New to concerts?
Never been to a concert before? Here's what to expect
Hearing music performed live can be a totally thrilling experience but if you've never been to a concert before, it can be hard to know what to expect. We've done our best to lay it all out for you here and answer your questions to help you have a great time when you visit.
Most classical music concerts are about two hours with an interval. You can find the running time for a specific event information page on our website.
For most events at Saffron Hall, the music starts at the 'start time' for the event. So if the concert starts at 7.30pm, you'd want to be in your seat before then.
If you've never been to Saffron Hall before, we'd recommend you arrive with about 20mins to spare before the start time of the concert to allow you to park and find your seat in the auditorium comfortably.
At our events, you'll see some people dressed up in smart casual - and other people just casual! We have no dress code at Saffron Hall, so wear whatever you feel comfortable in. You can be pretty sure you'll spot someone else wearing something similar.
When Saffron Hall was built in 2013, the engineers were obsessed with making sure you can hear the music really well wherever you sit.
Compared to some other concert halls, Saffron Hall is actually pretty small, which means almost every seat has a good view of the stage. The best view of the whole stage is from the main Stalls and the balcony seats in Rows W-Y, but you can also get a great aerial view of centre stage from the rest of the balconies. We have labelled some seats 'Restricted View' - this means that you may not be able to see the entire stage from that seat.
Lastly, if there is a piano soloist performing, people like to sit more towards the left side of the concert hall (when you're looking at the stage) so that they can see the pianist’s hands as they perform.
For more info about the closest seats to the doors and toilets, see our Accessibility page
For most events, our bar will be from about an hour before the start time. The bar serves a selection of drinks (hot and cold, including alcoholic drinks) and some snacks like crisps and chocolate. If there is an interval, you can pre-order interval drinks before the start at the bar, and they will be waiting for you in the corridor when the interval starts.
Depending on the event, we sometimes allow people to bring drinks in with them to the performance. We'll let you know whether you can do this in email we'll send you before your visit.
For most events, we do not have any sandwiches or hot food available, but for some things (like foyer events and dining events) we will invite a food van to serve food. You can see which events serve food from the event information page and in the pre-show email we send you if you book.
Awe! And people watching! We often hear that new visitors didn't think that seeing a live orchestra—whether producing a giant wall of sound or playing such difficult, technical passages all in synch—would be so awe-inspiring. There is something about the live experience that just can’t be beat, people say, and that’s music to our ears.
The other thing that people really love is seeing other people of different ages (younger and older) enjoy the concert in their own ways, and that they didn’t realise that element (i.e. people watching) was going to be such a part of the experience.