London, the capital of the United Kingdom, is renowned for its vibrant culture, music, museums, festivals and lifestyle. It is often referred to as a world cultural capital and is one of the world's leading business centers. London has been the birthplace of many iconic artists such as The Beatles and Elton John, and has been a major contributor to the birth of dance music. It is home to several dance companies such as Rambert, Richard Alston Dance Company, Candoco and Siobhan Davies Dance.
Choreographers such as Matthew Bourne, Wayne McGregor, Lloyd Newson and Hofesh Shechter have their companies in London too. London has a lively nightlife with approximately 25.6 events per thousand people, of which 44.1% take place in theaters. Its creative vitality, cultural diversity and heritage are some of the main reasons why it attracts millions of visitors every year. Popular museums such as the British Museum, the Tate Modern and the National Gallery are located in London.
The city also has a strong rap scene with artists like Wiley and Dizzee Rascal. Many British films are set in London due to its dominant role in British media. The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet are based in London, performing at the Royal Opera House and London Coliseum respectively. The Wimbledon regatta and championship are held in London annually.
The city is especially famous for its theatre district, with its West End theatre district being the most popular branch of professional theatre that performs in London's major theaters. The Dulwich Picture Gallery was the first purpose-built public art gallery in England and opened in 1817. However, London faces many challenges today to maintain its status as a leading actor in world culture due to an increasingly difficult economic environment with reduced public subsidies for art. In addition to this, some urban centers outside London have a large population but lack an adequate artistic and cultural offer. Property prices, housing shortages, rising rents and a high cost of living are also issues that Londoners face.