Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Classical Music and Status

From our cultural correspondent in Swindon:


For some businesses, it is the aural equivalent of homeless spikes, deployed to shift or subdue targeted undesirables; for the rich, events like the Proms provide status experiences that will convey bragging rights with fellow have-yachts.  


Meanwhile, the Proms has joined Ascot, Wimbledon and Glyndebourne as a magnet for conspicuous consumption. People who own Royal Albert Hall seats are reportedly reselling tickets, with a pair of stalls seats for the Last Night of the Proms going for about £2,500. Harrods Estates is marketing a 12-seater box in the same hall, available to buy on a leasehold of more than 840 years, for £3m – a snip if you want to avoid rubbing shoulders with cheap-seat plebs.

Is £1250 per ticket a lot for premier events? There’s this from The Guardian
Michelle Obama is said to have described it as “the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life”. Now Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer prize-winning hip-hop musical Hamilton, based on the turbulent life of one of America’s founding fathers, has arrived in London. And such is the frenzy the show is generating that tickets are being offered for up to £6,000.
So, Last Night of the Proms tickets go for £1250, Hamilton tickets for £6000.
Anyone who goes to see classical concerts can see the price differences. You can see Yuja Wang, the ace Chinese pianist for £30. Nicola Benedetti, the violinist for £18. You can’t go and see The Psychedelic Furs for that, let alone Paul Weller or Rod Stewart. And it’s observable that there are no longer people dressing up in the same way, or dragging small children along to make sure they’re properly raised.
One observation that some people in these parts have been making for a few years is that The current Establishment still think that they’re the rebels fighting the old flag-waving blue-rinse establishment, but the conspicuous consumption would seem to be more with hip-hop opera than flag-waving and Elgar. The people who used to go to classical concerts are now going to Glastonbury. Which explains why people spend £250 for 3 days of living in a tent to a festival of landfill indie.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston
4 years ago

It’s like when I see people over 20-ish covered in tats and shrapnel. YOU’RE ADULTS! YOU’RE NOT SULLEN TEENAGERS!!!! And good god, the ones dragging kids behind them. YOU’RE PARENTS! GRANDPARENTS! WHAT THE *HELL* ARE YOU THINKING?!?!?!??!?!?!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x