The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,700-seat concert, dance and talks venue within Southbank Centre in London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is a Grade I listed building, the first post-war building to become so protected (in 1981). The London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment are resident in the hall.Use our London online route planner to arrange your visit to Royal Festival Hall and other attractions in London.
The hall was built as part of the Festival of Britain for London County Council, and was officially opened on 3 May 1951. When the LCC's successor, the Greater London Council, was abolished in 1986, the Festival Hall was taken over by the Arts Council, and managed together with the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room (opened 1967) and the Hayward Gallery (1968), eventually becoming an independent arts organisation, now known as the Southbank Centre, in April 1998.
The complex includes several reception rooms, bars and restaurants, and the Clore Ballroom, accommodating up to 440 for a seated dinner. A large head and shoulders bust of Nelson Mandela (by Ian Walters, created in 1985) stands on the walkway between the hall and Hungerford Bridge approach viaduct. Originally made in glass-fibre it was repeatedly vandalised until re-cast in bronze.
The complex's variety of open spaces and foyers are popular for social or work-related meetings.
The closest tube stations are Waterloo and, across the river via the Jubilee Bridges, Embankment and Charing Cross.
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Royal Festival Hall Reviews
We were on a Thames river cruise when we saw this building and was informed that a lot of concerts and other performances are held here. more »
Was there for a concert evening of over three hours. An amazing room with which I experienced a great acoustics that lifted the music. Thought it was a bit boring with a rock concert and seating, but.... more »
Brilliant place. Lots of seats inside at various sections and floors to meet friends and hang out. You can bring own snack and soft drinks. Riverside cafe on lower floor also has outside seating overlooking riverside walk.. great in warm or summer days. I've been using it as a social meeting venue (free) for many years.
Always has amazing events like the Bloom dance group in past years as well as orchestras and other events. There are plenty of seats with tables on the ground floor by the bar which looks onto the stage where many performances are held throughout the year. Each floor (approx. 6 floors) have seating areas to do work on laptops and which are spacious and quiet with mobile phone charging points. Entrance is wheelchair accessible and lifts are available on each floor. The ticket office for performances at the Southbank us on the ground floor near the cafe which looks onto the River Thames, where the River Thames riverboat stops not far away. Very good for working on laptops and restaurants and usually the food market are open throughout the daytime. Overall 100++ for performances, and for working on laptops with staff available for further assistance.
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