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The National Science and Media Museum is open—you can book free museum admission or cinema tickets online in advance.

BBC Music Day event at the National Science and Media Museum

The National Science and Museum and Picturehouse Cinema will be taking part in the nationwide BBC Music Day events on Friday 28 September 2018. 

The museum is exhibiting its latest acquisition—which has links to James Brown, The Who, The Prodigy and many other artists—along with guest talks from music industry professionals, and a special screening of a film celebrating a cult music legend.

The Midas XL3 40-channel mixing desk, larger than the average pool table, will be on display for the first time since being acquired for the museum’s Sound Technologies collection. It has been used for live performances by iconic artists such as Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse, The Who, James Brown, Patti Smith, Happy Mondays, The Prodigy, and many, many more.

The Prodigy’s front-of-house sound engineer Jon Burton, from Laundry Room Studios in Sheffield, will be at the event to talk about the history of the desk and his own personal insights into why it is so revered in the music industry. John Tinline, the original owner, said: ‘If I said most bands you have ever heard of have been through that desk, it wouldn’t be far from the truth’.

As BBC Music Day celebrates women in music, Mariana Lopez, Chair of the Audio Engineering Society UK and Lecturer in Sound Production and Post Production at the University of York, will also be sharing her expert knowledge and discussing opportunities and challenges for women in the music production industry.

The evening will be capped off with a rare screening of the documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life, a film 11 years in the making which explores the philosophy and artistry of cult rocker Patti Smith, known as the ‘Godmother of Punk’.

Talks and presentations are free. Tickets for Patti Smith: Dream of Life are £5 each and can be booked online.

  • 18.00, Level –1: Insight Tour: a tour of the Sound Technologies collection in the National Science and Media Museum’s archive and research centre; free entry
  • 19.00, Level 1 mezzanine: From James Brown to The Prodigy: The story of XL3 003, talk by Jon Burton of Laundry Room Studios; free entry
  • 19.45, Pictureville Cinema foyer, Level 0: Gender Equality in the Audio Industries: Where we’re at and what’s next, talk by Mariana Lopez of the Audio Engineering Society; free entry
  • 20.45, Pictureville Cinema, Level 0: Patti Smith: Dream of Life (15); £5 per ticket (group booking rates available)


For further details or images please contact: Phil Oates, / 01274 203 317

Notes for editors

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.

Part of the Science Museum Group