The Guardian festival blog: Rappers and Rubens: London’s museums embrace the night | Culture

Throughout St Petersburg’s spectacular White Nights summer festival, or Paris’s Nuit Blanche, artists and musicians are allowed to run amok in cultural buildings. And as the evening light fades in Amsterdam and Vienna, DJs and performers regularly do the same in museums there.

Yet when darkness falls in London, its great museums and halls of culture are largely silent and empty. The buildings seem intended for trips from schools and families in daylight hours, not for night owls and young people. Now a new festival, aimed at 18- to 30-year-olds and starting this month, aims to change all that.

Emerge will see the rising rapper Flohio take to the stage at Whitehall’s Banqueting House, new singing stars Ady Suleiman and Poppy Ajudha perform at the Horniman Museum in south-east London, and a silent disco staged on Tower Bridge.

These gigs and installations are part of a wide line-up of events across the city, all accessible…


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