Hundreds of music fans left disappointed after fire at Royal Albert Hall causes concert cancellation


An electrical fault in the basement led to an evacuation.


By Hannah Pupkewitz

Classical music lovers were left disappointed after they were evacuated from a sold out concert at the Royal Albert Hall when smoke began to fill parts of the historic building last night.

Two fire engines and around ten fire-fighters were called to the scene of the electrical fault where 3500 people were evacuated and two men had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

 At £92 a ticket and no immediate explanation for the evacuation just minutes before the start of the Classical FM Live Concert, it’s unsurprising that people were disappointed.

Concert visitor John Curlewis, 46 from Horsham, West Sussex said: ‘‘It was my first visit to the Royal Albert Hall so I was really upset.

‘’It took me two hours to get there and the same to get back. One couple said they had travelled down from Harrogate.’’

Marguerite de Bohun, a 65-year-old retired university director who had travelled from Sutton to the concert as a birthday treat for her sister in law, says there was very poor communication at the venue.

‘’No information. No concert. Just crowds of lost souls,” she said. 

‘’I had bought the tickets months ago and we were all desperately disappointed that such a potentially fantastic evening had turned into a damp squib. Nobody was told anything, I was left feeling fed up and frustrated.’’

It was not only visitors but performers who were let down by the electrical fire. 11-year-old Liverpool choirboy, Jack Topping, missed out on his debut at the venue, where he was due to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone.

However some of the historic concert hall’s visitors still managed to see the bright side.

Lance Winter tweeted: ‘Kicked out of Royal Albert Hall due to a fire. Wine & Cake it is, then!’

And Sabrina C added: ‘Everyone out safely, mingling with strangers over wine and firemen’

The Royal Albert Hall issued a statement saying: “There was no actual fire but an electrical fault in the basement created a lot of smoke. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

Photo courtesy of adambowie, with thanks. 

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