The Royal Albert Hall will open its doors to reduced audiences this Christmas in what the venue’s chief executive describes as an “investment into our future.”
A total of 36,000 tickets will be sold to audience goers, down from more than 120,000 last year, to shows including The Nutcracker, Handel’s Messiah and other staples.
Though opening to such capacities is “financially unviable,” Hall boss Craig Halsall believes that “this is what the country needs” and that it will “protect the jobs of our highly skilled staff, stimulate the local economy and the wider arts ecosystem, and fulfil significant audience demand.”
E-tickets, staggered entry times and a face covering policy will be new additions to the concert experience.
The Knightsbridge venue will reopen after nine months of closure, forgoing £18m of revenues. Bosses recently launched a £20m fundraising drive.
“Christmas has always been a time of great celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall, where people have come together since 1871 – from Vera Lynn at the end of the Blitz, to HM The Queen’s first public Christmas address. It is essential for us to carry on this spirit in what has been a year of disruption,” said Hassall.
City A.M. understands the Hall will not be able to return to full sustainability until it can fully reopen.
The venue’s chiefs have called for an indicative time-frame for reopening venues as the final stage of the government’s cultural recovery plan, a state-backed insurance scheme for large scale events and sector-specific job support.
Tickets are on sale from Friday at 10am.
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