Glastonbury vs The Proms
Best of the Fests
When we talk about music for the people, festival season and innovation in performance, most of us will conjure up images of mud, portaloos and the thrill of seeing the shirt sleeve of a D-list musician over the heads of several hundred soggy people.
It’s Glastonbury season, the headliners are changing – again – and we’ve already got all of their music on our iPods, MP3 players
and plain old CDs.
What ‘new’ music are we actually going to experience? I’m not knocking the live festival experience. I just want to open your eyes – and ears – to an alternative festival. One with easy to find tea-making facilities. With non-ironic cellos.
A festival that innovates the blazes out of you and will more than likely play the odd tune you’ve never heard of before and be able to note down what it is for future reference. Check out The Proms.
With 76 Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and 13 chamber concerts at Cadogan Hall, it’s enough to immerse you in culture good and proper. Which is what it’s supposed to do.
Founded in 1895, its offical title is ‘The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC’, named after the promenade – or walking –?punters might do while listening to the concerts as tickets are available for non-seated areas.
These days those areas are simply for standing. There’s not much room for wandering about and considering the lillies, but ticket prices are still reduced for this section of the audience, allowing most average Joes to be able to afford going along to a big whizz bang concert without having to take out a second mortgage. Do you geddit? It’s for the people. Even more than Reading, T in the Park or Bestival.
It’s almost two months of music, at your convenience, with no tents required or specially scheduled phone calls to get the tickets on the right day before they sell out.
In fact, the ‘Prom’ prom seats (not the sitting ones) only go on sale on the day of the concert, ensuring queues around the block instead of a competition of fastest finger first.
Obviously, as it’s on the telly, it’s all free to you anyway. But the atmosphere is brilliant with all the adventurous music-lovers, and Last Night Of The Proms will give any England World Cup final a run for its money on patriotism. Be a part of this tradition of musical discovery.
The Proms run from 16 July-11 September 2010 on BBC channels. They are also broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.