Brixton Self-Guided Music Walking Tour - Guided By Historian
50 minutes -
Discover the top-secret spots in Brixton, London, as you walk through a musical experience with this private immersive audio guide!
Guided by an expert historian and local musician, we’ll visit the most famous historic buildings and discover the secret tales that live in this neighbourhood. Together, we’ll learn more about Brixton’s black culture, mesmerizing multicultural music, and must-eat signature street food.
Embark on this epic music adventure and learn more about the Windrush generation, David Bowie and South London gentrification. Finish the tour by visiting the Dogstar, Phonox, and Electric Avenue to cap off this cultural tour in one of the World’s most important neighbourhoods in the music scene.
Welcome to Brixton, a relatively new neighbourhood in South London. There are no traces of people living here until around 200 years ago. Since then, it has of course become an iconic music destination where different styles were either born or developed here: from Reggae to Punk, and now modern-day rap and electronic music.
Visit Windrush Square as we cover Brixton’s transformation in the mid-20th century. The Windrush was a boat bringing hundreds of immigrants from the West Indies, particularly Jamaica, in 1948. Many of these people were put in temporary accommodation in Brixton and so Jamaican and Afro-Caribbean culture became a big part of Brixton’s identity.
Head down to the famous Brixton venue Dogstar, which opened in 1995 making it London’s first DJ bar. They also hold art shows, live music, comedy nights and market stalls so you can listen to music while you look around. It’s a quirky and friendly place spread over 3 floors, and it’s hosted artists like the prodigy, massive attack and grandmaster flash.
Rock down to Electric Avenue! Built in the 1880s as a Victorian shopping centre and was the first market street in the UK to be lit with electricity. It is now famous for the Eddy Grant song which was written after the 1981 Brixton riots. Eddy wanted to raise awareness of the issues that caused it – poverty and racism, including from the police.
Pay tribute to the late David Bowie as this David Bowie mural right opposite Brixton Tube Station. Hear the story behind this iconic artist and how he became a symbol for British music. You can find heartfelt messages on the wall. You’ll also visit David Bowie’s birthplace later in the tour
Visit the legendary clubbing venue Phonox. This venue plays a lot of house, techno and disco, but it has a real mixture, with some stuff like afrobeats, hip hop and sometimes live bands. HAAi is the resident DJ, but they have other temporary residents, and have had DJ’s like Bicep, Ben Ufo and Romare often visiting.
Stand outside Brixton Academy as we hear more about this neighbourhood’s tumultuous past, from controversial rave laws to race riots. What’s clear is that none of these riots were one-off events. They were often a culmination of things that made people feel targeted and unheard such as humiliating stop-and-search policing by aggressive police officers, often using racist language.
Stop by the Brixton Bowls to hear all about the Stockwell Skatepark community and how skateboarding still defines many London neighbourhoods to this day. Finally, head down to the Hall of Fame - one of Brixton’s most famous graffiti spots. Learn more about the culture of Street Art and how this place has become a symbol for many Brixton residents.
The Vidi Guides experience is enriched with on-screen photos and videos. We also point out where to take the perfect Instagram photos during the tour, and include recommendations for food, drinks, and local attractions. Don't worry, none of our recommendations are sponsored - they are simply favourites of the locals who helped craft the experience.