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Southbank Centre Events
The Southbank Centre is a large complex in London which comprises several artistic venues. Located on the South Bank of the River Thames, it consists of some of the city's major venues. Catch your favourite shows at the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room and the Spiegeltent. Southbank Centre is the largest arts centre in Europe, and it attracted an astounding 4.36 million visitors in 2019. It hosts more than two thousand shows ranging from music and dance to literary works and more every year. Experience the best in arts and entertainment, all in one place, by booking your tickets today.
Spread across 11 acres, the Centre is one of London's most thriving arts and entertainment hubs. It has performance venues and is also home to many bars, restaurants, and markets. The dramatic views of the Thames add to its attraction. Southbank Centre is also home to many resident and associate orchestras – the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonic Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Chineke! Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
The Venue's History
It started with the Festival of Britain in 1951 - intended to demonstrate the recovery of the British people from WWII. The festival highlighted scientific innovations, industrial design and arts and ran for a few months. Most of it was dismantled by June 1952, after which the only surviving building was The Royal Festival Hall. In the early 60s, adjustments were made, which extended the Royal Festival Hall towards the river. A decade later, the Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, also known as the South Bank Concert Halls, opened their doors to the public. In 1986, the Greater London Council stopped functioning. The South Bank Board was established, taking over the concert halls' operational control. More concert venues and art galleries contributed to the Centre's growing popularity in the following years. Together with the Jubilee Gardens, the art venues became known as the South Bank Centre.
Refurbishments and Changes
It underwent various changes in the 2000s. Staff received office space in a new glass-fronted building, which also had different shops and restaurants. Between 2005 and 2007, modifications were made to the Royal Festival Hall's auditorium to improve its natural acoustic for classical music. Not only this, but the production facilities, public areas, and seating arrangement also went through refurbishment.
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery received a £16m grant for repairs and conservation from the Arts Council England in 2014. The Heritage Lottery Fund also provided the Southbank Centre with funding for conservation; the scheme was called 'Let the Light in'. After plenty of adjustments, the buildings re-opened in 2018.
Get the tickets for shows playing at one of the Centre's main venues and have a wonderful experience. Surrounded by the River Thames and its breathtaking views, you will have the time of your life.