Do concert halls need to consider audience comfort more?

Posted on: July 28, 2010

In Tuesday’s (7/27) Independent (London), Jessica Duchen, after passing out from the heat during a Proms concert at Royal Albert Hall, writes, “Six thousand people in a Victorian bullring on a hot night: the Tube couldn’t compete. No wonder I conked out, and I had only made it through the first hour of six. A colleague had spotted another fainter being hauled out of the performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony the night before. Is it unreasonable to expect not to faint at the summer’s most exciting Prom? Of course, it can happen to anyone at any time and from any cause. But audience expectations are rocketing and so is the temperature and our concert halls cannot keep up. … I often feel that when concert halls are built or refurbished, the needs of the audience are the last things taken into account. Going to a concert can be like budget air travel: venues pack in as many seats as possible, skimp on the loos and ventilation and fill the foyer with outlets to make us buy stuff that we don’t need.”

Posted July 28, 2010