The Promenade Concert Season in the Royal Albert Hall, London has become famous throughout the Classical Music world. The idea was originated by Robert Newman, an impresario who wanted to create a season of concerts which would raise the standard of public interest in classical and modern music. The first concert was held on 10th August 1985 in the Queen's Hall. The Royal Albert Hall did not come into regular use for the Proms until the Queens' Hall was gutted by fire during the second world war.
Sir Henry Wood was the first Conductor who had already begun to make a name for himself. The Prom season was so successful that by the 1920s regular Wagner and Beethoven evenings were featured as events during the Proms and the performance of contemporary music also took place regularly. Gradually the range of the event increased, to include orchestras other than the Queen's Hall Orchestra, and today a huge range of musicians performs every year.
The main thing to notice at any Prom concert is that the seats have been removed from the centre of the Royal Albert Hall, and the audience in that part of the concert hall stands. Prom concert audiences are usually very lively and often the adjustment of stage furniture such as moving a piano to a new location will be accompanied by shouts of "heave"! There is a clique of Prom concert goers who queue every year so that they can take over the front row of the standing audience, and woe betide anyone who dares to take over "their" place. Tickets for this area are never expensive, and the Promenaders as they are known often cause a good deal of entertainment during a concert.
The Prom season runs from mid July to mid September, usually culminating around the second Saturday of September with the Last Night of the Proms. However, most of the concerts do not match the format of the Last Night with its party atmosphere of Union Jacks, soft toys, banners, and various bangers and toy trumpets which usually disrupt the proceedings of the concert after the interval.
There are usually two or three concerts per day throughout the Prom season and music will range from performances of the classics right through to contemporary composers. Young musicians always get a good airing with special concerts featuring groups such as the National Youth Orchestra. Performances are to a very high standard and I recommend that anyone visiting London should try to go to a Prom concert.
Information about the Prom Concerts can be found using the linked text.