8 reasons to love the Proms
1. There's something for everyone
2. Crowd control
Up to 6,000 people in the Royal Albert Hall who have politely queued, online or in real life, and looked forward to this moment, enjoying a musical delight together, in blissful harmony. It’s like a football crowd if both teams won.
Like Wimbledon or cricket, the British summer wouldn't be the same without the Proms. Along with tutting, talking about the weather and apologising, it's a quintessential part of tradition. Tourists, locals and people from all over the country feel the same sense of history when they do the Proms.
Proms performers appear to be having as good a time as the audience. The drama of the conducting, for example, is an event in itself. From the power of Sakari Oramo (see picture above) to the wild hair-flinging of Simon Rattle and the emotional dynamism of Marin Alsop. Feel free to join in yourself (not really).
5. Dressing up
There is nothing…NOTHING…the British public likes more than dressing up. Large man who wants to dress as a 1920s flapper while wearing a Union Jack stetson? The Last Night of the Proms is the very place to do it.
6. A chance to be smug
There are 21 world premiere performances of new works this year. That's 21 individual opportunities to take the hipster high-ground and casually slip an 'I heard it first' into conversations to impress your friends. The chance for intellectual name-dropping it gives afterwards really are unsurpassed. It is a genuinely excellent way to introduce yourself to music you’ve never come across before. A contra-bassoon concerto? French modernism? Yes please.
Each prom has up to 1,350 standing/Promming places available on the day – world class performances for £5, and an opportunity to take part in one of the world’s greatest exercises in the democracy of music.
8. The rituals
Like every traditional event, the Proms has become shrouded in ritual. From the sociability of the queue and the bobbing up and down during Rule Britannia on the Last Night, to the call and response when stagehands bring a piano onto the stage and the arena prommers shout "heave!" and the audience shouts "ho!", it’s all part of the joy. And you have to take part. It’s the law, and we love it.