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BBC Proms to welcome back live audiences

BBC Proms chiefs are hoping to welcome full auditoriums this summer as more than 50 concerts for the classical music season were announced.

After a limited number of events were held in 2020, organisers are planning to welcome full-capacity crowds at 52 concerts set to take place over 44 days from late July. That compares to just 14 concerts behind closed doors at the Royal Albert Hall last year, but is still considerably down on the usual number of around 90, with organisers having just a few months to prepare the schedule.

Most concerts will be held at the 5,000-seat Royal Albert Hall, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, with some events taking place at the 950-seat capacity Cadogan Hall, which is also in London.

The season runs from July 30 to September 11, meaning it begins more than a month after social distancing rules are scheduled to end in England. BBC Proms said the series continues its commitment to accessible ticket prices with advanced seated tickets from £7.50 and half-price tickets for under-18s and Promming day tickets at £6 (plus booking fees).

Organisers said: “We are hoping to welcome the maximum number of audience members that are safely allowed and will be following Government guidance. Further details about distancing measures, details of how you can safely enjoy your Prom visit and ticket prices and bands will be announced in due course.”

Organisers confirmed that only tickets purchased through the Royal Albert Hall box office are valid for admission. Tickets are voided if they are purchased via third parties and other unauthorised outlets, including online auction sites.

Ticket exchanges are available up to 10 days before a performance via the Royal Albert Hall box office while refunds will be offered at organisers’ discretion.

BBC Proms director David Pickard said: “We hope and pray it will sound as it would do in a normal year.

“The [schedule] isn’t finished yet, which is scary and quite exciting. The Proms is normally planned two or three years in advance and there are still four concerts we haven’t announced yet, and actually I don’t know what they’re going to be.

“We want to see how things pan out – and whether we can perhaps do one or two things on a bigger scale.”

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