London's iconic music venues reopen

9 April - 31 May 2018

Our iconic Brutalist venues, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, will reopen on Monday 9 April, following over two years of extensive redesign and refurbishment. 

We launch with a reopening events programme including 32 premieres and new commissions. Expect a dynamic blend of contemporary and classical work including dance, comedy, theatre as Resident and Associate Ensembles and Artists appear alongside emerging talent and cutting-edge work. Plus, see the return of the much missed late-nights gigs in a new expanded 1,000 capacity gigs space in the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer.

David Bowie, Daniel Barenboim, Patti Smith, Akram Khan and Pink Floyd were among the legends to forge their careers at these venues over the past fifty years and we will continue our pioneering history of incubating new ideas, work and artists. Highlights include:

  • Steve Reich’s Different Trains performed 30 years after its world premiere in Queen Elizabeth Hall 
  • World premiere of TELEKINESIS, a large-scale work for orchestra, electronics and choir Tyondai Braxton, one of the most exciting young artists in New York today
  • Associate Orchestra Chineke! featuring a new commission based on Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech to mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination
  • Hannah Peel with Tubular Brass, a 29-piece band present an interpretation Mike Oldfield’s iconic 1973 album Tubular Bells
  • Cowpunchera new work by acclaimed choreographer Holly Blakey with composer Mica Levi  
  • Comedy from Stewart Lee and Richard Herring
  • A packed opening weekend of live gigs and DJ sets from Friday 13 April


Your chance to go behind the scenes

Concrete Dreams Exhibition  (10 – 29 April), a new immersive exhibition, explores the heritage of the buildings, giving visitors exclusive backstage access, and takes you on an historic journey through the diverse cultural archives of the buildings from 1960s Britain right through to the present day. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

info & tickets


When these buildings opened in 1967 they were pioneering in their designs thanks to the controversial and forward-thinking ideas of by Hubert Bennett, head of the architects department of the Greater London Council. In 2018 the buildings have been technologically enhanced as well as benefitting from a stunning glass fronted foyer, refurbished auditoria and a new cafe-bar. 

This historic restoration, designed and delivered by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, has been made possible through generous support from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund, and through Southbank Centre friends supporting our Let The Light In campaign.

People don't fall in love with the buildings; they fall in love with what is made possible because of the buildings
Dennis Crompton, one of the original architects of Hayward Gallery

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