We should all applaud the pre-booked Proms | Letters

Keen Promenader Lee McLernon says the sale of pre-booked tickets to unreserved standing areas has opened up the Proms to new audiences

As a long-standing Promenader (pun intended), I must take issue with the points raised by Adrian Greeman (Letters, 30 August). The ability to pre-book a ticket for the unreserved standing areas at the BBC Proms on the day of the concert, introduced last year, has had minimal impact on the ability of those queuing for a ticket to get in.

The number of such tickets is strictly limited for each concert, leaving plenty for those queuing (it is only on a handful of occasions each season that some of those queuing have to be turned away). The new ticketing system helps the diversity of those attending, as those from outside London or those who are working can experience a popular Prom from the arena or the gallery if they are not able to queue or do not wish to risk travelling if they’re not guaranteed to get in. In any event, the idea of pre-purchased tickets for the unreserved areas is not new; season tickets have been available for much longer than I can remember.

The Proms remain egalitarian and the best value for money around. I paid £4 to attend my first Prom 20 years ago and there have been two price rises, to £5 in 2005 and to £6 in 2016. That’s pretty good in my book when you compare it with a cinema ticket in London or a Premier League football match. Long may the BBC Proms flourish and attract new audiences.
Lee McLernon

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters


The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Fatbergs, flag-waving and a fancy probiotic | Brief letters
Brief letters: Parsons Green terror attack | Last Night of the Proms | Fat in London sewers | Non-alcoholic drinks

Brief letters

15, Sep, 2017 @4:33 PM

Article image
Into the classical music bear-pit: Alan Johnson goes to the Proms
Growing up in North Kensington Alan Johnson used to play around the Albert Hall but never went inside. 60 years later we sent the former home secretary along to experience the Proms for the first time. What did he make of it?

Alan Johnson

03, Sep, 2017 @2:00 PM

Article image
End of the queue destroys the principle behind the Proms | Letters
The Letters: BBC Proms is criticised for ending queueing and cashing in through online booking


29, Aug, 2017 @6:15 PM

Article image
The Proms and Greek: this week’s best UK classical concerts
Opera and a cello concerto are on the cards at the Royal Albert Hall, while Joe Hill-Gibbins directs a retelling of the Oedipus legend in Edinburgh

Andrew Clements

04, Aug, 2017 @10:29 AM

Article image
So farewell to populism at the Proms | Barbara Ellen
Luring people into classical music via Dr Who and CBeebies events has been abandoned. Boo!

Barbara Ellen

22, Apr, 2017 @11:06 PM

Article image
My first night of the Proms: meet the young stars making their festival debuts
The chameleon saxophonist, the competitive composer, the solitary pianist … three young musicians about to make their first appearances at the world’s mightiest music festival tell us how it all began

Interviews by Imogen Tilden

16, Jul, 2017 @3:00 PM

Article image
Daniel Barenboim calls for European unity in Proms speech
Venerated pianist and conductor speaks out against nationalism and ‘isolationist tendencies’ at Royal Albert Hall concert

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

17, Jul, 2017 @4:47 PM

Article image
Open Ear Prom review – exploring the concepts behind conceptual music
This late-night offering was full of ideas – including giving the building its own musical voice – and challenges

Erica Jeal

07, Sep, 2017 @1:44 PM

Article image
Filarmonica della Scala/Chailly review – a spine-tingling Proms debut
A breathtaking Brahms with soloist Leonidas Kavakos was followed by a lush evocation of Respighi’s Rome, affirming the virtuosity of Riccardo Chailly’s Milan ensemble

Tim Ashley

27, Aug, 2017 @10:26 AM

Article image
Multi-Story Orchestra review – concrete commitment brings car park chorus of approval
A second Proms visit to Peckham allows the quality of the musicianship to be the focus, rather than the unusual venue, and saw the debut of a community youth choir

Flora Willson

27, Aug, 2017 @1:34 PM