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The Royal Concert Hall opens its doors for 40th birthday free public Open Day this Saturday 12 November

On 27 November 1982, Sir Elton John gave the inaugural concert to mark the opening of the new Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham.

With its ground-breaking design and innovative acoustics, for the past forty years the Royal Concert Hall has become renowned for hosting the very best in entertainment, from leading orchestras, pop and rock stars, and West End musicals, to stand-up comedy, family shows and community events.

RCH auditorium construction John Haslam and David Barlow 30 Sept 81

To celebrate its forthcoming 40th anniversary, the Royal Concert Hall will open its doors for a free public Open Day on Saturday 12 November 2022 starting at 10am.


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Activities on offer include backstage tours, street theatre, drumming workshops, face painting, and hip-hop dance and music demonstrations. 

RCH box office 1982

Free access-all-areas guided tours of the building will start from 10am, finishing by 2pm.  Tours will include the stage platform, dressing rooms, stage door, and rarely seen technical and lighting areas in the roof space above the 400-ton hung ceiling.

RCH construction 10 Feb 1981

Throughout the event, there will be street dance and hip hop performances by Hyson Green-based Take 1 Studios on the Level 2 Foyer, and Afro-Cuban drumming workshops for families every half hour led by percussionist Richard Kensington in the Nelsons Studio. 

RCH exterior 1982

At 2pm, to draw the event to a close, players of the Orchestra of Opera North will perform music from Saint-Saens’ The Carnival of the Animals on the Royal Concert Hall’s magnificent stage, in a magical interactive performance for parents and children.

Elton John Opening Concert 27 Nov 1982 001

The Open Day is free, with no need to book in advance*.  For more information, including how to access a wheelchair accessible tour, please visit 

Elton John greets crowds at RCH 27 Nov 1982

The Royal Concert Hall’s Venue Director, Peter Ireson, said:


“Our public Open Days are always so much fun, we love giving people that rare glimpse behind the scenes, and on this occasion it will be extra-special as we celebrate such a milestone birthday.

 “So many people have a special memory associated with the Royal Concert Hall, whether it was where they attended their first concert, met for a first date, saw a favourite band or legendary comedian, or where they graduated from university.

RCH construction 10 Feb 1981

“It has held a central place in Nottingham’s living history for the past forty years, and we look forward to hearing many of these personal memories, recollections and stories when we welcome our visitors on Saturday.”

Audience on RCH opening night 27 Nov 1982


Were you involved in the building of the Royal Concert Hall?  Did you attend the opening night?


Do you have a special reason for remembering a particular event or performance? The Royal Concert Hall’s archive team are reaching out to anyone who would like to share a special memory, story, or piece of memorabilia with us from the past forty years.


You can contact the team on email at, on social media at @RoyalNottingham on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #RCH40, or by post to; Archive Team, Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham, NG1 5ND.  Every contribution will help towards building the venue’s ever-expanding archive for future generations to enjoy.


*To avoid disappointment, we recommend users of the wheelchair accessible tour to book in advance as places are limited. Please call the Box Office on 0115 989 5555, 10am-8pm to book, or pop into the Box Office counter between 11am-1pm, Monday to Saturday.

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