Skip to main content

National Science and Media Museum

You are here:

BBC Music Day

Join us for an evening of music magic! We’ll delve behind the scenes to discover the technological secrets of live performances, discover how to get ahead in music production, and see an astonishingly personal view of a cult legend.

As part of BBC Music Day, bringing generations and communities together through music, we present an evening of special guests sharing their experience in the music industry, alongside a film exploring the incredible artistry of Patti Smith.

What’s on

Insight Tour

When: 18.00
Where: Insight, Level –1
Price: Free

Join a member of our curatorial team for a look at our fantastic Sound Technologies collection. You’ll explore Insight, our archive and research centre, and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of the treasures that aren’t on permanent display.


From James Brown to The Prodigy: The story of XL3 003

Midas XL3, 40 channel, Live Performance Console from 1990

When: 19.00
Where: Mezzanine, Level 1
Price: Free

On public display for the first time is our latest acquisition: the Midas XL3 40-channel mixing desk, serial number 003. Bigger than the average pool table, this iconic object has been used by Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse, The Who, James Brown, Patti Smith, Happy Mondays, and many, many more.

In this talk, The Prodigy’s front-of-house sound engineer and passionate advocate of analogue technology, Jon Burton, will reveal the history of the desk and his own personal insights into why it is so revered in the industry.


Mariana Lopez: Gender Equality in the Audio Industries

When: 19.45
Where: Pictureville Cinema foyer, Level 0
Price: Free

This year’s BBC Music Day celebrates women in music, and we will welcome Mariana Lopez—Chair of the Audio Engineering Society UK and Lecturer in Sound Production and Post Production at the University of York—who’ll share her expert knowledge and discuss opportunities and challenges for women in the music production industry.


Patti Smith: Dream of Life (15)

Patti Smith

When: 20.45
Where: Pictureville Cinema, Level 0
Price: £5 per ticket; group booking rates available

Continuing the theme of women in music, we’ll host a rare screening of Patti Smith: Dream of Life. Narrated by Smith herself, this documentary film plunges us into the philosophy and artistry of an iconoclastic cult figure.

Known as the godmother of punk, Smith burst onto the 1970s music scene with her unique style of poetic rage and swagger. The film follows this multitalented and private artist over 11 years of international travel, performance and creativity, revealing a complicated, contradictory, and charismatic personality.

Buy tickets for Patti Smith: Dream of Life