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Why is there such a delay before we receive our RAH tickets?

In order to create the best choral experience for our singers, by keeping the different voice-parts in separate blocks, we do not fix the dividing lines between the voice-parts until the last possible moment. If, for example, we have more basses than usual, they will need to be accommodated in seats often allocated to sopranos; or an extra 50 altos might find themselves in seats normally occupied by basses. The jigsaw is usually finalised about 6 weeks before the event, and we aim to send out tickets no later than 3–4 weeks before the date of the concert.

Can I amend or cancel my booking?

To amend or cancel a booking, you can email members@trbc.co.uk or write to PO Box 4211, Bath BA1 0HJ. Explain your requirements as briefly as you can, but be sure to include the surname and full postcode of the person who made the original booking or we may not be able to trace it.

Cancelling a booking
We appreciate being told about reduced or cancelled bookings so that we can fill gaps in the seating, but we will not normally make refunds unless your section is sold out and we are able to resell the tickets. Even for sold-out events this is not always possible, particularly if you leave it to the last minute. If we do make a refund, there will be an administration charge of £5 per seat.

Amending a booking
For reducing the number of seats in a group, please see ‘Cancelling a booking’ above.

If you want to add additional seats, you should make an additional booking; we will connect it with your original booking if the surname and postcode are the same (please write clearly). To be safe, send a covering note with your second and subsequent bookings. However, we cannot guarantee to seat additional bookings with those made earlier, as we allocate seats on a first-come, first-served basis and there may be no seats left close to the original booking. The best we can do is to offer the option of moving your original seats out of the Stalls and seating you together further back. A similar problem arises if the whole of the Main Singing Area is full by the time the second booking arrives.

If the total price is increased, please enclose additional payment with your booking. We will not normally refund any price difference, and if we do there will be an administration charge of £5 per seat.

What if a Royal Albert Hall concert is postponed or cancelled?

In the event that a Royal Albert Hall concert is postponed, we will attempt to re-schedule the concert for a later date. Please retain your ticket. If you are unable to make the replacement date, you will be entitled to a refund of the ticket cost, excluding any booking fees that you have paid.

If a Royal Albert Hall concert is cancelled, you will be offered the option of either (a) a ticket or voucher for another of our Royal Albert Hall concerts or (b) a refund of the ticket cost, excluding any booking fees that you have paid.

Why are your ticket prices less than those advertised by the Royal Albert Hall?

Ticket prices must now be shown inclusive of all booking fees and charges.  For the Royal Albert Hall, audience tickets purchased by phone or via their website incur an additional booking fee of 10% of the overall transaction charge. IN addition, the Hall is currently adding a Recovery Levy of £2 per ticket in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, as it strives to repay its multi-million-pound load from the Culture Recovery Fund.

If you order tickets from us by post, via our order form, you do not pay any booking charges for our May concert, although we do charge a small amount for postage.  Ticket orders made via Blackwell’s Music shop also attract booking fees.

For Messiah from Scratch®, where most of the tickets must be purchased through us, there is a non-refundable booking charge of £5 per ticket. Where tickets are sold by the Royal Albert Hall (audience seats in the Stalls or Gallery), their normal policy applies (see above).

 

Why doesn't the Royal Albert Hall sell singing tickets?

Singing tickets cannot be sold by the Hall because their Box Office has no means of allocating you to the correct voice-part within the choir, and we might end up with half a dozen tenors in the middle of the altos! Audience tickets are sold by the Hall, but our booking process starts several months ahead of theirs and the best seats are often sold by us before booking opens at the Box Office.

I've not heard from you; when will my tickets arrive?

All ticket orders are acknowledged. If you have not heard from us within a couple of weeks of sending your order, please email members@trbc.co.uk and tell us the date of your order and the name of the person whose details are on the order form. After the initial acknowledgement, we will not contact you until we send out the tickets (see below). 

Tickets are not normally despatched until a few weeks before the concert. This way we can continue to balance the relative sizes of the different voice-parts until the last possible minute. If you are expecting tickets, be sure to look carefully at every letter you receive from The Really Big Chorus – people have been known to overlook their tickets thinking it is a routine mailshot (the envelopes are the same). If you have not received your tickets two weeks before the concert, please email members@trbc.co.uk, and be sure to tell us the name and postcode of the person who actually made the booking. You can then come and see us at the Box Office on the day of the concert, and we will be able to issue passes in lieu of lost or missing tickets. If there isn’t time to contact us in advance, come to the Box Office anyway, and we should be able to help.

Sometimes people who order two tickets think they have only received one. Look carefully, as they are folded together, accordion style.

I have a disabilty/suffer from vertigo: are there suitable seats?

For those with a physical disability, there are seats on special platforms suitable for wheelchair access, and there are other seats that are easier to access for those not in wheelchairs. For disabled and easy-access seats, and any special request of a similar nature, please explain your requirement at the time of booking.

Vertigo sufferers should know that the Royal Albert Hall is quite steeply raked in places which can be a severe problem for some people. Your best option is to book very early, explaining your needs and requesting a seat in the Main Singing Area. We need you to explain your difficulty, as ‘Main Singing Area’ includes the Choir seats to either side of the organ where the back rows are also very high up.

For Messiah from Scratch®, as there is no rehearsal during which you might have the chance to swap your seat, it is especially important that your requirements are notified to us as early as possible.

Where will I sit at the Royal Albert Hall?

Choir tickets are sold in three categories, Boxes, Main Singing Area and Circle. The earliest bookings are always given what we consider to be the best seats. You can view pictures of the choir at our events in our photo galleries.  Boxes and Circle are self-explanatory, but here is some clarification about how we allocate seats in the Main Singing Area.

Main Singing Area Sopranos are first of all seated in the Stalls. We may then put in two or three rows of Arena seats behind the orchestra violins, and then two or more rows behind the Basses at the back of the Stage. Finally, we fill the Choir East Section from front to back.

Main Singing Area Altos are first of all seated in the Stalls. We may then put in two or more rows behind the Basses at the back of the Stage. Finally, we fill the Choir West Section from front to back.

Main Singing Area Tenors are usually seated on a stage extension behind the orchestra. Rows 1 and 2 in that section are farthest from the conductor but are the most raised, so we consider them to be the best position.  Occasionally we do not use the stage extension, and tenors are seated on the Stage with the basses.

Main Singing Area Basses are seated on the Stage, from front to back.

Because of Health & Safety requirements, chairs on the Stage have to be strapped together so the space between them cannot be adjusted. The number of end-of-row seats is limited, but if space is a problem for you, please tell us when you send in your booking form and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Any singer with a particular request should specify their requirements at the time of booking.  This is particularly important for Messiah from Scratch®, as the lack of rehearsal means there is no chance for you to swap your seat on the day for one which is more suitable.

Can I sit with my friend?

Maybe, although it would only be possible if your friend sings the same part as you. The safest thing is to book together. Alternatively, write to PO Box 4211, Bath BA1 0HJ (email members@trbc.co.uk) asking to be seated together. Please be sure the other person has booked, and tell us who made their booking – these requests sometimes cause us much head scratching. We need to know the surnames and postcodes of the people who actually made the booking(s). However, there is one situation in which we will not be able to comply with your request to sit you with a friend. That occurs with female voices when the first booking has arrived early enough to be seated in the Stalls, and the subsequent request arrives after the Stalls are full. We do not consider it fair to push someone out of the Stalls in order to join your later booking with your friend’s early one. We may offer you the option of moving your friend(s) out of the Stalls so they can sit with you. Surprisingly, this option is not often taken up!

Is there anywhere to park/to eat near the Royal Albert Hall?

Parking. We advise you not to drive unless you are very familiar with the area. Quite apart from the weekday London Congestion Charge, which currently extends as far as Hyde Park Corner, parking is expensive and heavily controlled. There is also the ULEZ charge which applies seven days a week to vehicles considered to be particularly polluting (more details here). At the time of writing (March 2021), parking is free at times on single yellow lines on some streets. We dare not give detailed advice; the two London Boroughs of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea between them aggressively control the streets surrounding the Hall; restrictions are constantly being tightened and can change without warning. On certain days, the Hall itself can arrange somewhat expensive spaces at nearby Imperial College (click here to find out more).

Eating. There are a number of catering outlets within the Hall, ranging from bars to full service restaurants. If you are seated in Boxes you can also have catering in your Box. However, because the Hall’s catering is operated on a franchise (currently held by rhubarb) the Hall completely forbids self-catering in any of the public areas of the Hall, and this includes Boxes. See the Hall’s website for catering options.

In fine weather at suitable times of the year, Kensington Gardens opposite the Hall is excellent for picnics. Particularly in July, the steps of the Albert Memorial and adjacent lawns take on a festive atmosphere between rehearsals and concert. There is a huge choice of pubs and restaurants ranging from fast food to Michelin-starred eateries within 15 minutes walk of the Hall.

When we schedule a morning rehearsal as well as one in the afternoon of a concert day, rhubarb often make special arrangements for our singers; these will be notified on a concert-by-concert basis.