: “We are beyond thrilled to bring a soundscape of different musical eras to the Museum of London’s closing festival.

“London is the birthplace of our community and a place we call home. To be showcasing music in and from such an important cultural heart feels very exciting.”

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