US conductor Marin Alsop leading the performance on stage during the last night of the Proms at The Royal Albert Hall in west London on September 12, 2015 (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
This year, the BBC Proms 2022 will return to its full eight week season in two years, with 84 concerts starring more than 3,000 musicians.
This year’s festival, which marks the centenary of the BBC, will feature more than 60 artists making their debut to commemorate 100 years of British broadcasting as well as celebrating a new generation of music.
This is everything you need to know.
What is the BBC Proms - and when is it on?
The BBC Proms, also known as just the Proms, is an eight week long summer season of classical music concerts. Founded in 1895, the Proms are organised and broadcast by the BBC.
This year, the BBC Proms Festival will run from 15 July to 10 September, returning this summer for its first full eight week season in two years. In 2020 and 2021, the format of the Proms was reimagined due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
David Pickard, director of BBC Proms, said: “It is a momentous year for the world’s largest classical music festival.
“I’m delighted that large-scale orchestral and choral repertoire will once again be heard in the Royal Albert Hall, and that we can celebrate the return of international orchestras.
“In the BBC’s centenary year, we can be proud that the Proms has been a part of the organisation for 95 of those 100 years, playing a key role in the corporation’s mission to inform, educate and entertain.
“After two adapted seasons, we look forward to welcoming audiences back this summer for eight glorious weeks of music making.”
What’s in this year’s programme?
This year, the Proms will showcase 84 concerts, 74 of which will take place in the Royal Albert Hall auditorium.
A newly-formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will be featured in the Proms, led by Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, and includes musicians who are now refugees and Ukrainian members of European orchestras.
The Ukraine Ministry of Culture is granting a special exemption from fighting to male members of orchestras who are of military-age.
Following an inaugural performance in Warsaw, Poland, the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra’s first stop will be in London for the Proms.
This year the Proms will see the return of international orchestras including Berliner Philharmoniker led by Kirill Petrenko, the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, and the Australian World Orchestra led by Zubin Mehta.
It will also feature a large-scale repertoire, not heard at the festival since 2019, from Verdi’s Requiem to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony performed by the Chineke! Orchestra and Voices under Kevin John Edusei.
Mastermind host and BBC News correspondent Clive Myrie will present the First Night Of The Proms on BBC Two, while Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo and Scottish DJ Edith Bowman also feature in the presenter line-up.
TV naturalist Chris Packham will present the debut of Earth Prom, exploring the work of the BBC’s natural history unit which broadcast Sir David Attenborough’s earliest adventures.
There will also be an immersive experience of music, dance, theatre, and audio soundscapes called The Prom At Printworks, hosted at the industrial events space in south London, featuring works by Philip Glass and Handel.
For the first time there will be a Gaming Prom, presented by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Robert Ames, which will explore the sounds of video games.
To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the BBC Concert Orchestra will present a Prom celebrating the relationship between music and monarchy, from Handel’s Water Music to a new commission from British composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad.
You can see the full calendar of programmes on the official BBC Proms Festival website.
What is the Last Night of the Proms?
The Last Night of the Proms is arguably the biggest night of the Proms and will see the festival signed off for 2022 with all the traditional Last Night favourites.
The Last Night Of The Proms will be led by Dalia Stasevska, featuring star soloists Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016, and a world premiere by James B Wilson.
What venues will the Proms be held at?
While the majority of the concerts will be held at the Royal Albert Hall, for the first time in Proms history, concerts will be brought to every UK nation.
The BBC says: “Battersea, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and Truro will all be raising the Proms banner this summer as part of our annual chamber concert season.”
These venues are:
- The Royal Albert Hall
- Battersea Arts Centre
- Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
- St George’s Hall, Liverpool
- Waterfront Hall, Belfast
- Hall for Cornwall
- Sage Gateshead
- St George’s Bristol
- Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
- Stevenson Hall, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- Printworks London
You can find out more about the events taking place in each of these venues and tickets on the BBC website.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets for the Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall are categorised into different price bands, starting at £8.50, plus booking fee.
These are the key booking dates you should keep an eye on:
- Planner opens, Tuesday 26 April at 9am
- Planner closes, Friday 20 May at 11:59pm
- Weekend and season passes on sale (online only), Thursday 19 May at 9am
- Family Proms/Relaxed Proms on sale (Proms 11, 12, 23, 53, 54 and 68), Friday 20 May at 9am
- General on sale, Saturday 21 May at 9am
- Remaining last night of the Proms tickets on sale, Friday 15 July at 9am
Should you find yourself unable to attend a concert that you’ve booked because of Covid-19 symptoms, or because of travel difficulties caused by Covid-19 restrictions, you can phone the Royal Albert Hall Box Office (020 7070 4441) for the latest information on refunds.
Refunds will also be made available if a performance is cancelled.
If you can’t get tickets or would prefer to enjoy the Proms from the comfort of your own home, every Prom concert will be aired live on BBC Radio 3 and will be available on BBC Sounds, and 22 Proms will be broadcast on TV and iPlayer - including the First Night and Last Night of the Proms.
What is Promming?
Promming is a popular tradition that occurs throughout the Proms, where Promming tickets allow audience members to buy last minute tickets on the day of the event at a reduced price at £7.12.
These tickets go on sale at 10:30am each day, online only, on the day of the concert, and all Prommers can book two tickets per concert except from the following:
- Proms 11 and 12 (CBeebies)
- Proms 53 and 54 (Earth)
- Proms 23 and 68 (Relaxed performances)
These Proms have an increased ticket limit of four tickets per person, rather than just two.
Can I buy season or weekend passes?
Those looking to frequent the Proms may want to invest in either a whole season or weekend pass.
Whole season ticket holders will benefit from:
- Guaranteed priority access to a Promming ticket every day of the season for the standing places in the Arena or Gallery (excluding Proms 11, 12, 22, 43, 54 and 86)
- Savings on individual ticket prices
- Admission to the Last Night of the Proms
Season passes will be made available to buy online only from 9am on Thursday 19 May, however they are subject to availability. These passes will be digital only.
Between 9am and 10:30am on the morning of the concert you’re looking to attend, you’ll have to log in to claim your ticket for that day’s concert. You will only have this short period of time each morning to claim your season or weekend pass ticket for that day’s Prom.
Some information that the Royal Albert Hall wants its concertgoers to note:
- If you do not reserve your ticket online on the morning of the concert, you are no longer guaranteed entry and should purchase a Day Promming ticket instead
- Season passes are non-transferable, and ID may be requested upon entry
- You can purchase a maximum of four weekend Promming passes per weekend
- There is no weekend Promming pass for Proms 71 and 72
- Season and weekend Promming passes are only valid for concerts at the Royal Albert Hall
- Regarding Proms 12 and 54, you can redeem season tickets between 9am and 10:30am on the day before the concert
How much do weekend and season tickets cost?
The weekend Promming passes are priced as such:
- Weekend one (15 - 17 July), Proms 1, 2, 3 & 4, £24.50
- Weekend two (22 - 24 July), Proms 10, 12 & 13, £18
- Weekend three (29 - 31 July), Proms 18, 19 & 20, £18
- Weekend four (5 - 7 August), Proms 26, 27, 28 & 29, £24.50
- Weekend five (12 - 14 August), Proms 35, 36, 37 & 38, £24.50
- Weekend six (19 - 21 August), Proms 43, 44, 45 & 46, £24.50
- Weekend seven (26 - 29 August), Proms 52, 54, 55, 56 & 57, £30.50
- Weekend eight (2 - 4 September), Proms 61, 62, 63, 64 & 65, £30.50
Season Prom tickets are valid for all eight weeks of the schedule, from 15 July to 10 September, Proms 1 - 72, excluding Proms 11, 12, 22, 53, 54 and 68.
Arena and gallery season tickets are both priced at £250.
Can I queue for tickets?
The BBC says: “Queuing is limited at the point of entry to 90 minutes before doors open, however, for those wishing to secure a specific place in the queue, raffle tickets will be handed out from 9am at Door 12.
“Stewards will be on hand to assist you in finding your place in the queue.
How do I get tickets for the Last Night of the Proms?
Due to the immense popularity of the Last Night of the Proms, special ticketing arrangements get put in place.
The majority of tickets for the Last Night will be issued via ballot to audience members who have bought tickets to at least five over Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.
A further 200 tickets are also allocated to by the Open Ballot.
To be eligible to enter the Five-Concert Ballot, you will need to have booked tickets for at least five other Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
To opt into the Five-Concert Ballot, you need to make sure that you’ve ticked the “ballot opt-in” box when booking online, or, if you’re booking over the phone, tell Box Office staff that you wish to enter the ballot.
If you are eligible, you can apply to buy a maximum of two tickets for the Last Night. Should you be successful, you’re not obligated to buy tickets should you find yourself unable to attend for whatever reason.
The Five-Concert Ballot closes on Thursday 9 June with successful applicants alerted by Friday 17 June.
Those not eligible to enter into the Five-Concert Ballot can still enter into the Open Ballot, which sees 100 central stalls seats and 100 front circle seats up for grabs.
To enter into the Open Ballot, no previous Prom ticket purchases are necessary. Only one application, for a maximum of two tickets, per household can be made.
If you want to enter into the Open Ballot, an online form will be made available on the Royal Albert Hall website in due course.
The Open Ballot will close on Thursday 7 July and successful candidates will be contacted by Thursday 14 July.
Any remaining tickets for the Last Night of the Proms will be made available to buy on Friday 15 July at 9am.
Whole season tickets include admission to the Last Night - season pass holders must claim their ticket online on the day between 9am and 10:30am only.
Regarding Promming tickets for the Last Night of the Proms, the Royal Albert Hall says: “A limited number of Last Night Promming tickets (priced £7.12 including booking fee) are reserved for Prommers who have attended five or more concerts (in the Promming areas of the Hall).
“They are eligible to purchase one ticket each for the Last Night on presentation of their used E-tickets. Tickets will be available to purchase from the Box Office at Door 12.
“A limited number will be released at 9am on Tuesday 19 July, 9am on Monday 22 August and 9am on Monday 5th September.”
What’s a Proms Planner - and how do I make one?
The Royal Albert Hall recommends using a Proms Plan to book seats for the Proms in advance, using its online Proms Planner.
“The Proms Planner is a tool designed to make it easier and faster to buy tickets when they go on sale,” the Royal Albert Hall says, describing the planner as “essentially a wishlist of the tickets you’d like to buy”.
All Proms, excluding Proms 11, 12, 23, 53, 54, 68 and Last Night of the Proms, can be added to a Proms Plan.
You can create your plan using the planner until 11:59pm on Friday 20 May by doing the following:
- Create an account on the Royal Albert Hall website
- Browse the Proms season and click the “add to planner” button when you see a Prom which you’d like to attend
- Select where you want to sit for that Prom - be aware that Arena and Gallery levels cannot be booked in advance or added to a Proms Plan
- Add as many Proms as you’d like to see and securely save your credit/debit card details to speed up the booking process when tickets become available
- Amend your Plan at any time before the Planner closes
At this point, all you’ve done is create a wishlist of concerts - no tickets have actually been bought yet.
At 9am on 21 May, bookings will open. If you access the site before 9am, you’ll be allocated a random place in the online waiting room at 9am.
When the site goes live at 9am, you can claim your Proms Plan by clicking on the “Claim your Proms Plan” button on the Royal Albert Hall homepage or on the Proms season page.
The waiting room will display your queue number and you will be automatically moved towards the front of the queue. Once you’re at the front of the queue, you’ll be able to checkout and see which items in your Proms Planner you’ve been successful in attaining.
At this stage, you’ll have 30 minutes to complete your order.
Does the Royal Albert Hall have entry requirements?
The Royal Albert Hall no longer has any Covid status entry requirements, meaning there is no legal requirement to wear a face covering, however concertgoers are invited to wear one for your own protection and the safety of others.
You can enter through Door 12, the Cafe Bar and Italian restaurant Verdi without a ticket to a show, however to enter the rest of the building you will need to have your ticket ready to be scanned.
Where can I buy the BBC Proms 2022 Festival Guide?
Featuring beautiful imagery and bespoke illustrations, the BBC describes the Proms Festival Guide as “the most comprehensive way to plan your visit to the Proms this summer”.
The guide includes:
- Full concerts listings
- Brand-new articles by leading experts, journalists and writers
- Anniversary features on Vaughan Williams, Iannis Xenakis and George Walker
- Thought provoking opinion pieces about audiences, music and music-making
- A sideways look at opera by comedian and opera fanatic Chris Addison
- A profile of the legendary Queen of Soul and civil rights activist Aretha Franklin
- A new short story by award winning author Barney Norris
- At a glance calendar
- Information on how to book
Alternatively, the 2022 guide is available to purchase in eBook or ePDF formats, both of which are compatible with screen readers and text-to-speech software.
For those with vision difficulties, a braille version of the Festival Guide is available to order in two parts. For more information, you can ring the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999.
A text-only, large print version is also available - to order, or to get more information, you can call Deborah Fether on 07716 225658 or you can email [email protected].