One of London’s most popular museums, The Museum of London at the Barbican’s London Wall, approached us about running two free weekend festivals – “London’s Greatest Weekends” - before shutting their doors for the last time. The museum set out to “go out with a bang, not a whimper”, after welcoming museum lovers, tourists, local communities and schools since 1976.
Kit & Caboodle are great fans of the existing museum and wanted to support ways of helping its public, staff and volunteers say “goodbye” to some of its most beloved exhibits, whilst also celebrating the museum’s history and exciting new future at West Smithfield.
The Museum saw over 13,000 people coming in to celebrate its final music weekend in December, making it the Museum’s busiest weekend ever.
As well as celebrating 50 years of London music and dance, there was free family fun for all – face-painting, talks, parties, arts, crafts, games and competitions. The Museum was open for 24 hours for the first time in its history. This allowed visitors one last chance to visit the museum’s free exhibitions, as well as see star objects; from the Selfridges Art Deco lift to Tom Daley’s swimming trunks; Roman Bucklersbury Mosaic to the 2012 Olympic Cauldron. Other final festivities included London’s biggest table football competition, DJ sets from Sisu and a late-night cinema festival and Q&A with director Gerard Johnson.
The final weekend included a couple of epic parties for the museum’s key supporters, as well as current and former staff members. It closed on 4 December with a lively procession to the doors where there were speeches by Sharon Ament, the Director, tears and laughter, and a confetti cannon, before the doors shut for the last time.
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 will open to the public in 2026.