Proms Reports Strong Attendance Despite London Bombings

Classic Arts News   Proms Reports Strong Attendance Despite London Bombings
The BBC Proms report steady attendance levels for the season, despite the July bombings in London.

The summer festival ends tomorrow with the traditionally raucous and patriotic Last Night of the Proms.

Attendance figures for the 2005 season exactly match those of the 2004 season, with a total of 257,000 people present for the 74 concerts. The average attendance for evening concerts was 86 percent of the Royal Albert Hall, which has over 5,000 seats, and the chamber music series audience, which moved to Cadogan Hall, doubled because of the larger capacity of the venue.

A total of 31 concerts sold out.

Nicholas Kenyon, the Proms' director, said, "The Proms audience has proved determined and resilient in the face of a difficult summer in London, and we have had magnificent concerts and many sell-outs."

He added, "[T]he spirit of the season has been wonderfully positive. Young audiences are up, and young performers have provided some of our strongest highlights, creating a massive hope for our musical future."

Among the programs for attracting young audiences were Ô£4 seats for children and their families at selected concerts, and half-price tickets for audience members under 16 at all concerts. As a result, nearly 7,000 such tickets were sold.

Usage numbers for Listen on Demand concerts were up as well. All but two of the Proms concerts were made available for a week after the live broadcast, and each time about 10,000 people logged on to listen.

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