Home » Classical Music » All you need to know about The Proms : 17th July to 12th September 2015

All you need to know about The Proms : 17th July to 12th September 2015

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A Brief History of the Proms

This is the 120th year of the Proms and tries to stay true to its original aim: to present the widest possible range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences.
Proms were originally ‘promenade concerts.’ These were outdoor music performances during which the audience could walk (or ‘promenade’) around. The first Proms concert took place on 10 August 1895 and was created by Robert Newman, manager of the newly built Queen’s Hall in London.

Newman was keen to reach a wider audience by offering more popular programmes, adopting a less formal promenade arrangement, and keeping ticket prices low. He recruited Henry Wood to be the first conductor of the first Proms season and both Newman and Wood decided offer a mixture of popular and adventurous works. Financial problems threatened to end the Proms following the First World War until the newly formed BBC took over the running of the event. The BBC began to broadcast the concerts and significantly widened its appeal, and although there were financial problems during the Second World War have promoted the Proms ever since. One of the major changes was when the Queen’s Hall was destroyed by bombing in 1941 , the event was switched to the Royal Albert Hall where it has remained till the present day.

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The Proms 2015

The Proms is one of the largest global classical music festivals with over 75 concerts  as well as a number of other events.

Highlights for the 2015 season include concerts featuring world-famous conductors Sir Andrew Davis, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Barenboim and Sir Simon Rattle. The Proms attracts some of the finest orchestra’s and this year will include St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

Although classed as a classical music festival, the Proms features a wide range of music especially in the late night Proms, this year will feature Bollywood and bhangra music, Urban, dance music and the John Wilson Orchestra performs Frank Sinatra. There are Proms that feature the Story of Swing, Bernstein – Stage and Screen, Bryn Terfel will leads the cast in a production of Fiddler on the Roof and Sir David Attenborough presents a Prom exploring composer Murray Gold’s music for the  BBC TV series ‘Life Story’.

One of most unusual aspects of the Proms is the large amount of tickets available to people who wish to stand, the popular tradition of Promming (standing in the Arena or Gallery areas of the Royal Albert Hall) is central to its unique and informal atmosphere.

Up to 1,400 standing places are available for each Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The traditionally low prices allow you to enjoy world-class performances for just £5.00 each (or even less with a Season Ticket or Weekend Promming Pass). All spaces are unreserved.

Over 500 Arena and Gallery tickets (priced £5.00) are available for every Prom. These tickets are available on the day and cannot be booked in advance, so even if all seats have been sold, you always have a good chance of getting in (although early queuing is advisable for the more popular concerts). You must buy your ticket in person and must pay by cash.

A limited number of Arena tickets will usually be sold to the Day Queue from two and a half hours before each performance. For Arena tickets join the queue on the west side of the South Steps. The remaining Day Promming tickets will then be sold from Door 11 for the Arena and Door 10 for the Gallery (queue along Bremmer Road) from 45 minutes before the performance. Tickets for Late Night Proms are available only on the doors, from 30 minutes before the performance. Arena and Gallery tickets are available only at Door 11 and Door 10, not at the Box Office.

If you are unable to get tickets for a popular Prom, be aware that returns often become available. In addition, many boxes and some seats at the Royal Albert Hall are privately owned, and these seats may be returned for general sale in the period leading up to the concert. The Royal Albert Hall does not operate a waiting list.

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Last Night of the Proms

The final concert in the series is the Last Night of the Proms  which is very popular and has it own ticketing method.

The majority of tickets for the Last Night of the Proms will be allocated by ballot to customers who have bought tickets to at least five other Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. A further 200 tickets are allocated by the Open Ballot.

The Five-Concert Ballot closes on  28 May and you will be informed by 5th of June whether or not you have been successful.

The Open Ballot
One hundred Centre Stalls seats  and 100 Front Circle seats for the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall will be allocated by Open Ballot. The Open Ballot takes place on 3rd July and successful applicants will be contacted by 9th July.

Any tickets not allocated by the Five-Concert Ballot or the Open Ballot will go on sale on 9th July. There is exceptionally high demand for Last Night tickets, but returns occasionally become available, so it is always worth checking with the Box Office.

Promming at the Last Night.

Day Prommers and Weekend Promming Pass-holders who have attended five or more other concerts (in either the Arena or the Gallery) are eligible to purchase one ticket each for the Last Night (priced £5.00) on presentation of their used tickets (which will be retained) at the Box Office.

On the Night A limited number of standing tickets are available on the Last Night itself (priced £5.00, one per person). No previous ticket purchases are necessary. Just join the queue on The Queen’s Steps, east side (Arena), or the top of Bremner Road, north side (Gallery), and you may well be lucky.

If you are not fortunate to secure Last Night of the Proms tickets  there are a number of celebrations at venues around the UK. Known generally as Proms in the Park the events are held in London, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Each show is centred around a live concert with its own high-profile artists, BBC orchestras and presenters. The evening culminates in a live big-screen link-up to the Royal Albert Hall for the traditional singalong.

If you want to find further information about the Proms or book tickets , visit the Proms website here

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