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Royal Albert Hall prepares to mark its 150th. Re-opening on 29 May, full capacity from 6 July

The Royal Albert Hall’s 150th anniversary celebrations will properly begin on 29 May, as audiences return to the venue for socially-distanced events.

A typically eclectic programme for the first week includes family concerts led by the in-house Albert's Band, the Royal Choral Society singing Handel’s Messiah – an annual tradition since 1876 – and events spotlighting country music and ballet.

Subject to the next stage of the government’s roadmap going ahead as planned, the Hall will then re-open to the public with full capacity from 6 July. Aside from staging three 1,000-capacity events in December, the venue has been closed to audiences since 17 March 2020.

Craig Hassall, Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, said: “This has been the toughest period in the Hall’s 150-year history – and not how we ever imagined marking this remarkable milestone. But we are so excited about getting back to doing what we do best, and can’t wait to welcome audiences to the Hall to help us celebrate this anniversary in style.”

The venue will re-open on Saturday 29 May with a family concert, Albert’s Band: Back with a Bang, followed by th