Record audiences provide financial boost to the Royal Albert Hall
28 April, 2014
The Royal Albert Hall, a financially independent charity that operates without any central or local government revenue funding, today revealed a record performance in 2013 with its highest ever operating income of £18.6 million, a rise of 10.4% on the previous year, boosted by rising box office receipts and sponsorship income. 390 events were held in the main auditorium to a record audience of 1.7 million people (a rise of 7%), and over £1 million was provided by donations from the Hall’s Membership*, Trustees and other trusts and foundations.
These results have helped the Hall achieve its highest ever operating surplus of £5.3 million, contributing to vital maintenance and enhancements to the 144 year old Hall. Excluding employment costs, almost £8 million was spent on improvements and refurbishment in 2013 for the benefit of public, promoters and staff. Key investments included the opening of the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Porch and Foyer. The all-day Café-Bar, retail area and modernised Box Office helped to boost footfall outside of performance times and improve public access.
The Hall continued to attract the highest quality and variety of events and provided memorable customer and performer experiences with a range of shows including Cirque du Soleil, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan and Lang Lang. More than 175,000 tickets were made available by the Hall’s Members to increase public access. The Hall’s own promotions, which included performances of Carmen, Swan Lake, and live orchestra performances to the films of The Artist and Singin’ in the Rain, generated £600,000 more than in 2012.
Commenting on a successful 2013, Jasper Hope, Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Albert Hall said:
"I'm enormously proud that our continued financial success is allowing us to build upon Prince Albert’s legacy for the Hall to be a leading showcase for the Arts and Sciences. By encouraging more visitors through our doors we’re raising vital revenues to support the maintenance and running costs of this iconic venue, as well as enabling to plan for ambitious new development projects to take us beyond our 150th anniversary and all the while offering a global stage for an annual calendar of world-class performances."
New sponsors such as Samsung, Tag Heuer, Heineken and Cafedirect saw sponsorship income rise to £1.7m, an increase of 27% compared to 2012. Following a rise in the Annual Seat Rate and the agreement of a supplement to support the building programme, over £1.8 million was contributed by the Hall’s Membership in 2013. Such funds have allowed work to start on over £9 million worth of investment to replace inefficient steam heating with modern systems to heat and cool the venue.
Enhancing and maintaining the Grade I listed Victorian building for future generations is essential to the Hall’s provision of national benefit and public access. New spaces saw an expansion in the venue’s More at the Hall events, with over 200 diverse low-ticket priced or free events outside of its main auditorium. 2013 also saw the Hall host its first full scale music festival making full use of the venue. BluesFest paired concerts from names such as Robert Plant and Van Morrison with intimate sessions in smaller performance spaces by blues and soul-inspired acts.
Chris Cotton, Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall said:
“We are dedicated to improving public access to the Arts and Sciences, and our success in investing to attract new audiences must go hand in hand with effective fundraising. As a charity that needs to stand on our own two feet, donations are vital to our efforts to preserve the Hall for future generations and it is important to recognise the generosity of our sponsors, donors and members in helping us to promote the Arts and Sciences with confidence and imagination.”
The Hall’s education and outreach programme encouraged thousands of young people to attend song-writing master-classes from artists such as Jake Bugg, Foals and Nicola Benedetti. Such events contributed to the Hall’s on-going education projects to educate young people in the Arts and Sciences. The recent opening of the Samsung Digital Classroom will see an expansion of such events in 2014.
*Members are individual or corporate owners of seats in the Hall who are the successors of those who subscribed capital to fund the Hall’s original construction.
For further details contact:
James Ralph, Good Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7861 3037,
Jessica Silvester, Royal Albert Hall: email@example.com Tel: 020 7959 0510
NOTES TO EDITORS
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Its breathtaking auditorium hosts over 370 shows a year by the world’s greatest artists. The magical atmosphere combined with inspired artists creates legendary events.
Opened in 1871 as part of Prince Albert’s vision for a centre for the Arts and Sciences, the Hall is a registered charity which operates without public funding, remaining true to his founding ambitions within a modern context. Extending the brand with 200 events outside the auditorium, the Hall has broadened its appeal to younger, diverse audiences whilst still engaging its existing customers.
The Hall also offers the Elgar Room, a state-of-the-art small-scale performance space which hosts
erformances of classical music, jazz and world music, comedy, dance and hush, a series of gigs for just signed bands throughout the year. In the main auditorium, it offers the Albert Sessions, an initiative that encourages up and coming acts to play at the Hall by offering reduced rental fees to promoters and lower ticket prices to encourage younger audiences to visit the Hall. It also works extensively with schools, young people, disadvantaged groups and partners such as Music For Youth through its Education programme, reaching over 100,000 participants each year as part of its extensive public benefit remit. The Hall is also a Strategic and Creative Partner for the Tri-borough Music Service, recognised as one of the country’s music education hubs appointed by the Arts Council.
For more information, please visit www.royalalberthall.com
Registered charity number: 254543