Royal Albert Hall: Everything You Need To Know Before Going To A Gig

The Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s most iconic and prestigious venues, hosting a wide variety of events each year. With a capacity of up to 5,272 seats, the elliptical hall regularly welcomes everything from orchestral concerts to rock and pop musicians, and from comedians, to award ceremonies and even circuses. 

Its distinct domed structure and beautiful interior make it a unique place to experience some of the world’s best artists and entertainers. Here is what to expect for your visit. 

Getting To The Royal Albert Hall Venue

The Royal Albert Hall is located in the heart of London’s South Kensington, making it easy to reach via public transport. The nearest tube stations are South Kensington (Circle, District and Piccadilly lines) and High Street Kensington (Circle and District lines), both about a 5-minute walk from the venue.

If coming by train, Victoria and Knightsbridge stations are a 10-15 minute walk away. There are also bus routes 9, 10, 52 and 360 that stop close by.

Driving to the Royal Albert Hall is not recommended due to limited parking and congestion charges in central London. However, if you must drive, there are parking meters on the streets surrounding the venue and some local car parks.

What Time Do Events Start and Finish?

Event start and finish times can vary greatly at the Royal Albert Hall. Classical concerts usually begin at 19:30, with patrons advised to take their seats 15 minutes prior.  Proms concerts generally start between 19:00 – 20:00. 

Music concerts and comedy shows often have an earlier start time around 19:00 for the support act and 20.30 – 20.45 for the main act. You can check the website a day or so before the show to be sure. Events typically finish by 22:30, but can run later.

Queueing, security

There are multiple entrances into the Royal Albert Hall depending on your seating area. Your ticket should mention which door you should take and if your tickets don’t have a door number indicated on them, enter through the main public entrance, which is Door 12.

Doors 5, 6, and 7 are located on the north side of the venue facing Kensington Gore and Hyde Park. Doors 2, 3, and 4 are on the east side of the venue facing Kensington Gore. Doors 8, 9, and 10 are on the west side of the venue facing Kensington Gore as well. Finally, Doors 1, 11, and 12 are situated on the south side of the venue next to the Great Exhibition Memorial.

Finding Your Seats At Royal Albert Hall

The auditorium has seating on the main floor (stalls) (sometimes this area is standing only) and four tiers of balconies called the arena and gallery levels. Seating is by section, row and number. Ushers can help direct you. Allow time to find your seat – it’s a big venue!

Security & Cloakrooms at the Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall has strict rules regarding bags for security reasons. Each person is allowed one bag no larger than 25-litre capacity (that’s about 40cm x 30cm x 20cm. Bags that exceed these size limits must be checked into the venue’s cloakroom facility for a fee of £1 per item. You can find the cloakroom near the Door 3 entrance.

The venue aims to be accessible for all visitors. There are ramped entrances, lifts to access different levels, and wheelchair spaces available in various seating areas. Accessible toilets are located on different floors. 

Guest Lists and Backstage Access

Guest list attendees can collect passes from the Royal Albert Hall box office. Speak to staff if you require backstage access. Artists and crew can access the backstage area directly.

Dress Code at the Royal Albert Hall 

The Royal Albert Hall has a lovely elegant atmosphere that makes me want to dress up, but formal attire is only required for specific black tie events. If a dress code is specified on your ticket for an event, follow the guidelines – otherwise, feel free to wear casual comfortable clothes like jeans, or whatever takes your fancy.

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