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The PromsLondon
Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AP
TfL Fare Zone 1

 

 

The Proms, more formally known as The BBC Proms, or The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC, is an annual eight-week season of music concerts held in London.

Performances of classical, jazz and world-music are held daily between mid July and mid September. Each season currently consists of more than 70 concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, a series of chamber concerts at Cadogan Hall, associated educational and children's events, and additional Proms in the Park events across the UK on the last night.

Promenading
The unique thing about the Proms is that concert-goers can experience the best orchestras, soloists and singers in the world for the ridiculously low price of £5. All they have to do in return is to stand up during the entire performance.
 
Two areas are put aside for ‘Promenaders’ – the ‘Arena’ in front of the performers and the ‘Gallery’ upstairs. Promenade tickets for single concerts can only be bought on the day of the concert, which can give rise to long queues for well-known artists or works.
 
For dedicated ‘Promenaders’, an alternative to the long queues is to purchase a full-season ticket for guaranteed entry to every concert in the season, although not the assurance of a particular standing position.
 
Tip
Promenaders must be in their chosen position 20 minutes before the concert is due to start.
 
Normal Reservations
Concert-goers wishing to sit down and pay the full price can reserve their seats in the normal manner through the Box Office.
 
Sir Henry Wood
Ever since the mid 18th century crowds had been walking, eating, drinking and smoking in London’s Pleasure Gardens to the accompaniment of music. In 1895, impresario Robert Newman arranged the first series of indoor promenade concerts.
 
He employed 26-year old composer Henry Wood to be the sole conductor. Henry was an enthusiastic and flamboyant performer and the Promenade Concerts flourished.
 
Wood conducted his own compositions and arrangements from time to time. In 1805 he composed the work for which he is most celebrated, 'Fantasia on British Sea Songs.' The piece was written to celebrate the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar. It caught the public fancy immediately, with its mixture of sea-shanties, together with Handel's ‘See the Conquering Hero Comes’ and Arne's ‘Rule, Britannia!’.
 
A highlight of the Fantasia is the hornpipe ("Jack's the Lad"); Wood said of it:
 
“They stamp their feet in time to the hornpipe – that is until I whip up the orchestra to a fierce accelerando which leaves behind all those whose stamping technique is not of the very finest quality. I like to win by two bars, if possible; but sometimes have to be content with a bar and a half. It is good fun, and I enjoy it as much as they.”
 
It has remained a fixture in the Last Night of the Proms, the lively concert marking the end of each Season.
 
Traditions
Sir Henry Wood remained sole conductor of ‘the Proms’ until his death 50 years later. Each Promenade Season, his bronze memorial bust is brought from the Royal Academy of Music and takes pride of place in front of the organ. On the Last Night he is adorned with a laurel wreath.
 
Contact & Further Information
 
Getting There
TfL Fare Zone 1 
We suggest that you use the TTfL 'Journey Planner'
 
- By Underground
South Kensington Station             District, Circle & Piccadilly lines
High Street Kensington Station     District and Circle lines
 
Approximately 10 minutes walk to the Royal Albert Hall from both stations.
 
- By Bus
Routes 52, 9 and 10 stop on Kensington Gore outside the Royal Albert Hall. Route 70 stops at Queen’s Gate, approx 2 minutes walk from the Hall. Route 360 stops on Prince Consort Road, only 1 minute from the Hall.
 

Google Maps - Royal Albert Hall