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From DJ sets to late-night cinema, Museum of London announces blockbuster festival weekends to close London Wall

The Museum of London’s site at London Wall (left) will close on 4 December with a music weekend festival (right) © Museum of London

The Museum of London’s site at London Wall (left) will close on 4 December with a music weekend festival (right) © Museum of London

• The festivities – including DJs sets, immersive theatre, and late-night cinema – will take place over two free weekend festivals: London’s Greatest Weekends

Visitors can take part in London’s biggest table football competition inspired by free display Harry Kane: I want to play football. Winners will be in with the chance of winning a signed shirt by the England captain.

Dates will be Sat 26 & Sun 27 November (family weekend festival) and Sat 3 & Sun 4 December (music weekend festival)

Visitors have one last chance to see the museum at its London Wall site before it closes on 4 December, preparing for its new home in West Smithfield where it will reopen in 2026 under the name The London Museum

The museum will be open 24 hours on Saturday 3 December, opening at 10am and closing on Sunday 4 December at 5pm

The Museum of London Docklands remains open, and will become The London Museum Docklands from early 2023

More information on London’s Greatest Weekends can be found here (Family Festival) and here (Music Festival)

Wednesday 26 October 2022 – The Museum of London will mark its closure at London Wall after 45 years with two spectacular free weekend festivals which will include DJ sets, London’s biggest table football competition, immersive theatre, and late-night cinema. For the first time in the museum’s history, it will remain open for 24 hours from Saturday 3rd December. This will allow visitors to come in throughout the night for a last chance to see its galleries and collections before it closes on Sunday 4 December at 5pm, preparing for its new home in West Smithfield.

The weekend extravaganza will open on 26 November with London’s biggest table football competition, inspired by the museum’s free exhibition Harry Kane: I want to play football and the 2022 World Cup. Visitors will be invited to compete against players from the Walking Football Association. Winning teams will be entered into a raffle to win a special Museum of London prize, which includes an England shirt and poster signed by Harry Kane. Winners will be announced on the museum’s closing day. This first weekend festival will also offer families lots of creative fun, with arts and crafts, face painting, theatrical performances, immersive tours, and pop-up musical performances to bring the museum’s galleries to life.

The second weekend (3 & 4 December) will allow visitors to move to London’s funky beats, exploring the capital’s greatest hits from five decades from music genres such as disco, punk, dub, and grime – from the 70s to present day. Sisu, a DJ platform showcasing women and non-binary DJs and producers, will perform live in the museum’s Ellipse Hall, where visitors can also see the museum’s free music display Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstream. They will also be running an exclusive DJ workshop.

Night owls in the City will be able to visit the museum throughout Saturday evening and into the early hours of Sunday morning to get their culture fix. During a late-night film festival in collaboration with Film London, the museum will show films and host discussions that celebrate the city of London. Visitors will also be able to enjoy the museum’s galleries by night and see the treasures of its incredible collection charting London’s history.

The Roman Bucklersbury mosaic, Oliver Cromwell’s death mask, a sword belonging to Admiral Nelson, the Booth Map of Poverty, Selfridge’s art deco lifts, and a 1960s Beatles dress are among the rare and unique objects on show at the museum. Actors from the Walking Theatre Company will impersonate London’s historical characters, bringing the museum’s collection to life. Visitors will have a last chance to see these items, alongside the museum’s immersive pleasure gardens and Victorian Walk before the site closes.

The museum’s final day will be marked with closure celebrations inspired by the lighting of Thomas Heatherwick’s copper cauldron sculpture for the 2012 London Olympics – a symbolic passing of the flame from the museum’s past to the future and new home at West Smithfield.

London’s Greatest Weekends mark the culmination of the museum’s six-month programme of events, activities and displays celebrating its 45-year history at London Wall, including Black History Month, October half-term programming and a November special schools programme. Families will be invited to go on a Roman family walk through London and celebrate London’s Olympic history by creating their own Olympic torches, go on a sporting objects treasure hunt, and show their dance moves during a workshop with DashDotDance.

The museum will reopen at West Smithfield under a new name – The London Museum. It will welcome its first visitors to a festival curated by Londoners in late 2025 and open to the public in 2026. The Museum of London Docklands will remain open to visitors throughout and will become The London Museum Docklands from January 2023.

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

Melissa Kains, Founder and Director of Sisu, said: “We are beyond thrilled to bring a soundscape of different musical eras to the Museum of London's closing festival. Celebrating the work that the museum has done over the past 45 years, along with their venture to a new space is something incredibly special! 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. With education being at the core of what we do, we are looking forward to hosting a DJ workshop ahead of the musical showcase - connecting with the educational aspects of the museum. See you there!”



More information on London’s Greatest Weekends can be found here (Family Festival) and here (Music Festival).

About the Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays, and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open Monday - Sunday 10am – 5pm and is FREE to all. You can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added regularly.

About the Walking Football Association

Walking Football is a unique small-sided ball game created by John Croot in 2011. The purpose of The WFA is to promote and facilitate the playing of Walking Football in England as a unique amateur sport in all parts of England for the purpose of recreation, physical exercise and competition.

About Sisu

Sisu is a community providing a platform to educate, inspire and showcase aspiring women and non-binary DJs and producers. Our vision is to create educational and inspirational spaces to enhance national and international opportunities, connections and pathways into the music industry.

About The Walking Theatre Company

The award-winning Walking Theatre Company is an experienced theatre and events Company producing, touring and delivering theatre performances everywhere. The Walking Theatre Company’s dedicated Creative Team have over 15 years’ experience producing, delivering and managing interactive theatre experiences across the UK and beyond.

About Film London

Film London works to sustain, promote and develop London as a global content production hub. We support the development of the city's new and emerging filmmaking talent. And we invest in a diverse and rich film culture. Our aim is to ensure the capital is a thriving centre for a creative industries sector that enriches the city's businesses and its people.

About Groove Baby

Groove Baby produce grown up concerts your baby can groove to! Started in 2013, they play sell out concerts across the UK. The gigs are an opportunity for parents and carers to regularly experience outstanding music while treating the small ones to an engaging and enriching live music experience.

About The Glitterbox

The Glitterbox is a professional face painting service for parties and events.

For listings: further information on London’s Greatest Weekends

Weekend 1 – 26 & 27 November (family weekend festival)

Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 November (10am-5pm):
• London’s biggest Table Football Competition
• Time tunnel
• Illuminated Histories
• Tours and interactive performances by the Walking Theatre Company

Saturday 26 November (11am – 4pm):
• Arts and Crafts workshops

Saturday 26 November (11am – 4pm):
• Arts and Crafts workshops

Saturday 26 November (12pm – 3pm):
• Face painting with The Glitterbox

Sunday 27 November (11am & 2pm):
• A party hosted by Groove Baby, combining music with learning for parents, guardians, and young visitors, from newborn to three years old

Weekend 2 – 3 & 4 December (music weekend festival)

The museum will be open 24 hours on Saturday 3 December, opening at 10am and closing on Sunday 4 December at 5pm.

Saturday 3 December (10am – 5pm):
• London’s Biggest Table Football Competition
• Time tunnel
• Illuminated Histories
• Tours and interactive performances by the Walking Theatre Company

Saturday 3 December (10.30am – 12.30pm)
• DJ Workshop in collaboration with Sisu for all ages, with an introduction to DJing covering topics such as DJ equipment, musical structures, beat-matching and mixing techniques – limited places, booking essential

Saturday 3 December (1pm – 5pm)
• London Music through the Five Ages - Sisu DJ Collective

Saturday 3 December (7pm – midnight)
• Film Festival in collaboration with Film London, with films, shorts and discussions celebrating film and London’s role in its growth and development across the globe

Sunday 4 December (early morning)
• Wake Up with Yoga at the Museum of London: join us before the day starts in the foyer of the Museum of London for a free yoga class - please bring your own mat.

Sunday 4 December (10am-5pm)
• London’s biggest Table Football Competition
• Time tunnel
• Illuminated Histories
• Tours and interactive performances by the Walking Theatre Company

Sunday 4 December (4.30-5pm)
• Closing celebration inspired by the Olympic Cauldron

For listings: further information on the museum’s programme in October and November

Bars of Reassurance: Poetry and Grime with Yomi Sode and Kayo Chingonyi
Date: Wednesday 2 November 2022
Time: 7 pm
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Paid advanced booking required: £12 (Concession and Museum of London friends: £10)
Hear from some of London’s most exciting writers as they discuss connections between poetry and music. Join Yomi Ṣode, Kayo Chingonyi and a guest chair as they lead us through the links and lyrics found in poetry and grime. The event will feature poetry readings, an audience Q&A, and a screening of Distant Daily Ijó / YNWA – a short film Yomi and fellow poet Caleb Femi worked on together to accompany Yomi’s poetry, featuring references to and samples from legendary grime tracks. There will also be an opportunity to explore the display and purchase signed copies of the poets’ work.

Last Chance to See tour on Smartify (free)
Don't miss your last chance to explore the stories behind some of the most interesting objects in our collection direct to your mobile phone in our free, self-guided audio tour. You’ll hear our curators bring to life 10 of our most compelling pieces, from the Great Fire of London to the Suffragettes movement and Charles Booth’s Map of Poverty. We’ll take you on a journey through some of the important moments in history that have helped to shape the London of today.

Black History Month programme

Follow the Flame!
Date: 25-27 October 2022
Time: 10:30 am, 12 pm and 2 pm
Duration: 45 minutes
Free drop in, no booking required
Join Big Wheel Theatre Company for a fun interactive journey through London's Black sporting history. Follow our Olympic torch bearer as she tells tales of famous and lesser-known sporting heroes including Walter Tull, Alice Coachman and Mo Farah. This is a promenade-style performance with stops throughout the museum's lower galleries. You can join from the start or you might encounter our actor as part of your visit. Feel free to drop in and out as you please although numbers may be limited at particularly busy times to avoid overcrowding.

October half-term programme

Roman London family walk
Date: 26 October 2022
Time: 10:30 am
Duration: 1 hour
Paid advanced booking required
Go back 2,000 years and walk the streets of Roman Londinium! Visit the remains of the Roman city wall, the location of a long lost fort and Londinium’s hidden amphitheatre, where brave gladiators and nimble acrobats entertained the raucous crowds, on this interactive tour for families.

Terrific torches
Date: 24-26 October 2022
Time: 10:30 am and 2 pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Free, no booking required
Light up your day! Make and design your own Olympic torch inspired by the 2012 games in this fun family craft session. Don't forget to head to our London 2012 and World City galleries afterwards to see a real torch, the 2012 cauldron and other memorabilia on display. Please note this is an unticketed drop-in session. You can drop in at any time between 10.30-12.30 or 2-4pm. We expect you'll spend around 30 minutes in the session. Numbers may be limited at busy times.

Play the game family trail
Date: 22-30 October 2022
Time: 10 am
Duration: 1 hour
Free, no booking required
Play your way through the museum galleries to hunt for sporting objects from London’s past with this fun, free trail for all the family. Complete challenges to earn the skills and attributes you need to become a sports superstar!

Move at the museum
Date: 26 & 28 October 2022
Time: 11 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm
Duration: 45 minutes
Free, advanced booking required
Get the whole family moving! Join inclusive dance company DashDotDance for a family dance workshop inspired by London's sporting history. Suitable for disabled and non-disabled children and their families, everyone will be encouraged to join in and show off their moves in this accessible creative dance session. Come balance, turn, spring and reach with us - no experience necessary!

After Hours programme

After Hours: Medieval London
Date: 2 November 2022
Time: 6:30 pm
Duration: 2 hours
Paid advanced booking: £12 (Concession and Museum of London Friends: £10)
Join researcher, Eliot Benbow for a talk exploring our world-leading collection of everyday objects from the Middle Ages. Discover aspects of trade, domestic life, devotion, play, recreation and childhood in London on display in the museum. This talk will be followed by an opportunity to enjoy the medieval gallery after-hours, with expert guide Eliot on-hand to answer questions about life in the medieval city.

After Hours: Black history in Roman London
Date: 16 November 2022
Time: 6:30 pm
Duration: 2 hours
Paid advanced booking: £12 (Concession and Museum of London Friends: £10)
Join Senior Curator Dr Rebecca Redfern to investigate the evidence for Black people in the Roman Empire. This talk will explore how Black people’s presence in Roman London can be made visible, by looking at what stories are revealed by studying an object’s creation, origin and use. This talk will be followed by an opportunity to enjoy the Roman gallery after-hours, with expert guide Rebecca on-hand to answer questions.