Today marks six months since we had to close our doors to you. It’s heartbreaking.
We could never have imagined the Royal Albert Hall being closed to the public for so long – it’s simply not in our DNA. As the nation’s village hall, we exist to bring people together. We believe that the arts are an intrinsic part of what makes life worth living – now more than ever.
If you care about the Hall, because we’re on your bucket list or you have a treasured memory here, you dream of appearing on our stage one day or share our belief in the power of music to change lives, please donate today. With your support, we can open our doors as soon as it is possible to do so, and continue fulfilling our founding purpose: promoting the arts and sciences for future generations.
In the six months since the pandemic forced us to close our doors on 17 March, we have foregone £18m in income, refunded £6.5m in tickets, exhausted our reserves and cancelled all but the most critical building projects.
Despite being referred to as one of the nation’s ‘crown jewels’ in the announcement of the £1.57bn rescue package for arts and heritage, the Hall can’t apply for an emergency grant. The best we can hope for is a loan and, even if we are successful, the money won’t reach us until December.
In 2019, we spent £13.7m on vital projects to maintain our iconic Grade I-listed building, and £26.7m on promoting the arts and sciences – our two charitable objectives, and the reasons why we opened our doors in the first place almost 150 years ago.
Find out more in our 2019 Charity Review…
We lost 96% of our income overnight following the forced closure in March. This obviously is affecting our ability to continue fulfilling Prince Albert’s dream: to provide a space that is open for all, where performers and audiences are inspired by the arts and sciences to create life-enriching, unforgettable experiences for everyone.
We opened our doors in 1871 and they have remained open for everyone ever since. They have only been closed once before, during the Blitz. We exist to create diverse, culturally rich unforgettable experiences. To inspire artists and audiences worldwide. And we do this while caring for our staff, our community, our building and our finances.
But this is 2020, and nothing is quite the same.
Since our doors closed, 1.5m people have watched Royal Albert Home; we have just finished two weeks of live BBC Proms concerts; and we are planning for a socially distanced Christmas season. Socially distanced events are not financially sustainable, but we want to do our bit to get our industry back on its feet.
We are usually a self-sufficient charity, but without income from shows as we know them, it is no understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound and lasting impact on the Hall and its future.
We know that the Hall will be needed more than ever after this period of upheaval and isolation; to bring people together again, to change lives through music again, to inspire and create moments of joy and togetherness. It’s what allows us to remain hopeful that we will be able to open our doors at full capacity once more. But we need your support to survive as we head into our 150th anniversary in 2021.
We can’t wait to be able to reopen safely at full capacity, so you can come and share time with friends and family, and remind yourself what makes the Royal Albert Hall one of the most uplifting and wonderful places in the world.
But in the meantime, we are in urgent need of support to be able to survive the impact of COVID-19.
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:
Thank you to everyone who has supported us since our closure in March. If you can, please consider standing with the Royal Albert Hall and help to ensure that our doors remain open, inspiring artists and audiences worldwide, for another 150 years.