This January and February, the Royal Albert Hall is offering visitors the opportunity to go backstage at the much-loved concert hall, and discover areas of the iconic venue usually off-limits to the public.
Giving the nation unprecedented access to one of Britain’s most inspiring and lively buildings, the Behind the Scenes tour allows visitors access to locations within the Grade I listed Hall that are usually only open to artists, performers and crew.
Go under the stage to walk in the footsteps of iconic performers past and present, from Lianne La Havas and Adele to Shirley Bassey and the Spice Girls. Then head deep underground to the Loading Bay where the magical sets for The Nutcracker entered the building before dazzling an audience of 22,800 across seven performances in December.
The tour goes even further to give the full artist experience, taking guests into the dressing rooms so they can strut around the very room where Mick Jagger prepared for his trio of sold-out Rolling Stones shows in the ‘60s – the third of which caused a mini-riot.
The daytime tour allows visitors to see the extraordinary venue in all its glory, and catch sights that may be missed – or out of bounds – during an evening gala or concert. They’ll also gain a rare insight into how the show, hospitality and technical teams come together to stage more than 380 diverse and spectacular events in the main auditorium each year.
Tickets are now available for tours on the following dates across January and February (at 12pm, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm unless otherwise stated):
• Monday 8 January
• Monday 15 January
• Monday 22 January
• Monday 20 January
• Monday 5 February (12:30pm and 2:30pm only)
• Monday 12 February
• Monday 26 February
Experience a piece of history and book your place on the tour here: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/tours-and-exhibitions/behind-the-scenes-tour/
1. Romain Leleu (Mon 12 Feb, Elgar Room) *NEW* – The eternally adventurous French trumpet sensation is playing a rare UK date here next month. His repertoire ranges from baroque concertos to 21st century contemporary. Want a chat?
2. Women and the Hall (Jan-Apr, various spaces) *UPDATED* – We’ve just added some more shows to this all-female season, including the majestic return of pioneering electro-classical artist Kate Simko and her London Electronic Orchestra. The fabulous Deep Throat Choir are also joining us, and renowned rock-and-pop photographer Christie Goodwin will share her stories of shooting the likes of Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Paul McCartney. A full list of events is up on our site, feel free to send me a list of your wants in terms of interview time and review tickets.
3. Family shows (Feb half-term). *NEW* – Once upon a time, Nick Cope was the frontman of The Candyskins, part of the same Oxfordshire indie scene as Radiohead and Supergrass. Now he plays to audiences of happy, clapping kids, and it is Just The Best Thing. He’s happy to do some interviews ahead of his Family Songbook show, which is here on Wed 14 Feb. The other half-term shows are rounded up here.
1. The UK poetry slam champion has been crowned. Usaama Mihas won the annual event at the Hall this week. The Muslim poet, hip hop artist and conservatory-trained actor said: “Becoming the national champion is important because it reminds me that outside of the amplified events and extreme voices in the news and media, our social media echo chambers and the stories of violence we hear within our communities, the vast majority of everyday people want to hear our voices on the main stage and they want to champion our truths… The British people chose a brown-skinned Muslim performing poems about racism, sexism, white supremacy, Islamophobia and oppression as their winner.” We have a limited amount of press time with Usaama, and would love to do some features, so please let me know of any interest: national broadcast/broadsheet pieces might work particularly well.
2. Young Producers (until April) – This cracking new scheme allows a group of 18 to 25 year olds to put on two nights of events at the Hall – the vision is all theirs. The shows are now taking shape (one includes street entertainers and artists showcasing their talents in our second space), and the young people, from all sorts of backgrounds, are happy to do interviews. You’re also welcome to sit in on (and record) one of their sessions as they prepare for the big day(s). We’ve confirmed a couple of high-profile pieces already, but are eager to do more.
3. Open Stages – This Education & Outreach project will see Year 8 students and elderly residents – who study or live on the same road, but rarely interact – come together for an intergenerational arts project. Participants will get to know one another and expand their arts skills which exploring the Hall’s complex history via the excavation of its extensive archives. My fresh-faced, annoyingly gifted protégé, Paul Bernstein, is looking after this one. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to cover it.
1. Love corporate partnerships? Then I have some great news: we’ve got a new one. Robe are coming on board to supply us with swanky new lights. We’ve written a press release about it here.
2. Devialet. We’ll be doing some exciting streaming stuff with the classy audio brand this year, another of our new partnerships. Please be aware that however much it sounds like I’m saying ‘the DVLA’ on the phone, I’m not, and you mustn’t write that. There’s a launch aimed at music and tech journos currently scheduled for Mon 29 Jan (3-5pm). If you’re interested in attending, please let me know.
3. Behind-the-scenes tours are BACK. For six weeks only. I’ve attached a short release. Reviewers are welcome (typically we want at least 20K Twitter followers and/or tons of interaction on your channels in order to comp tickets).
4. Dates for your diary (subject to slight change). We’re announcing a major new Films in Concert show (perhaps the biggest yet) on 29 Jan. This year’s Festival of Film line-up follows in February, then our full, new-look Christmas 2018 season will be unveiled in March.