04 May 2022

Sound of the super sewer: Boldspace and Tideway mark the end of tunnelling with a unique performance

Steph Bailey


  • Tunnelling started in 2018, now constructed, runs 25km from east to west London and at its deepest is nearly 70m deep.
  • Once complete in 2025, the new super sewer will dramatically reduce sewage pollution of river Thames.
  • Boldspace ideated and managed the activation.

Last week marked the end of tunnelling for London’s Thames Tideway Tunnel or ‘Super Sewer’ and to commemorate this engineering feat, a live performance took place 70 metres underground in the depth of the tunnel itself. The performance, from London-based composer and musician Rob Lewis, was live streamed by Tideway and fused multi-instrumental music with the sounds of the sewer construction, capturing the unique acoustic properties of the space.

 “Completion of tunnelling for London’s new super sewer is testament to the hard work and contributions of thousands of people and organisations, over many years – and it brings us closer to the ultimate goal of a cleaner River Thames. This performance celebrates a significant milestone in our efforts to create a more sustainable London for our growing population and we are pleased to commemorate the end of tunnelling in such a unique way.” – Sir Neville Simms, Chair of Tideway

Audiences can anticipate a symphony of percussion instruments, cello harmonics and piano to embody the flowing and movement of water, the complex construction of the sewage system and ultimately, the brighter future of a cleaner London.

“When Tideway came to us with this brief, we knew we needed an idea that celebrated the feat of engineering required to create such a system, as much as it celebrated its incredible impact on the environment. With such a small window of time to access the magnificence of the tunnel, by creating this audio time capsule the sounds of the super sewer, and the incredible work that has gone into the project, can now live on forever.” Steph Bailey, Chief Comms Officer, Boldspace  

“We’re so pleased with the results of this campaign. It had appeal for all of our target audiences and has had real impact – raising awareness of the need for the Tideway project as well as building buy-in from our existing stakeholders. Concept, execution, results and team approach all excellent.” – Lucy Webster, External Affairs Director, Tideway

The Tideway project is due to be complete in 2025, following secondary lining, connection and testing works. To date, the Tideway project has seen the creation of more than 4,000 sustainable jobs and more than 100 apprenticeships.