London’s Royal Albert Hall is set to resume full-capacity live shows from July.
The historic venue, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, has remained closed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last March.
From Saturday, May 29, the Albert Hall will begin hosting a series of socially distanced concerts to mark its milestone birthday. Tickets for these events will be limited to 1000 in line with government guidelines.
With all social restrictions set to be lifted in England by June 21, organisers have confirmed plans for the venue to reopen at full capacity from Tuesday, July 6 (subject to the government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown going to plan).
The first full house concert will be by James Blunt, whose sixth album ‘Once Upon A Mind’ was released in October 2019.
“This has been the toughest period in the Hall’s 150-year history – and not how we ever imagined marking this remarkable milestone,” Craig Hassall, Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, explained.
“But we are so excited about getting back to doing what we do best, and can’t wait to welcome audiences to the Hall to help us celebrate this anniversary in style.”
You can find more information on the Royal Albert Hall’s reopening plans and upcoming shows on the venue’s official website.
It comes after a new survey found that over 17,000 full-capacity shows are booked to take place in England’s grassroots music venues by the end of September, with 2,534 socially distanced events scheduled between May 17 and June 21.
Meanwhile, this weekend Liverpool played host to a government pilot event, which saw Blossoms perform to a crowd of 5000 people – who were not required to socially distance or wear face coverings.
Following the gig, Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn told NME that “it feels like we can be back to normal” in regards to full-capacity shows.
“If we adequately test people before they come into a gig, there’s no reason why the gig can’t happen,” he reasoned. “That’s what this event is about: effectively demonstrating that people can be responsible, they’ve had the test, came to the gig [and will] have a test afterward. And I think it means the festival season can happen.”
Next week’s BRIT Awards 2021 will also serve as a pilot COVID event, allowing 4000 fans to attend the ceremony at London’s O2 Arena.