Point of Interest

Royal Festival Hall

England / Europe

The Royal Festival Hall stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex. It was opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain. The Hall is one of the world’s leading concert venues, and presents concerts by the finest international orchestras, operas, with a wide spread of contemporary music events, from jazz to world, to rock and pop music.In 1948, the Labour Government announced plans to hold the Festival of Britain as a post-World War II celebration. Plans were drawn up to create a permanent concert hall for the festival, which would go on to be the new centre of music in London following the destruction of the Queens’ Hall by a bomber during the War. The area between South Bank of the Thames was cleared of the derelict buildings and in 1949 the foundation stone for the new Royal Festival Hall laid. Architects Sir Robert Matthew and Dr Leslie Martin were commissioned to design the hall. In 1976, the Hall celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee with a series of celebrity concerts, and in 1985 the Arts Council took over responsibility for the Hall. By 1986 the Hall changed hands again and control passed over to the South Bank Board. The Royal Festival Hall was extensively refurbished from 2005 until its reopening in 2007. 

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