Since I was little girl I always wanted to go to the last night of the proms, but as you may or may not be aware you do need to attend a certain amount of other BBC Proms concerts in order to qualify for tickets. Alternatively you can go in on the ballot but that doesn’t obviously guarantee tickets.
As a second option I went along to the BBC Proms in the Park concert in London’s grand Hyde Park on the last night of the proms. There would be a handful of acts during the day with a live link up to Albert Hall for the main event and sing along. I was taking my Mum with me, so we had an afternoon tea at Cahoots and headed over to Hyde Park.
Of course as always the weather was temperamental and in the end decided to rain! Luckily coats, umbrellas and blankets were with us, although felt very envious of all other folk with camping chairs to hand. Something I’ll remember to take another time!
Hosted initially by Anneka Rice in the day and onto Michael Ball, we had an eclectic mixture of acts; Rick Astley, ACE, All Saints, Tim Minchin and Frankie Valli. We also had a taste of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical, School of Rock, plus Tim Minchin did a few numbers from the musical Matilda. I must admit the musical references and Frankie Valli were big highlights from the day, with the sing along being my absolute top point.
We had really touching montage footage of the late Sir Terry Wogan, as obviously he would normally be there hosting as he has for the last 18 years. It did actually choke me up because it was really sad to think of him no longer with us. He had such passion for this event as well, so it was really sweet they had that sentimental tribute to him.
With this particular last night of the Proms I can’t help but wonder if there had been a technical error as we didn’t link up to Albert Hall until quite late on. We had a brief visit from Juan Diego Flórez on stage, then after going to the Albert Hall we saw him again singing Rule Britannia in a 13th Century Inca-Ruler costume! It was pretty amazing.
Regardless singing Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem, Radetsky March, Op.228, Rule Britannia, Great Britain’s national anthem and finally Auld Langs Syne.
I must admit I felt slightly over whelmed with sheer sense of patriotism, when everyone was singing such epic songs altogether. Hearing the crowds echo the lyrics back towards the big stage and screens, waving their union jacks, with hugs around strangers as everyone somehow came together to embrace the iconic and proud music.
I won’t lie there were times standing out in the rain wishing I was watching from home, but when I was singing along with everyone it didn’t matter. The atmosphere was like nothing else. I’d really love to go again, just this time perhaps be more weather savvy! If you aren’t 100% into classical music like myself, then the Proms in the Park series is a great way to have a fun day out, and learn a bit about how amazing our traditional songs are.
Have you ever been to the BBC Proms concerts before?