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Today the world’s greatest music festival returns to the Royal Albert Hall. But this is 2020, and nothing is quite the same. For the first time, the BBC Proms will play to an empty auditorium for two weeks of nightly, behind-closed-doors shows.

The Proms is a major celebration of culture and shared experience, and though the format this year may be different, these extraordinary events will do what the season has always done: celebrate the greatest composers, and the finest musicians, from around the world.

It is a fortnight when the eyes of music-lovers everywhere will rest on this beloved building, which is closed for only the second time in its 149-year history.

Sadly, like other venues across the cultural sector, our future remains far from certain. Since shutting our doors on 17 March, we have lost £20m in refunded tickets and projected income, and been forced to take out a £5m loan to keep the Hall going.

While we welcome the possibility of government support – which would consist of a further loan – we don’t know when we might be able to re-open our doors or when audiences will feel confident about returning. We need clarity on when live performances with a full audience might be safely staged, so we can plan with more certainty and get back to being financially independent.

And, in the meantime, we need your help.

When times are tough, people’s priorities understandably change, but we know that the Hall holds a unique place in the memories and hearts of millions. We are doing our best to keep entertaining the world during our closure, but the show cannot go on without your support. Now is the chance for anyone who loves this place to display that affection and help protect the future of the Royal Albert Hall.

9 ways you can support us

This extended closure has put the Royal Albert Hall, like many other venues, in a perilous situation.

Without shows on we have lost our major source of funding, but there remains a number of ways you can continue to support the Royal Albert Hall during this crisis:

Alternatively please get in touch with our Head of Philanthropy, Amey Bonsor, on ameyb@royalalberthall.com