For twenty-five years, in all forms of media, I have argued that London’s Royal Festival Hall is not fit for purpose as a classical venue. Over that period some £200 million of public money have been pumped into futile upgrades. The hall operators are presently asking for more.
Sometimes I felt like a voice in a wilderness as the entire classical establishment chorussed the glories of the hall.
So it’s nice to find a kindred spirit in Max Hole, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International, who has just said on Classic FM: ‘Going off to the Royal Festival Hall and seeing a wonderful concert of music where the lighting was like the accident and emergency unit of a hospital.
‘There were no screens to show the musicians up close, the conductor had his back to you, he didn’t speak to you. I thought this was all wrong.’
So true. The RFH is a misery shed of browns and yellows, too much distance between stage and public and visually null.
Max is right. Get rid of it.
You can listen to his comments here.