Financially difficult times have done little to affect the enthusiasm of BBC Proms audiences, which this year reached a record high.
The world’s largest festival of classical music – which finished last weekend – attracted an average of 94 per cent attendance for its main evening concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, with 52 of the 74 events sold out completely. Even more encouragingly, 36,000 of the 300,000 tickets sold for the Proms’ 117th season were bought by first-time buyers, and more than 5000 under-16s attended throughout the eight-week period.
“I’m delighted that the 2011 BBC Proms have been so successful with audiences, particularly given the large amount of new and unfamiliar music in the broad range of programming,” said Proms director Roger Wright. “The strong attendance figures are a testament to the adventurous spirit of the Proms audiences, their continuing eagerness to embrace such a wide range of music and the great value for money which the Proms offer.”