BBC Proms say they will pack the Albert Hall

BBC Proms say they will pack the Albert Hall


norman lebrecht

July 21, 2021

But masks are ‘encouraged’ and Covid certificates will be checked.


Here’s the statement:

The BBC Proms will open at full capacity with additional tickets for the first half of the Proms going on sale at midday on Friday, 23 July, and tickets for the second half of the season going on sale at 9am on Saturday, 24 July.

Promming tickets will be available on the day of each concert priced at just £6 (plus booking fee). There will be standing tickets available in the Arena and Gallery with additional seated Promming tickets in the Choir.

The safety of our audiences is our main priority and we are taking every step we can to open the Proms safely without social distancing.

To do this, audiences will be strongly encouraged to wear masks for the duration of their visit and their Covid Status Certification will be checked on arrival at the Royal Albert Hall.

In order to enter the Royal Albert Hall, those over 18 years old, will be required to demonstrate one of the following:

evidence of a negative lateral flow test, either taken at home or at a test centre, within 48 hours of the performance
evidence of double vaccination provided via the NHS App or letter provided by the NHS
proof of natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test taken within 180 days of the performance
Those under the age of 18 should have verbal confirmation from a parent or guardian that they have not received a positive test. 


  • Gustavo says:

    Albert von Sachsen-Covid

  • christopher storey says:

    Yet again, the BBC are promoting the booking fee swindle . Either the price is £6 or it isn’t

    • V Lind says:

      And as booking fees, whatever they are, are presumably a set
      price, why not just state the total.

      Are any of these seats likely to be available on the day?

      • Una says:

        Given the Albert Hall and the Proms are now going back to normal times other than having to show a vaccination certificate with tour concert ticket, I have never been refused entry on the day in all the years I have gone to the Proms when living in London. At the moment am going to two Proms and they were booked on 1,000 capacity. Now it’s back to 5,700 or so similar so hoping to get to more.

        Booking fees should be in the price of the ticket not something added on – and for what? Who gets it?

    • Armchair Bard says:

      Heartily seconded, Christopher. And just to prove it’s bunce, here is what the Royal Albert Hall’s T&Cs have to say about their booking fee:

      “If an event is cancelled…[or]…rescheduled, you will be offered…or a refund.

      “Refunds will only cover the face value of the tickets and will not include associated booking fees.”


    • Normski says:

      Booking fees are usually set by the venue on top of any ticket price. Even free concerts occasionally have booking fees. It would be the same if you were going to see Gubbay or Clapton at the RAH so personally I wouldn’t blame the BBC for this. It is an annoyance, especially when it can be a percentage of the ticket price so the pricier the tickets, the bigger the fee.

      But, really, what can you do in London for £6? Even plus booking fee? 🙂

  • Peter says:

    Haha, covid test “taken at home”. I’ll pop it into a grape fruit and see what happens. Please, can’t we end this circus now.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Former public mass events have shown that such measures are not effective to prevent a major outbreak, like the recent Verknipt Festival in Holland:

  • La plus belle voix says:

    Right: “Audiences will be strongly encouraged to wear masks” and “Those under the age of 18 should have verbal confirmation from a parent or guardian that they have not received a positive test.” Good luck with that then.

  • Anon says:

    I’m in trouble then… booked by 2 orchestras to play at 2 proms. Double jabbed but my “ covid passport “ only shows the first injection. 119 say contact GP. GP says phone 119. Hours spent every day trying to sort out this mess!

  • Miko says:

    The DCMS expects a packed, patriotic, flag waving audience at the Last Night.
    If they end up in hospital afterwards, contributing to infection spread or dead, it matters not.
    They will have “done their duty”.

    Land of Hopeless Tories.

  • anon says:

    Oh for goodness sake, not more blasted “certification”. I had planned to go to a couple of Proms concerts, but all this “certification” nonsense is just too much bother, especially for people without certain makes of spyware-infested smartphone. It is fundamentally unBritish to demand certification at the door. Fortunately, most London concert venues are far more welcoming, probably because they do not have a bottomless pit of TV licence money to hand, so I think I will just vote with my feet.

    • RobK says:

      With what , in my humble view, is a pretty unattractive range of concerts, saturated in wokedom, that’s a decision easily made.

      • Stephen Maddock says:

        Could you please explain what you mean by ‘saturated in wokedom’?

      • Rit says:

        It looks very much the opposite of woke this year. All British orchestras except for Mahler Chamber Orchestra and very few artists from abroad apart from Ólafsson, Kopatchinskaja, and several artists who may possibly have permanent residency/dual citizenship in Britain anyway.

        Tons of Handel, Vivaldi, Vaughan Williams, Lerner and Loewe, Mozart, Beethoven on the programmes. I don’t have a problem with all that – great music and great artistry is what matters to me and of course it is a wonderful opportunity for every talented cash strapped ensemble in Britain, but it’s hardly woke.

  • fflambeau says:

    Masks for all should be mandatory. No mask, no enter.

    • Saxon says:

      Nonsense. People who have terrified themselves senseless should stay at home and let the rest of us get on with living.

  • Dave says:

    Strewth, an organisation as hung-up on health and safety as the BBC going full-out like this with case numbers now rising and the Johnson, I mean Delta variant predominant in the UK…

    I’ll give it a miss this year, thanks.

  • Rit says:

    The website (ie management) has been changing its instructions about what to subject children and teens aged 10-17 for the last month.

    This group of audience members and potential audience members that the Albert Hall and classical music world want to continue coming back to concerts is of course not currently offered vaccination (unless frail, in which case attending concerts without social distancing could be an issue). They went from no testing of under 12s to no testing of under 18s and now it’s testing of everyone (because children aren’t being vaccinated).

    So if an enthusiastic teen under 17 wants to come to the Proms 10 times with their parents or friends they have to test 10 times in 2 months? Way to shoot yourself in the foot, Mr Hassall. No wonder the Hall looks woefully empty on tv.