Putting on the Proms: Julia Robinson

Julia Robinson at the Royal Albert Hall Julia Robinson wants everyone to leave the RAH with 'fantastic memories'

As Royal Albert Hall's head of front of house, Julia Robinson knows the Proms audience better than just about anyone else - but that doesn't mean she will be revealing all their secrets.

Tell us about your job in a nutshell

I head up the Hall's front of house team, including our stewards and duty managers. We aim to provide exceptional service, enhance the customer experience and ensure everyone leaves with fantastic memories. My remit also includes the tours department, which plays a crucial role in the Hall's charitable remit, providing more opportunities for as many people as possible to enjoy this iconic building. This year we've got a new History of the Proms Tour to coincide with the season, which I'm hoping will attract some budding Proms aficionados.

First impressions count. What kind of impression do you want to give people entering the RAH?

Unforgettable (for the right reasons!). We should be warm and welcoming, make things easy, and help build the excitement before the on-stage entertainment begins.

What five words to describe the Proms audience?

Passionate, loyal, discerning, diverse. Oh, and particular!

What are some of your biggest challenges in a long season?

Keeping the team motivated to ensure standards remain consistently high throughout the season is very important. However, these days there is also a lot of variety within the Proms festival: an increase in international orchestras, world music and the merging of different musical genres, so we also have to be aware of the different expectations of the diverse Proms audiences, as well as the physical demands of having such a busy and challenging series. There are often two concerts a day and peripheral activities.

Do you ever get a chance to be a spectator?

Once in a while I take a busman's holiday to the Proms. Highlights have been the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Mahler's Resurrection Symphony and anything with John Wilson. This year I'm intrigued, and slightly petrified, by Benedict Mason's Meld, which apparently is going to use the building like it has never been used before. I'm not sure where the audience might end up!

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain made their Proms debut in 2009
Would you say the attendance of the Proms is healthy?

There seem to be consistently strong sales across the season, so I'd say it was pretty healthy. The depth of programming and diversity of artists means that I'm always seeing new faces coming through the doors.

What are you asked about most often?

Everyone always wants to know about love and war in the Proms queues. I'm sure we've had our fair share of both but I'm sworn to secrecy.

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