Florence & The Machine And Sam Smith Will Perform At The Proms 2024

By Martha Davies

2 months ago

The BBC Proms lineup is here


If you’re a music festival fanatic, you’re probably clued up on this year’s big events, from Glastonbury to BST Hyde Park – but what about the Proms? As the world’s largest classical music festival, it’s definitely one for your cultural calendar. This year, you can expect performances from Florence & The Machine, Sam Smith, Jordan Rakei and more. Read on for a guide to the Proms 2024. 

A Guide To The BBC Proms 2024

What Is The Proms?

Short for Promenade Concerts, the Proms (known officially as the BBC Proms) is an eight-week summer festival which has been held annually in London since 1895. It is organized by the BBC and features a series of classical music performances along with free events including talks, workshops, readings and films.

The aim is to bring classical music to the largest possible audience. There are many rules and traditions highlighting this commitment to accessibility, from affordable ticket prices to the tradition of ‘promming’, which allows attendees to buy standing tickets on the day of each concert.

When Did The Proms Start?

The idea of accessible promenade concerts first emerged in France in the 1830s, but the Proms itself began in London on Saturday 10 August 1895. It was conceived by Robert Newman with the ambition of bringing classical music to the masses. Co-founder Sir Henry Wood conducted nearly every Proms concert for almost fifty years – the festival is formally named the ‘Henry Wood Promenade Concerts’ in recognition of his legacy.

Where Does It Take Place?

The Proms is held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and it has been taking place there since its inception. There are, however, other Proms venues across the UK: this year, you can find Proms performances at the following venues: 

  • The Glasshouse International Centre for Music (Gateshead)
  • Bristol Beacon
  • Nottingham Trent University Music Centre 
  • The Riverfront (Newport)
  • Ulster Hall (Belfast) 
  • Cowdray Hall (Aberdeen)

When Is The 2024 Proms?

This year’s Proms will run from Friday 19 July to Saturday 14 September 2024. A total of 90 concerts will be played at the Royal Albert Hall, plus more at the other venues around the UK.

What Is The Lineup?

During its eight-week stretch of concerts, the festival showcases a dizzying array of concerts. This year’s highlights include:

  • Everybody Dance! The Sound of Disco: The first concert after the traditional First Night Of The Proms is this celebration of 20th-century club culture, led by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Saturday 20 July at the Royal Albert Hall
  • The King’s Singers and VOCES8: British choral groups The King’s Singers and VOCES8 will present a blend of pop and classical music, showcasing their world-class close-harmony singing. Sunday 21 July at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Nick Drake – An Orchestral Celebration: Headed up by Jules Buckley, this performance will see a selection of artists join the BBC Symphony Orchestra in memory of folk-rock musician Nick Drake, who died fifty years ago. Wednesday 24 July at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Jordan Rakei with the Royal Northern Sinfonia: Grammy-nominated vocalist, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Rakei will make his Proms debut, performing alongside the Royal Northern Sinfonia in a set conducted by Robert Ames. Saturday 27 July at The Glasshouse International Centre for Music
  • Sam Smith: In their only UK appearance of 2024, Sam Smith will sing hits from their debut solo album, In the Lonely Hour. You can expect tracks including ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Lay Me Down’, with accompaniment from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Friday 2 August at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Bristol Beacon – The Virtuous Circle: Charles Hazlewood and his Paraorchestra will offer an immersive classical concert experience in two Proms sets, performing Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 from memory, as well as new music from Ivor Novello Award-winner Oliver Vibrans.
  • Florence & The Machine – Symphony of Lungs: Florence Welch will take the stage with Jules Buckley and his Orchestra to perform songs from Lungs, her BRIT Award-winning debut album. Wednesday 11 September at the Royal Albert Hall

You can filter the lineup by category, or take a look at the full calendar here.

Can I Watch Online?

You can catch the Proms on TV, iPlayer, BBC Sounds and radio.

Every Prom will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and most will be available to stream on BBC Sounds for 12 months. You can watch a selection of the concerts – including the popular First Night and Last Night of the Proms – on TV and iPlayer.

Seats in the Royal Albert Hall.

Unsplash

How Can I Get Tickets?

Tickets for the 2024 Proms will go on general sale at 9am on Saturday 18 May, and you can buy them on the Royal Albert Hall website. Beforehand (from Thursday 25 April until Friday 17 May) you can look through the programme and create a Proms plan – so when tickets launch, all you need to do is log in to your account and redeem your plan. It’s worth noting, however, that tickets for specific concerts (this year, it’s Proms 11, 12, 22, 47 and 48) cannot be added to a Proms plan and will go on sale a day earlier, on Friday 17 May at 9am. For more information about tickets and Proms plans, head to the BBC tickets page.

Standing tickets are also available for every performance; these are an integral part of the Proms, and are offered as part of the long tradition of Promming.

What Is Promming?

For every concert at the Proms – and even sold-out performances – around 1,000 tickets are reserved on the day as standing places in the Arena and Gallery, along with a handful of seats in the Choir. These special ‘Promming’ tickets can usually be purchased online from 10:30am each day.

Promming tickets are only £8, and all standing Promming tickets are unreserved, so you can choose where to stand when you arrive. You don’t actually have to stand, however: many people choose to sit or even lie down in the Gallery or the Arena. 

Is There A Dress Code?

While some concert-goers opt for formal attire, you can be safe in the knowledge that there is no dress code at the Proms, so you can rock up as you are.

Can Children Attend The Proms?

It is recommended that young concert-goers are aged at least five and over. Children aged between seven and 18 are encouraged to attend the festival, and children’s tickets are half-price in any seating area of the Royal Albert Hall (excluding Promming tickets, and tickets for the Last Night of the Proms).

What Is The Last Night Of The Proms?

A magnificent festival must have a magnificent finale, and the Last Night of the Proms is certainly a memorable event. As the final concert in the long Proms calendar, it features a selection of musical hits before ending with patriotic British songs including Edward Elgar’s ‘Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1’, Thomas Arne’s ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and Hubert Parry’s ‘Jerusalem.’ This year, The BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Singers will be joined by Grammy Award-winning American soprano Angel Blue and one of Britain’s best-loved pianists, Sir Stephen Hough.

Audience participation is encouraged during this lively celebration, and many attendees bring flags to wave. (There are even flagpole guidelines on the BBC website – if you’re curious, you can take a look here.)

How Can I Get Tickets For The Last Night Of The Proms?

Since the Last Night Of The Proms is so popular, special rules apply when it comes to tickets; you can nab up to two per person in the general sale, or in the Open Ballot, the Five-Concert Ballot, or by purchasing a Whole Season Pass. (Check out the BBC website if you’re after more information).

For particularly eager Prommers, a limited number of Last Night Promming tickets (priced at £8) are reserved for those who have attended five or more concerts in the Promming areas of the concert hall. These Prommers will be able to purchase one ticket each for the Last Night when they present their used e-tickets at the Royal Albert Hall. The tickets can be bought from the Box Office at Door 12, and they will be released at 9am on Tuesday 18 July, Monday 26 August and Monday 9 September.