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8 reasons to love the Proms

We could witter on and on and give you thousands, but if you will make us choose, here are the top reasons why we ruddy well love the Proms.

1. There's something for everyone

Whether you want to comment on the fine, thoughtful piano playing of Leif Ove Andsnes, shout “Where’s Benedict?” at the Sherlock prom, or feel the Ibiza vibes to a Pete Tong soundtrack, there’s room for every sort of music enthusiast.

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.

3. Tradition

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.

4. Exuberance

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.

7. Bargain!

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.

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