The British Music Experience was a permanent exhibition, taking up more than 20,000 square feet, installed into The O2 Bubble, part of The O2 in Greenwich, London. Opened with a private concert by The View in March 2009, it featured a retrospective look at the British music industry since 1944. The museum closed on 30th March 2014 and announced it was looking for a new home.
Spearheaded by music mogul Harvey Goldsmith, designed by Land Design Studio and funded by The O2 owners AEG, BME was created to fill a gap in the UK Heritage sector for Rock and Pop Music. Previously, the National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield had attempted to achieve this but failed to attract visitors and was eventually closed.
The British Music Experience has been set up as a charitable trust and has been funded by £9.5m worth of investment from AEG who hope to recoup their costs within five years. Sponsorship agreements with The Performing Rights Society, Gibson Guitars and Sennheiser amongst others have helped establish the exhibition. In 2010 the UK's fifth biggest food retailer, The Co-operative Group, signed on as the exhibition's main sponsor, pledging to give away 15,000 tickets over the next three years.
The BME contains musical artefacts and interactive experiences using digital technologies. These exhibits are arranged thematically to explore areas of interest in music. Surrounding these exhibits are seven zones exploring British music since 1945 up to the present day, held together by a giant timeline containing thousands of facts, headlines, images, videos and animations that can be explored through the use of a trackball.