A look at some of the stories and issues affecting the musical world today…

  • Royal Albert Hall box for sale

How would you like to attend events at the Royal Albert Hall for the next 843 years in your own private box? Here’s an opportunity to do just that: Grand Tier box 14 is now on the market for £3m – plus £13,795 a year towards the venue’s upkeep. The box has been in the family for several generations. Its 12 seats are among 1,269 in the hall originally bought on a 999-year lease helping to fund the building of the RAH which opened in 1871.

  • Controversy over RAH plans to sell seats to investors

A bill going through parliament would grant the governing body of the Royal Albert Hall the power to sell an additional 72 seats to investors. Singer Ed Sheeran is among those who are ‘vehemently opposed’ to the growing practice of seat holders selling their unwanted tickets at inflated prices rather than return them to the RAH box office to be sold at face value. £200 Tickets for the singer/songwriter’s November concert were being offered via online sites such as Viagogo for up to £6,000.

  • ENO to move to Salford

English National Opera and Greater Manchester have announced a new working partnership to develop a new home for the opera company. The decision was made a year after ENO was told to leave London or lose its Arts Council funding. 

However, in July 2023, ACE awarded ENO £24m to develop an artistic programme in a new base outside of London during the 2024-26 period. This new partnership will enable the company to base its globally renowned cultural offer to a main base in the city-region by 2029.

  • Welsh and Scottish Governments take different approaches to Arts Funding

The Welsh Government has revealed that it will reduce funding to Arts Council Wales by 10.5% in 2024 suggesting that culture bodies need to ‘explore other sources of income’ as ‘Ministers have had to take some very tough choices’ prioritising frontline services including the NHS.

Meanwhile, The Scottish Government has announced it will increase funding for culture and heritage by £15.8m in 2024/25 .The government has said this is ‘the first step’ toward its pledge to invest an additional £100m more in arts and culture by 2028/29.