The Royal Albert Hall: a case study of an evolving cultural venue

Gibbs, F. J. (2018) The Royal Albert Hall: a case study of an evolving cultural venue. Doctoral thesis, Royal College of Music.


Scholarship concerning the importance of understanding audiences and venues for music has developed a great deal over the last two decades. This thesis examines one element of this research: the importance of the venue as a space for culture. The Royal Albert Hall, a world–famous but little- understood venue, acts as case study for this text. Through a mixed–methods approach, this thesis seeks to answer four questions concerning the relationship between a public space and the events it hosts in the case of the RAH explicitly: What factors have affected the identity of the RAH as a public venue? How have these changed during the Hall’s existence? How do these factors affect the events which the Hall hosts? Does a space affect what happens inside it? These questions will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of how a fixed cultural space can be repeatedly reshaped by multiple, often overlooked, factors as well as the extent to which these factors can affect the identity of a venue.

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