Southbank Centre - Concert Venue | Event Space | Live Music Venue | Shopping Area in London.
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INFO The Southbank Centre, located on the South Bank of the River Thames, is Europe’s largest center for the arts. The center is home to five iconic performing and fine arts venues: Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall... ... read more

Southbank Centre Information

Southbank Centre - Concert Venue | Event Space | Live Music Venue | Shopping Area in London.

The Southbank Centre, located on the South Bank of the River Thames, is Europe’s largest center for the arts. The center is home to five iconic performing and fine arts venues: Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Hayward Gallery, the Purcell Room, and the Saison Poetry Library. These centers are open to the public for 364 days out of the year, and about 3 million people frequent the center annually.

The venue began as a result of the Festival of Britain, which was put on by England’s Labour Party in 1951. The festival was an attempt to display Britain’s best in the arts, science, technology and industrial design. Most of the festival’s buildings were deconstructed with the election of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, leader of the Conservative Party; however, the Royal Festival Hall remained and in later years was extended toward the River and refurbished. As time passed, another concert hall and an art gallery were built, and in the 1980s a group called the South Bank Board congregated to take control of the concert halls and venues. These venues were collectively to be known as the Southbank Centre.

The center puts on hundreds of free events every year, which include educational programs. Other events at the Southbank Centre feature performances by resident orchestras (such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra or the London Sinfonietta). Notable art displayed at the Southbank Centre includes a piece by David March, which was called Polaris. The piece was made of 6,000 car tires assembled to model the Polaris nuclear submarine – a subject creating much political controversy at the time of the exhibit in 1983.

Parking is available at the Southbank Centre and it is easily accessible by public transportation; the nearest underground stations are Waterloo and Embankment.

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