Royal Festival Hall

Entertainment & Arts

Europe, United Kingdom, London

The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,900-seat concert, dance and talks venue within Southbank Centre in London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge. It is a Grade I listed building - the first post-war building to become so protected (in April 1988). The London Philharmonic Orchestra performs the majority of its London concerts in the hall. The hall was built as part of the Festival of Britain by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts for London County Council, and was officially opened on 3 May 1951. When the Greater London Council (LCC's successor) was abolished in 1986, the Hall was taken over by the Arts Council. Since the late 1980s the hall has operated an 'open foyers' policy, opening up the substantial foyer spaces to the public throughout the day, even if there are no performances. This has proved very popular and the foyers are now one of the best used public spaces in London. Each year Southbank Centre puts on a festival known as "Meltdown". In2010 the festival was curated by Richard Thompson and featured events across the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall. The closest tube stations are Waterloo and Embankment.