Royal Albert Hall

Music, Music venues Knightsbridge
5 out of 5 stars
(25user reviews)
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Venue says Join us for headline acts, classical coffee mornings, late-night jazz, and everything in between. Unforgettable experiences since 1871.

Built as a memorial to Queen Victoria's husband in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall's vast rotunda was once described by the monarch as looking like 'the British constitution'. It has been the venue for the (now BBC) Proms since 1941, despite acoustics that do orchestras few favours. The Royal Albert Hall's splendid exterior is matched by the regal red-and-gold interior which is crowned by a domed stained-glass skylight. Occasional classical concerts are held throughout the year – look out for recitals on the Willis pipe organ. Other key events in its calendar include pop and comedy gigs (including the annual Teenage Cancer Trust shows), and circus extravaganzas from the likes of Cirque du Soleil.

In addition to seasonal tours during the Proms, the RAH has launched daily Secret History Tours, which draw on a rich seam of stories about London's largest hall for hire and offer access to areas not normally open to audiences.

 

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Royal Albert Hall says
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Over the past 146 years, it has hosted everyone from Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Edward Elgar to The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Adele.

Outside the main stage, the Hall is busy with concerts, screenings, silent discos, comedy and much more. Four restaurants and fourteen bars serve breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea and dinner, often featuring live music covering jazz, classical, and soul.

Last year, the Hall's breathtaking auditorium presented 390 events by the world’s greatest performers – taking in rock, pop and classical music, dance, films, Cirque du Soleil and even tennis – with the magical setting and inspired artists creating amazing memories for audiences.
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Posted:

Venue name: Royal Albert Hall
Contact:
Address: Kensington Gore
London
SW7 2AP
Opening hours: Tours run most days from 9.30am-4.30pm, but check website for details.
Transport: Tube: South Kensington
Price: Various
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  • Sunday November 18 2018
  • Pop Monday November 19 2018
  • Dance and electronic Wednesday November 21 2018
  • Quirky events Thursday November 22 2018 - Saturday December 22 2018
  • Folk, country and blues Tuesday November 27 2018
  • Jazz Friday November 30 2018 - Saturday December 1 2018
  • Cabaret and standards Friday December 14 2018
  • Classical and opera Friday December 21 2018
  • Circuses Saturday January 12 2019 - Saturday February 9 2019
  • Pop Monday April 1 2019

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:18
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|25
1 person listening
1 of 1 found helpful

This is a jewel in London's crown. The most stunning place to see a gig if you have a decent seat, or if you are standing for The Proms. I have spent some memorable nights here. The best ever was Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davies Junior. If I had a time machine I would return every night. I also have memories of Les Miserables 10th Anniversary and wild nights in the company of Eric Clapton. Come to think of it there have been too many to list including the most bonkers Blues Set from Robert Plant and his World Orchestra. Sublime - nearly as good as The Last Night of the Proms which is the calendar highlight here.


But .... and it's a big but.

Beware of the balcony seats, rear choir and balcony standing.

Unless you are desperate to be there or really tight , don't bother.

Also, don't bother writing to the management if the sound is bad.

I had one of the worst nights ever here when I saw Paul Weller "Waking up the Nation". The sound was appalling. I wrote to the The Albert Hall and the letter I got back was between arrogant and insulting - hoping I would have a better night next time (or words to that effect)


Well fortunately I have had better nights and encourage all of my friends to go to at least one gig at The RAH. Get a good seat , soak up the views and hopefully the sort of crisp sound they hoped for when the mushrooms were hung from the ceiling.

1 of 1 found helpful

It was a dark Halloween night last Thursday that I found myself sat at the Albert Hall waiting for the emergence of former Led Zeppelin front-man Robert Plant. The audience were excitable in anticipation, and thankfully there was nothing gloomy about the performance. Rivalling Brain May for the best hair in rock, Plant appeared ready to have a fine time. The wonderfully gifted voice that Plant has possessed since the ‘60s was in fine form, having matured with age and showcasing rich tones that blended so well with the mix of rock, blues and African rhythms vibrating around the hall to much applause. The appearance of the Gambian musician Juldeh Camara added to the layers of high quality musicianship that the band (which featured musicians from Bristol and Liverpool) had in droves. A friend had told me that he had seen Plant play on tour with Alison Krauss last year and that he looked tired and thought that he may be finding it hard to keep up. I have to say the opposite was true here; it is possible that Plant’s decision to not make another album with Krauss after all their success (winning 5 Grammys for their album ‘Raising Sand’ as well as much acclaim)and instead pursue working on something different to keep music fresh and interesting for him seemed to be paying off. While a lot of his peers look tired and worn with their best days behind them, he looked fitter and stronger than he has in the last few years and he was flying around the stage, throwing the microphone around with ease and prowling around with an unbelievably menacing presence; and who wouldn’t feel 10 feet tall with such a remarkable voice? I could have closed my eyes and believed that the man on stage was the Plant of old not a man of pensionable age. He seems to be enjoying the aging process (‘I can travel for free now’) as well as the music more than ever. ‘This is an invigorating time for me’. Quite. The quality of the band was obviously helping to keep him on his toes and he looked to be having the time of his life, and wonderfully, so were we. With the music ranging from old blues classics to Led Zeppelin numbers (which were met with roars of approval), it all blended in together beautifully. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ , ‘What Is and What Should Never Be’ and other classics went down a storm and Plant looked like he could continue all night. Despite finishing at 10 minutes past midnight (leaving most struggling to make the last tube home) I think we would have all quite happily stayed all night for a lock in. Greedy yes, but it truly would have been heavenly. Trick or treat? Treat definitely. A really thrilling night out. Rating; 10/10

Tastemaker

The Royal Albert Hall needs no introduction. I can merely confirm that it is posh, vast and mightily impressive as in the pictures. The balconies and decor is grand.


It's a multi-purpose event space. I've seen it host tennis matches, ballet, and opera. 


it's mere minutes away from South Kensington station, the Natural History, and Science museum. On ordinary days where there is no event, you can simply enter and buy a ticket for a tour around the great building.


Would I recommend it as a standalone visit? Perhaps not. It's best to see it if you're attending an event. You'll get to see Royal Albert Hall at its best alive with excitement and anticipation of what's to come.

tastemaker

A venue is usually just that, a venue for the performances to be held. Royal Albert Hall, however, is a stage that adds the glitter and the substance to any performance. It is spectacularly beautiful, brilliantly laid out and the acoustics are unmatched. Regardless of what you go to see here, it will be brilliant. 

tastemaker

The Royal Albert Hall is simply stunning. I watched the Addams Family on the big screen for Halloween and it was such a great evening. I was amazed by how seamlessly the orchestra played in time with the film - it was a lovely way to relive a childhood favourite! The venue itself is just beautiful and I will definitely be back to take in other performances. 

tastemaker

I watched Jaws on an enormous screen at the Royal Albert Hall. It was fantastic! The screen/ movie projection was of a high quality and the movie acoustics were good. The orchestra seamlessly integrated their music with the movie - creating anticipation, fear and excitement. The orchestra was phenomenal. In such an awe-inspiring, classically British hall that is incredibly beautiful, I would encourage anyone to visit and watch an orchestra (or any other performance) here!

tastemaker

This venue is officially both beautiful and insanely impressive to see. I challenge anyone to see a show here and to not at times be distracted by their surroundings. Your eyes will wonder around the gorgeous sight of the venue. Trust me.

As well as being stunning it's also very functional with standing areas and great seats that actually swivel so the you can comfortably face the stage without getting a crook in your neck. Nice!

It's got plenty of toilets and little bars around the edges but top tip...there's also a great bar downstairs with toilets that most people are unaware of. Head down there if you can.

tastemaker

A classic British venue. Well worth a visit. I did a tour recently but I would recommend buying a ticket to a show instead. You see just as much and you get to experience the space in use. If you can catch a show during the proms - the summer season of classical music - even better. Their Christmas shows are a treat as well with people dancing in the aisles.

tastemaker

The Royal Albert Hall is a magnificent building on the outside and an awe-inspiring space on the inside. It is huge and when filled to capacity, is a beautiful thing to behold. Listening to the Tchaikovsky Gala concert was a rare treat. The piano soloist, Swiss-Canadian Teo Gheorghiu, with long hair tied back in a bun, is well-deserving of his international acclaim. His rendition of Piano Concerto No. 1 was superb. Even the conductor, Grzegorz Nowak, felt the need to bear-hug him at the end! It is always delightful to hear music that is known so well - excerpts from the Nutcracker were beautifully executed but the climax of the concert was the 1812 Overture where the music was accompanied by simulated firework explosions from around the auditorium with finally, an actual grand firework from one of the higher areas. Magnificent!

tastemaker

As a Potter-addict, seeing the original film in the serene enormity of the Royal Albert Hall, complete with live orchestra, was spine-chillingly beautiful!


I am ashamed to say that last week was the first time I have ever visited the Royal Albert Hall in the 11 years that I have lived in our fine city of London; what an experience! I was 11 when Harry Potter, also 11, first received his much coveted acceptance letter (or letters...) to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the very first book/film. No matter how old I get I don't think the excitement and magic of the books or films will ever wear off but it was made extra special and emotional by the enormous scale offered by the RAH and the hair-on-end score by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra who, as an aside, were so on point that at numerous intervals I completely forgot that the music was being played live at all. 


When booking this I did find the price tag somewhat staggering but let me tell you that it was worth every penny and more; our seats were perfect, located in one of the upper boxes about half way down the length of the hall, providing a perfect side-on view of the screen and orchestra. 


I would also love to include a special mention about the venue and it's staff; in these times of necessary caution and safety, you very rarely come across a venue that doesn't treat it's visitors like the security line in an airport. But this was not the case at the Royal Albert Hall where the staff were friendly, attentive and personable. It made what was already a great event just that much better!


Screenings of 'The Philosopher's Stone' may now have stopped, but tickets for their 2018 'Chamber of Secrets' viewings, as well as a number of other fan-favourite films, are already on sale so get buying now...110% recommended!

Tastemaker

Was lucky enough to attend the Olivier Awards 2017 which was hosted here for the first time. The event was a success and it was truly a celebration of the best the cultural world has to offer. The venue itself was extremely suitable for such a grand occasion and staff were well trained and offered top notch assistance. I do hope to come back for a concert in the future after this favourable experience.

tastemaker

I bought last minute tickets to Paul Simon and Rothwell here. We were in one of the small booths on the second level. There were five in a booth with plenty of standing room at the back if you needed to stretch your legs. The view was perfect and the sound was sensational. The venue is massive and gorgeous and I cannot wait to see another show here. 

tastemaker

Royal Albert Hall was named by Queen Victoria upon laying the Hall's foundation stone 150 years ago this year 2017, in memory of her husband, Prince Albert. Hence, it stands in front of the Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens.

The closest stations are South Kensington and High Street Kensigton. If you exit through High Street Kensington, you go through a parade of shops and restaurants on the Kensigton High. If you go through South Kensigton, you will have to walk a bit up the hill, through several museums, such Science, V&A. if it's a rainy day, take subway straight at the station and then walk underground to the last exit 4. By the way, on your way, inside the subway, there is an entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Look at your ticket to find which entrance (door) you need. Only door 12 has a cafe and a waiting area, this is where the Box Office is as well. So, it's a perfect place to wait for someone if you are meeting your party at the venue. 

Albert Hall is a stunning venue,it's interior is red and  gold, with huge dome ceiling. It's a masterpiece of stunning beauty and understated comfort. The seats are turning in it's place so you could redirect your view as you wish. 

The venue is beautiful and pretty much perfect for Cirque Du Soleil, which is now presenting the spectacular Amaluna until 26th February.

tastemaker

Every year and for 122 years, the majestic Royal Albert Hall in London hosts nearly a hundred concerts of classical music for eight weeks. Proms' objective is to make classical music accessible to new audiences. There are concerts for all tastes, all levels of knowledge and for all price. Prom is the diminutive of "promenade concert", a term referring to the concerts given in the Pleasure Gardens, during which the spectators could walk while the orchestra was playing. The term Promming today means another type of spectator, which I strongly advise you to become ... Even if the concert is fully booked, each Prom includes 1,350 standing or promming seats sold from two and a half hours before the concert. Depending on whether you are more visual or musical, you can choose to be in the pit and be closer to the stage. Or the balconies on top of the room, and lie down, close your eyes and enjoy the acoustic of the place. And this for only 6 pounds. Bring something to eat, to lie down, to knit or to read ... follow your desires. And be patient, the queue can be long :)

BBC Promming Follow the queue door 11 for pit tickets and door 10 for the balcony

moderatorStaff Writer

An amazing and historical place which demands a visit simply for the beautiful venue itself, let alone any of the great events and shows which are put on. From tennis to heavy metal and anything inbetween you're sure to leave the place buzzing.


I have seen many performances here, however on World Ballet Day 2016, I saw Carlos Acosta's A Classical Farewell.  It was super pared back and featured a number of other creme de la creme of dancers young and experienced.  It is fair to say, not having seen Carlos in his prime that he is "past" his physical prime as this show featured a young Cuban male dancer who looked liked he was carved from stone and flew effortlessly in the air.  You can directly compare the two in terms of physicality.  However Carlos brings a lot of emotion to his dance, and you totally get the story rather than just the performance.  I sat in the Arena so I couldn't see all the fancy footwork.  However I highly recommend this, it's a treat for lovers of dance and it might be the last time Carlos does classical dance before he moves onto contemporary.


Tastemaker

This is a beautiful venue with a huge variety of shows and the home of the proms, which was the reason for my most recent visit. 

I actually went to the Cbeebies proms which is a great way to introduce preschool children to classical music. Tickets for the gallery or the pit are available the day before the show for a fraction of the ticket prices so if you don't mind a bit of discomfort then it is very worthwhile.

As well as the great variety of shows available, the venue itself is stunning and the walls of the ground floor are covered with frames depicting the history of this historic venue.

Not matter what you're in to, RAH will have something for you and at the very least it's worth passing by to see this beauty with your own eyes.

Tastemaker

Magnificent venue that hosts a wide range of events, from music to politics, and everything in between. Saw Iggy Pop here last night and ended up dancing with him on the stage! Definitely something I can now tick off my bucket list. The acoustics are brill! 


Do come here if you have a chance - even exploring the building is an experience in itself.

Tastemaker

Oh, you really must go to the Royal Albert Hall. I couldn't use different words to say how much I recommend this place! 


The area, South Kensington, is fabulous. You can have a nice stroll in Kensington Gardens, enjoy the scenery and the company of the many squirrels (they love eating biscuits by the way) and then reach the Royal Albert Hall for the concert or any other event you're going to see. You will be amazed how beautiful it is from the outside. And inside...it's just magnificent. The acoustic is perfect and the atmosphere is almost from another time lost in the past...


Acoustic at the Royal Albert Hall is perfect. I have only been to the Arena seats so I can't say much about the rest, however the website has a nice feature with which you can see the view from your seat with the different layouts, so you can have a better idea of what to expect. 


One of the best places in London!

Tastemaker

I have been to the RAH on a couple of occasions - the latest has been to see "Alice in Wonderland" with an live orchestra. A couple of years back I went to the same series watching Lord of the Rings. As my friend hasn't been there before once we arrived she had a look inside, which was lucky - as one of the staff told us that they were upgrading people. That's when we ended up in a box (first for me). The movie was secondary - as the orchestra and choir filled the hall with their music. I really love the acoustic and could spend hours there just listening. On one of my previous visits I watched the Christmas Carols, which has been fantastic too.


I think the RHA is a venue not to be missed and can't be compared to any newly built concert hall. It's not just impressive from the outside, but even more on the inside. So many great details to take in and just a look around the hall will set you back into another century.


The programme offers something for everybody - so there is no excuse not to visit this London gem.


Tastemaker

There are so many iconic music venues in London that you'd be hard pressed to pick the best but standing firm at the top of the pile has to be the Royal Albert Hall. Apart from the fact that this place gets some of the biggest names in the business performing inside it - Eric Clapton, Shirley Bassey & the Last Night of the Proms to name but a few - it's also utterly gorgeous and has a wonderful atmosphere, whether you're there to see rock's biggest stars, the finest athletes in tennis or a ridiculously glamourous movie premiere.


You might be surprised to learn that there are multiple venues inside it as well - this year alone I've been lucky enough to see a fully orchestrated, live accompaniment to 'Star Trek', an intimate chat with Oscar winning composer James Horner and most recently, a dreamily beautiful carol service by candlelight on Christmas Eve...twinkling lights, a crimson robed choir, readings from 'A Christmas Carol' and more festive cheer than you can throw a brandy-buttered-mince-pie at? Excuse me a moment while I swoon, won't you?


Until you've been inside the hall, you can't fully fathom how big it is. It is huge. Enormous. Colossal. You truly cannot picture how many people can sit in it and how vast it is from outside and there are reviews which warn of poor sound depending on where you sit. Well I'm here to share the good news which is, if you're like me and can only ever afford the cheap seats, you'll never know how much better or worse it might be elsewhere because you'll only ever know the circle or the balcony and I have never had a problem with either. Sure you're quite high - a sincere word of caution there for you if you don't like heights - but you can totally see everything if you're watching a screen and hear everything if you're there for the music.


If you have an ounce of Christmassy-carolly love in your body, you really must put a service here on your to-do list for next year; there are plenty of songs that everyone knows (does 'Hark the Herald' make anyone else want to bawl like a baby with its beauty?) the orchestra are dressed like Mozart & his crew, there's a jolly choir, readings from seasonal literature and such a glorious feeling of goodwill, you'll be spilling over with it until Christmas Day and beyond. 

Tastemaker

A stunningly regal building, beautiful decor and the perfect setting for a good gig. Have seen a number of different events here from Jake Bugg's debut tour to Walking With Dinosaurs live, Cirque do Soleil and the Christmas Carol concert. All were spectacular, the acoustics were amazing and so different to the other theatres in London. So much history under one roof, makes you wonder what it would have been like when the old greats were performing...

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Tastemaker

You cannot beat the English summer experience with going to the Proms at Royal Albert Hall. The atmosphere and acoustic at this venue are both fantastic. I have been first and last nights of the proms, concerts, solo, orchestras and other performances at this venue and never been disappointed. It does get hot inside on warmer days because of the design of this grand building. There was no air conditioning during the Victorian times. Overall it's definitely worthwhile attending at an event at this venue.


I agee the AH is not the best for sound although its better than it used to be before the hanging baffles were installed . However nothing in london has the same atmosphere as the Albert Hall it seems to have a buzz all its own with a unique feel of closeness to the action that no concert hall i have been can match. Imho the greatest concert venue in the world dispite any accustic failings.