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30th June 2016

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BBC Proms 2016 - Our definitive guide to Promming

Listen to some of the world’s greatest orchestras

The biggest classical music festival on earth returns to London again this summer. This year it has a broader appeal than ever with a celebration of Latin American music to coincide with the Olympics in Rio, a David Bowie dedication and a Strictly Come Dancing theme night, alongside performances from some of the world’s greatest orchestras.

Every classical music lover must ‘Prom’ at least once in their life - the atmosphere and connection to the music is second to none. There are up to 1350 unreserved standing places for concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, meaning you can see sold out concerts with an awesome view and at a fraction of the price!

If you plan to go Promming for the first time here is our handy guide:

1. Be prepared

Turn up as early as you can. At least two hours before the concert’s start time, however for some of the more popular weekend concerts you might want to bring a picnic and a good book!

Prepare for the elements! Promming means queuing outside and that means you’re going to have to take into account the Great British Weather!

Think about comfort. Bring something comfier to sit on than the pavement. It isn’t unheard of to be queuing for over seven hours if you want to be in with the chance of seeing one of the major orchestras.

Bear in mind that there is no dress code – that’s the beauty of the Proms! But don’t forget that comfortable shoes and clothes are best as it can get pretty hot inside the hall and you’ll be standing for a long time.

2. Choose your queue

When you arrive outside the Royal Albert Hall you are likely to see the start of two different queues: one for arena and one for gallery.

The arena is the large space in the centre of the auditorium directly in front of the stage, offering the opportunity to get up close and personal with the performers. This queue is on the left side of the Queen’s Steps and leads down Prince Consort Road.

The gallery, which runs around the top of the hall, offers a different atmosphere, with incredible acoustics and a bird’s eye view of the stage. This queue snakes down Bremner Road.

The BBC Proms launches in July at the Royal Albert Hall

3. Follow queue etiquette

Once you have chosen your queue there will be ushers around to guide you. They will hand you a raffle ticket which marks your place in the queue. This doesn’t mean you are guaranteed entry but it does mean you can leave the queue for short breaks of up to 30 minutes.

4. Buying your ticket

Promming tickets are £6 each and can be paid for in cash and, for the first time this year, by contactless payment card. They are sold as you enter, in queue order, through the relevant doors.

5. Enjoy world-class music

Now you’re in you can relax and immerse yourself in the beautiful sounds that will be coming your way. Embrace the Proms atmosphere and enjoy the splendour and outstanding acoustics of the Royal Albert Hall.

Our top 10 Proms

Take a look at the full listings and find out more information on the BBC Proms website.

Don’t miss out on world’s largest music festival