Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Stars back British music museum

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse's vintage dress will go alongside video of her on stage

The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Amy Winehouse are among the stars who have loaned memorabilia to a new exhibition charting the history of British pop.

The British Music Experience will open at the O2 in London in March, and is intended to be a major new attraction.

It will mix costumes and instruments used by top artists, with cutting edge displays designed to bring the last 60 years of British music to life.

Other acts behind the idea include The Who, Oasis, Blur and Paul Weller.

The Who singer Roger Daltrey has loaned the tassled outfit he wore on stage at Woodstock, while Sir Mick Jagger has given an Ossie Clark-designed 1970s jumpsuit.

David Bowie has handed over his Ashes To Ashes clown suit and a classic Ziggy Stardust costume.

A vintage dress worn by Amy Winehouse in her Tears Dry On Her Own video and a live DVD will also be seen.

Noel Gallagher's iconic Union Jack guitar will be on show, along with guitars played by Paul Weller, Marc Bolan and Blur.

As well as the memorabilia, curators are promising a fully interactive experience.

Roger Daltrey with The Who
Roger Daltrey's tassled stage outfit will be on show

The memorabilia will be accompanied by footage of the objects in action, while fans will be able to explore the history of pop and rock in a series of hi-tech zones.

Visitors will be able to scroll through a giant timeline, search a map containing 4,000 British rock and pop landmarks, and learn about record players and radiograms in a lesson about recording formats.

Artists ranging from Cream bassist Jack Bruce to rapper Dizzee Rascal have been filmed in conversation with other musicians, to be screened as "fantasy dinner parties".

Virtual dance instructors will teach moves from the twist to the macarena, while acts such as KT Tunstall and The Magic Numbers have recorded expert instrument tuition videos.

The visit will finish with a five minute finale designed to replicate a full-blown concert experience, with acts like The Beatles, Oasis and the Sex Pistols projected around three sides of a room.

Each 15 ticket will include three free downloads from a list of 100 classic British tracks.

But it is not yet known whether any Beatles songs will be on the list due to the band's ongoing reluctance to enter the digital world.

Curator Paul Lilley said: "The Beatles have been very good, letting us use their video and audio [in the exhibition], but the details of the downloads are still to be confirmed."

'Constantly evolving'

Mr Lilley said the British Music Experience would be "the must see attraction for music lovers across the world".

"It will be like nothing seen before - an interactive and cutting edge exhibition which will bring the history of music and its influence on all of us to life.

"This is just the beginning of an exhibition that will constantly evolve as much as music does and will educate even the most avid music fans."

The British Music Experience will open almost exactly a decade after the launch of the National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield.

That also promised an interactive journey through UK music history, but shut after 16 months after failing to attract enough visitors.

But the British Music Experience is confident of establishing itself as a major attraction, and is housed in the same building as the O2 arena, one of the UK's leading music venues.

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