The Pink Floyd exhibition is on track to becoming the V&A’s most visited music show, outdoing even David Bowie.
The gallery announced on Wednesday that ticket demand was so great that it would extend the exhibition by two weeks and fully expected it to exceed the visitor figures for Bowie.
The Bowie retrospective, staged in 2013, three years before his death, attracted 311,000 visitors. Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains has already reached the 300,000 mark and will now close on 15 October.
It tells the story of a band that rewrote the rules of rock music performance and repeatedly pushed artistic boundaries, but whose members were always somewhat reluctant rock stars.
The V&A curator Victoria Broackes, who also worked on the Bowie show, said the exhibition had been a “massive collaboration between the V&A and Pink Floyd … the band members, particularly Nick Mason, but notably the creative individuals, designers and architects they have worked with over many years.
“That combination of authentic staging, amazing sound, rock’n’roll spectacle and the V&A has really shone through in the success of the exhibition and the popularity with not just fans, but with a diverse audience of all ages.”
Blockbusting exhibitions exploring rock and pop have become an important part of what the V&A does since the success of a Kylie Minogue show in 2007.
Some have sniffily accused the gallery of dumbing down. The V&A argues that performance and music are a key part of what the institution is and has always been.
Broackes said: “The fusion of music, theatre, design and performance which the band excelled at throughout their entire career makes them ideal for an exhibition at the V&A.”
Pink Floyd may well beat the Bowie numbers at the V&A in London but it will have to go some way to beat the global success of the Bowie show, which has toured venues across the world and attracted in excess of 1.5 million visitors. That makes it the most visited show in the V&A’s history.
The most visited exhibition at the V&A in London remains a retrospective of the work of the fashion designer Alexander McQueen, which attracted a remarkable 480,000 visitors over its 21-week run in 2015. After that it is Art Deco, which attracted 359,000 in 2003, and wedding dresses in 2014, which had 316,000 visitors.