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Policy Meets Performance: An Afternoon At The Royal Albert Hall With The APPG On Music 

Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music were granted an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington, a landmark of British culture and arts.

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13.05.2024: Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music were granted an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington, a landmark of British culture and arts.

The tour on Monday April 29 provided a unique opportunity for policymakers to delve into the inner workings of one of the most famed musical venues in the world. 

The group included APPG on Music Chair Kevin Brennan MP, Labour MP Alex Sobel, Conservative MP and Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, Lord John Taylor of Warwick, Jack Lovie from Sharon Hodgson MP’s office, and Amiel Bakshi and Nadila Hussein from Kevin Brennan’s office. The visit gave the APPG a chance to explore the hall and engage in a meaningful dialogue about the future of music and performance arts in the UK. 

The tour visited the dressing rooms in the basement, where the APPG on Music heard about the history of the Royal Albert Hall. 

 

 APPG on Music Chair, Kevin Brennan MP, in the Royal Albert Hall archive. 

The tour began with a visit to some of the less-seen areas of the hall, including the dressing rooms, entry bay and archive. Members of the group were able to ask questions and learn more about the history of the venue. The clear highlight of the tour was a visit to the rooftop, an experience described by the participants as slightly terrifying but worth it for the views of the Hall from a very exclusive angle, looking down through chicken wire to the stage.

All smiles heading up to the roof. 

The tour culminated in a Q&A session with James Ainscough, the Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, and other members of the executive team. This opened the floor for a discussion on various pressing issues facing the music industry today, including funding for the arts, the impact of digital transformation on live performances, and strategies to enhance community engagement through music. 

 James Ainscough shared insights into the operational challenges and triumphs of running such a prestigious venue. He emphasised the importance of adaptability and innovation in ensuring the hall remains a leading figure in promoting musical and cultural excellence. The executive team also highlighted their ongoing initiatives aimed at broadening access to musical education and live performances for everyone across the country. 

The APPG on Music members left the Royal Albert Hall with a greater appreciation for the complexities of managing a historic venue and armed with insights that could inform future legislative and policy efforts to support the arts more broadly.  

Hannah McLennan, Tom Kiehl, Nadila Husein, Lord John Taylor of Warwick, Amiel Bakshi, Nigel Evans MP, Kevin Brennan MP and Jack Lovie on the roof of the Royal Albert Hall. 

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