BBC Celebrates Topping Out Ceremony with First Live Performance at New BBC Music Studios


Today, the BBC celebrated the topping out ceremony of its new music studios, opening in 2025 and located at East Bank, the new cultural and education district at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford. The ceremony, which marks completion of the concrete structure, was commemorated with the first live performance at the site, with East London-born and BBC Introducing singer and songwriter Hak Baker and Principal Trombone at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Helen Vollam performing a unique collaborative composition of Baker’s latest single, Bricks in the Wall.

The performance, which sees a fusion of rap, pop and classical, echoes the ambition of the new music studios, which will be a home for the BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, rock and pop sessions, BBC music education and outreach as well as one of the largest sheet music collections in the world. The studios will also house music sessions from the likes of Radio 1 Live Lounge through to BBC Proms rehearsals, Radio 3 concerts, and special performances from the BBC Pop music stations, with the public invited to attend and experience many of them live.

Alongside Hak and Helen, guests included- The Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons; The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz; Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), Lyn Garner, as well as the BBC’s Alan Davey, Controller of Radio 3 and BBC Proms and Ahmed Hussain, Head of BBC Asian Network.

BBC Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey commented: “We are thrilled to celebrate the next chapter in the BBC’s history with the topping out ceremony of the BBC Music Studios. Making amazing, world-class music for all our audiences is our mission across all genres and to mark this occasion with the first live performance at the studios during our centenary year feels very special indeed.

Hak Baker and Helen Vollam’s musical collaboration is emblematic of the diversity integral to our musical offer, and the new studios will be a brilliant opportunity for artists, the public and the local community to collaborate together and build a new musical legacy at the heart of East Bank.”

Fundamental to the BBC’s move to East Bank has been a chance to embed the studios in the local community through a programme of local music education and outreach events, as well as participation in local apprenticeships including the STEP traineeship, all designed to support local East London talent get into the music industry in the future. Moving the BBC Music Studios from Maida Vale to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford is also part of a wider partnership with the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, UCL and UAL’s London College of Fashion to create London’s newest creative quarter, East Bank which is backed by the Mayor of London.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Over the last decade, we have seen the area in and around East Bank grow as a hub for creativity and innovation, becoming an exciting destination, not just for Londoners, but for people across the country and the world. We are proud to support the new BBC Music Studios, as well as the wider East Bank partners, who continue to work with local cultural partners and community groups to inspire the next generation of talented young musicians.”