Albert Hall price increase

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by PeterBale, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Having just booked my ticket for the Royal Albert Hall, I see my ticket has gone up from £25 last year to £30 this time. I don't know if prices elsewhere in the hall have gone up by a similar amount but it seems a large increase to me.
  2. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Good, all helps to keep the riff raff out from where they don't belong.
  3. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I agree Peter; that's a significant increase. And if you drive in you'll need a mortgage specialist to underwrite I wonder if that was also behind the SA decision to relocate the annual music leaders festival to Birmingham?
  4. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    All the more reason to get the contest out of there and into a more sensible and practical location!
  5. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Tricky because its an Iconic location - moving to a different location potentially opens up the whole debate with Cheltenham and the lower section finals.

    Personally I'd like to see the finals go round the country a bit - surely each region would have a hall (or complex) potentially capable of hosting say over 2 weekends.
  6. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    It seems to be a very common opinion that the lower section final being in cheltenham helps fund the top section remaining at RAH... how much truth there is in that, I don't know, but there certainly seems to be no love whatsoever for cheltenham as a venue (having played there last year, I can see why - had it been more than half an hour from my doorstep, I'd have been very disappointed), about the only good thing that can be said for cheltenham racecourse is there's plenty of parking - the hall is FAR too big (it's not even half-full at results time when whole bands pile in) and a poor acoustic to boot, the venue itself is too far from anything to do and the bar is way too expensive.
    The other argument that's often made (and fair to make) is that the location isn't especially central in terms of travelling distances - how you'd define the ideal location depends on how you work it out and whether you weight any variables (this debate has been had on facebook several times - last time I believe Dave and I had it out?) and seems to wind up being anywhere from Birmingham to Manchester.

    I'm not sure I like the idea of the finals moving around too much - the extremes (say Scotland, Cornwall and West Wales) could wind up with some extreme travelling times for bands that happen to be unlucky that they've qualified that particular year rather than another. The fairest way seems (to me) to be to keep the location at a point that's most accessible to the most number of bands and call it fair at that.
    If the top section finals were to leave RAH, it'd be nice to have all the sections together in the same place.
  7. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Im sure the lower sections will continue at Cheltenham purely out of finance. Kapitol will have made a long / ish commitment to drive down costs and drive up profits,
  8. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    If you owned a company would you really not do exactly that?

    It's called good business.

    They are not a charity.
    Accidental likes this.
  9. Blades4Ever

    Blades4Ever Member

    Why on earth would anyone want to move the finals away from the Royal Albert Hall? It is a fantastic venue for bands and spectators. I would hate for the contest to move from there.

    As for Cheltenham, the sooner they move the contest away from there, the better. It's a dreadful venue, totally unsuitable for a brass band to play in, and has been said, it's far too big for the audiences attracted. The restaurant and bar are abysmal and far too expensive.

    If only we could get back to the "good old days" of all sections in London on the same day.
    Slider1 likes this.
  10. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Where exactly did I say say anything to the contrary ?
    stevetrom likes this.
  11. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    I've just bought 10 tickets for the Open at £21.50 which I thought was a pretty fair price given the bands on show and the hall etc.... At the RAH you're paying a little extra for London and an iconic venue...

    We moan that the halls we play in are cr..... rubbish....

    Then we moan that we have to pay £30 for a days listening at the most iconic concert hall in the land.....

    We cant have it both ways!
    Slider1 and Accidental like this.
  12. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Have you played there?
    Its an amazing experience but logistically, compared with just about every other contest I've ever done anywhere, its actually pretty rubbish for the competitiors.

    Back to the topic in hand, I agree the increase in price does seem huge this year. But, I believe the RAH controls the pricing rather than Kapitol, and finals tickets are cheaper than a lot of stuff there.
  13. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    I have, didn't find it any better / worse than anywhere else I've played. EG: The winter gardens this year was a joke....
  14. Blades4Ever

    Blades4Ever Member

    Yes I've played there on numerous occasions, both as a prize winning competitor and in concert and it was always a fantastic experience. Playing there should remain as something every ambitious player should aspire to.

    I've also played and conducted in some fabulous concert halls in New Zealand and Switzerland, but as good as they were, they couldn't match the Royal Albert Hall.
    Accidental likes this.
  15. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    I'd love for you to expand on this point.

    In what way is it 'rubbish'??? Its an amazing place, you get to park your coach right outside, the changing rooms are massive and right by the stage. The building itself is breathtaking. Granted, its not the easiest places to play acoustically, but so what.

    We had this debate a while back in my band about which was better out of symphony hall and the albert hall? For me, London wins hands down every time. Primarily because when you tell people you work with you spent your Saturday parping round the albert hall, they actually know what your on about, and for just half a nanosecond, they're actually impressed!
    stevetrom and Blades4Ever like this.
  16. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I absolutely agree with this point, and like I said, its an amazing experience taking part in the contest.
    I never suggested the contest should be moved, but my view is based on an awful lot of contests in a lot of different venues, including helping to organise a few and I stick by it.

    In terms of accessibility, facilities and costs, in my opinion the RAH is one of the worst venues I've been a competitor at.... that doesn't mean I never want to play there again though! I just think it would be even better if it was easily accessible for everyone, had storage and rehearsal facilities on site, plenty of places to sit in groups, and didn't cost quite so much to eat & drink in/near the hall or listen to any other bands ;)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  17. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Agreed :)
  18. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Whilst I agree that RAH is a prestigious venue, I think Symphony Hall comes out on top when it comes to accessibility for refreshments and other activities for any supporters not necessarily attending the contest. Food at RAH is rather limited and very expensive, whereas you can find something to suit anybody within 5 min of SH. As a listener, wherever I've sat at SH it has been excellent, but I could not say the same about RAH, particularly in the cheaper seats (I know I'm a skinflint, but I do like a bit of legroom all the same!)
  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Sad to see that the plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace have come to nothing.

    As it was before WW2, it must have been pretty much the perfect venue for the National Band Festival (which became the RAH contest after the war in a restructured regionals/nationals format) - an iconic building in a beautiful park setting, with two main halls, at least two more halls available in the same building, multiple exhibition buildings in the park used for lower sections, and bandstands in various places, which hosted sections outdoors. In the years before it burned down, it hosted 7 (huge - often 30+) sections of bands each festival.

    In the two years between the Crystal Palace fire and the declaration of WW2 the contest was held at Alexandra Palace, and in 1938 featured 10 sections. Could this still be a possible venue, one that could host all sections on the same date? I don't actually know it particularly well...
  20. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    You are both joking right? For a minute i thought we were talking about one of the worlds finest concert venues not a food court at the shopping mall...

    Storage? Rehearsals? Places to sit??? Good lord. Perhaps we'd better as Sydney Opera House what their food court and places to sit are like.

    Maybe the national finals should be held at Glastonbury. Plenty of room, big stage, plenty to eat and drink, loads of parking. Probably be too grassy, too sunny, too muddy, to loud, too quiet!

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