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They finally found something good to put in the O2?
British Music Experience (London)
Member Name: tongueoftruth
British Music Experience (London)
Date: 14/06/10, updated on 09/07/13 (54 review reads)
Advantages: Good fun for couples, groups and teens
Disadvantages: May not be interesting for younger children.
This is one of the attractions at the O2 centre in London (what was built as the Millennium Dome).
Open: Monday to Sun (so isn't that every day?) 11am to 7.30pm. Last entry 6.30pm.
Dates: closes around Christmas and New Year - check dates before travelling.
Tickets: Adults £15.00. Children £12. Under -fives free. There are also family and concession prices. It's part of the London 2-4-1 travel deal, meaning that if you go by train, you get two tickets for the price of one. You need to fill in a voucher and leaflets with vouchers are available at train stations, or can be downloaded. The woman at the counter didn't even ask to see our train tickets so it might be worth trying a blag, however you travel there. You can book in advance through ticketmaster. Tickets have timed entries.
This attraction is all about British music from 1945 to the present day. There are seven sections, each dealing with a different era, that contain original costumes and memorabilia, the chance to listen to lots of music, news of the era, recorded interviews with people in the music world and singers, and more. I found these quite interesting but children would get quickly bored.
The other main attractions, that appeal more to all ages, are the interactive area and dance the decades. In the interactive area, you can take virtual lessons on guitars, basses, pianos and drums. These are real instruments and you follow your lesson and listen to yourself through headphones. This was the busiest area and very popular.
Dance the Decades is a sort of large video booth where you are recorded doing different dances - you follow the instructions on screen. All you could hear was lots of laughing and people having fun.
There's also quite a bit there about the history of recorded music, if that's your thing, but I didn't personally use those areas.
On your way out you go into 'The Beat Goes on', which is supposed to recreate the experience of being at a concert/festival. You stand surrounded by screens and watch a few minutes of music performances while surrounded by a screaming audience. I found this part a bit lame.
This is the innovative part of this attraction. Your entry ticket has a chip inside and you use it to activate various parts of the attraction. You can also 'record' information on it - for example from a display of costumes, or a copy of an interview - to access from home later. You can even record your attempts at playing an instrument from the interactive area and your dancing from the dance the decades booth. Once you return home, you log in to their website with your ticket code, and you can access everything on the chip.
Warning: Parking at the O2 is extremely expensive so it's best to go by train if you can.
Summary: An excellent 2-3 hours musical fun - good value on 2-4-1 tickets.
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