A Bigger Ally Pally

The operators of North London’s Alexandra Palace claim the venue will move into “the big league” when its capacity is increased by 2,000 to 10,250.

The entire audience can stand and dance as they watch their favourite artists performing in its Great Hall.

The venue has hosted some of the country’s most prestigious live music events, helping to establish up-and-coming artists including Bullet For My Valentine, Keane, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand, Paul Weller and Morrissey, who makes a return performance Nov. 5.

Legendary names – from The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who and Black Sabbath to Barry Manilow and Lulu – have played Ally Pally.

“We have always attracted quality acts because of our location, the architecture, history and scale of the building and the special atmosphere we can offer as an all-standing venue,” said Alexandra Palace Trading Ltd. managing director Rebecca Kane.

“We are certain that the bigger capacity will help us to recapture the glory days when Ally Pally was the music venue of choice for big-name stars.”

The other points in the venue’s favour are its accessibility and its 2,000 free parking spaces. It also has direct links to the city and West End by tube and overground rail.

Another of the capital’s venues to make improvements is The Royal Albert Hall, which is to reopen its Elgar Room Oct. 14.

The Elgar has undergone a £1 million ($1.65 million) refurbishment that includes the installation of new sound and lighting systems as well as coloured LED ceiling panels. It’s increased its capacity to 350.

Images of artists such as John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra will line the walls in reference to the venue’s rich music history.

“For the first time since the hall’s opening in 1871 we have somewhere other than the main auditorium in which to host music and other events,” says RAH events director Jasper Hope.

The Elgar has already been booked for Sir Elton John and Monty Python’s “Not The Messiah” after-show parties as well as a comedy night with Patrick Monahan.

Hope says the Elgar, which was once used as a training theatre for actors up to 1957, will allow the RAH to bring a different type of artist and audience to the building.