London's greatest musical festival, the BBC Proms kicks off this evening for the first night of nine weeks worth of events. The first night is dedicated to the 150th anniversary celebrations of Mahler's birth and is set to be quite the intense opener with over 400 voices, including the Crouch End Festival Chorus as well as chorists from St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, performing his Symphony of a Thousand. One of our particular highlights takes place on Sunday where our favourite tenor, Placido Domingo, takes the title role in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra.
No prom until Monday has advanced tickets left to purchase having all sold out when tickets first went on sale. The beauty of The Proms though is that you can do just that - prom. This is something we don't think enough people are aware of and it had completely passed us back / fallen to the back of our memory until last summer. For those of you who might be similarly innocent, what it means is that up to 1,400 standing places are kept available for every prom being held at the Royal Albert Hall. These tickets are priced at the ridiculously brilliant rate of £5 opening up what you might think as a stuffy, intimidating event to absolutely everyone.
These special tickets go on sale two and a half hours before each prom starts. You're only allowed to pay for them in cash and you can only buy it in person (so no buying one for your mates). For the really popular proms (e.g. Domingo on Sunday, Beethoven on Wed...) you'll need to get in line pretty early on, but for most we'd hope you can get in even if you show up a good 45 minutes beforehand. Once the tickets are gone though that's it. For proms at Cadogan Hall (mainly Chamber Music ones), arrangements are slightly different with day tickets going on sale each morning at 10am.
Five pounds! No excuse, just make sure you're wearing comfy shoes and have a brollie handy. Tweet us @londonist, if you're in the queue and let us know how it's looking. You can follow The Proms themselves at @bbcproms or @bbcradio3live.