What to Expect


What to wear, when to clap, what to do if you're late... all your questions answered!

Ever wondered what to wear, when to clap, when to arrive? What to do if you're late, or whether you can leave your suitcase somewhere? You're not alone!

We want you to have a great evening with us, relax and enjoy the music, so here's answers to a few questions you might have. And if your question isn't answered below, you can always ask us via the live chat feature.

Is there a dress code?

No, we don't have a dress code, other than for the people on stage! Please come as you feel comfortable – jeans and trainers are perfectly acceptable, but if you would like to dress more smartly, please do.

Can I bring my children?

We welcome children and young people to all LSO concerts, and you can get tickets for £5 for under-18s for concerts at the Barbican. If your children are under 12 you might prefer to bring them to one of our Family Concerts, which take place once a term at the Barbican. We also have a programme of events for families at LSO St Luke's, including Storytelling Concerts for Under-5s. These events are designed specially for children, and are much more informal, shorter in length and usually have some element of participation.

What time do the doors open?

The majority of LSO concerts begin at 7.30pm, or at 7pm on Sundays from September 2015, and the concert hall doors open around 30–40 mins before the start. The bars, cafes and restaurants will be open beforehand for you to come early for dinner or to meet friends. Please check the start time of your concert – some start earlier or later, especially at LSO St Luke's.

Can I buy a ticket on the door?

For all but a few concerts there are usually tickets available to buy on the door. At the Barbican please go to the Stalls box office on level minus one; at LSO St Luke's please see the staff in the main entrance. The desks open 90 minutes before the performance. We would always recommend booking in advance to make sure you get the seat you want, as some price bands are more popular than others.

Are there standby discounts on the night?

We do not sell tickets for our concerts at the Barbican at a discount on the night, unless advertised as such. There are no standard concessions for LSO concerts as we feel our ticket prices are affordable for everyone. Concession prices at LSO St Luke's are for over-60s, students and the unemployed, and are advertised if available.

Can I queue for returns if a concert is sold out?

Yes you can come and queue at the box office, where we will sell any returned tickets on a 'first come, first served' basis. At the Barbican the queue usually forms to the right of the box office desk on the Stalls level (level minus one); at LSO St Luke's please queue at the main entrance. We do not sell returns at discounted prices.

What happens if I have lost my ticket?

If you have lost your ticket or it has not arrived in the post, please come along to the Stalls box office desk at the Barbican or main entrance desk at LSO St Luke's as early as you can, bringing your booking reference number with you. The staff will be able to reprint your ticket.

Can I pick up tickets that someone else has purchased?

Yes. If someone has purchased tickets on your behalf and will not be attending the concert to collect them themselves, the box office staff will ask you for some additional information about the booking in the absence of the credit card used – usually the booking reference number and the first line of the address used when booking the tickets.

Can I return or exchange my tickets?

We offer to exchange tickets for credit vouchers or another LSO concert if you can no longer attend. Please see our FAQs page for further details.

Where is best to arrange to meet my friends?

Mobile phone reception can be patchy in the Barbican Centre, so we suggest arranging to meet on Level G (Ground floor). The Advance Box Office desk in the Silk Street entrance is a good visible place. At LSO St Luke's it's easiest to meet either in the Café downstairs or outside the main entrance.

Do you sell programmes?

Programmes for LSO concerts at the Barbican are free, please help yourself from the refreshment points on the foyers or on the doors as you enter the hall. You can also download and print your own copy of the programme from the Programme notes page and the concert pages on this site. Some concerts at the Barbican and other venues and non-LSO concerts at LSO St Luke's may charge for programmes.

Is there somewhere to leave my suitcase?

The Barbican Centre has a free cloakroom which is located on the Stalls floor (level minus one) – we encourage you to leave large bags or other items here as there's not much space in the hall. Some concerts at LSO St Luke's may provide a cloakroom, but if you have large items to leave please ask to speak to a member of staff.

Will I be allowed into the concert if I'm late?

The stewards will allow you into the concert in a suitable break in the programme, for example the end of a movement or after the overture, so that other audience members are not disturbed. On some occasions there aren't any suitable breaks, so we ask that people remain outside the hall until the interval - there are screens on which you can watch the concert if this is the case.

What if my friends are late?

If you arrive on time but your friends are late we suggest that you go into the concert and leave their ticket for them to collect from the box office when they arrive. The box office remains open until the interval.

Can I bring my drink into the Hall?

At the Barbican we ask that people don't do this, as it can be distracting for others around you. Water in bottles is allowed. Some concerts at LSO St Luke's may allow drinks from the bar in the Jerwood Hall.

Can I take photos?

We ask that you don't take photos of the Orchestra or musicians during the music, since this can be distracting to them and other audience members, especially if the flash goes off. We also ask you politely not to make audio or video recordings of the music as this is illegal, even if it is just for your own enjoyment.

How long is the interval?

Most concerts have 20 minute intervals, but there may be a few with shorter, longer or none at all.

Are the queues for the toilets really long?

The Barbican is not too bad on this front - there are plenty of toilets available, but inevitably the Ladies' toilet does have a queue!

When should I clap?

A much-debated question! It is traditional in the UK to clap at the end of a piece of music, as opposed to after each movement (eg in a symphony or concerto). This is to help the music flow smoothly, or to set the scene for the following movement. Your programme should give you a clue as to how many movements there are. But often it's not so clear cut. It can be helpful to look at the conductor who will usually provide a signal that the piece has ended, or to follow others in the audience. We do of course love it when people express their delight at our performance, but if you feel uncomfortable and unsure about when to clap, it's generally best to wait for others to start.

Can I get the soloist's or conductor's autographs?

Sometimes artists sign copies of CDs on the foyer in the interval or after the concert – we try to let you know in advance if there is a signing taking place.

Are the bars and restaurants open after the concert?

The Gin Joint at Searcys on Level 2 at the Barbican is open until 10.15pm Monday–Saturday and 10pm on Sundays, and there is usually one bar open on the foyer if you would like to stay for a drink afterwards. It depends on the individual concert at LSO St Luke's as to whether the Café is open after the concert.

Where is good around the Barbican and LSO St Luke's to eat and drink?

You can find some great restaurants and bars nearby, especially in the CityPoint tower near Moorgate tube station, and around Smithfield Market near Barbican tube station. Near LSO St Luke's there are some good restaurants on Old Street and Whitecross Street opposite the building. Not all are open at the weekend, so it's worth checking with individual restaurants beforehand.

Do you record or video concerts, and can I buy a copy?

Our record label LSO Live records selected concerts at the Barbican, which are then available to buy on CD and download. You will see this mentioned in the concert programme. Some concerts are recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3, which we will also state in the programme. The arts TV channel Mezzo (subscription, available throughout Europe) films selected concerts each season, and these will be available at a later date on some LSO platforms.

Visitor Info: Barbican


Everything you need to know about visiting the Barbican Centre.

Street address

Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London EC2Y 8DS

Getting here

London Underground

Nearest stations:

  • Barbican (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines)
  • Moorgate (Northern line)
  • St Paul's (Central line)
  • Bank (Northern and Central lines)
  • Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines)
  • Mansion House (Circle and District lines)

To plan your journey and for up to date travel information, visit the Transport for London (TfL) website.

National Rail

Nearest stations:

  • Liverpool Street
  • Farringdon
  • Blackfriars
  • Moorgate
  • Cannon Street

Bus

Bus Route 153 runs directly past the Barbican along Chiswell Street. We are easily accessible by bus from around the city; plan your journey using the TfL Interactive Bus Map.

Coach

Coaches may set down and collect passengers in Silk Street. Limited coach parking is available in the nearby metered bays. For further information telephone +44 20 7606 3030, asking for Parking Services.

Taxi

The nearest taxi rank is located outside Linklaters opposite the Silk Street entrance.

Car parking

Barbican car parks operate a pay-on-foot system. For a full list of car park prices please visit the Barbican website.

The Barbican is well sign-posted and has four car parks, all of which can be accessed from Silk St. There is a height restriction of 1.85 metres (6'1").

Disabled patrons can obtain a free car park voucher by presenting their orange badge at the Box Office, Information Points and kiosks in Cinemas 1 and 2. The best place to park is in Car Park 3 off Silk St.

Bicycle

Cycle racks are available at the entrance to Car Park 5 and exit to Car Park 3 and helmets and equipment can be left in our free cloakrooms. Our nearest TfL Bicycle Hire docking station is on Silk Street.

Plan your journey using the TfL Cycle Journey Planner.

Opening times

Barbican Centre:
Monday to Saturday 9am–11pm
Sundays and Public Holidays 12pm–11pm

Advance Box Office (Silk St):
Monday to Saturday 10am–9pm
Sundays and Public Holidays 12pm–9pm

Box Office telephone booking (+44 20 7638 8891; booking fee applies):
Monday-Saturday 10am–8pm
Sunday and Public Holidays 11am–8pm

Cloakrooms

A free cloakroom service is available immediately prior to performances. The main cloakroom on the Stalls floor is open from 5.15pm until 30 minutes after the concert.

Eating and drinking

Whether you want to have a formal dinner, a snack or just a drink, the Barbican can cater for your needs with a choice of three restaurants in the Centre itself, as well as the Cinema Café and Bar and Côte Brasserie, and bars and foyer cafés:

Barbican Foodhall (Level G)
Barbican Lounge (Level 1)
Gin Joint by Searcys (Level 2)

More info about eating and drinking is available on the Barbican website.

Shops

The Barbican Shop on Level G and the Art Gallery Shop on Level 3 sell CDs, music DVDs, art books, posters, gifts, merchandise and more.

More info about opening times and locations on the Barbican website

Where to stay

Find and book accommodation near the Barbican and LSO St Luke's through travellers' recommendations on Trip Advisor.

Visitor Info: LSO St Luke's


Everything you need to know about visiting LSO St Luke's.

Street address

LSO St Luke's
UBS and LSO Music Education Centre
161 Old Street
London EC1V 9NG

Getting here

London Underground

The nearest Underground station is Old Street, on the Northern line (Bank branch). Take the left-hand ramp out of Subway 4 when leaving the station and walk straight ahead of you, west on Old Street - the spire of LSO St Luke's will be visible. LSO St Luke's is on the right hand (north) side of the street.

To plan your journey and for up to date travel information, visit the Transport for London (TfL) website.

National Rail

The nearest station is Old Street (for Great Northern services), but Liverpool Street, Farringdon, Blackfriars and City Thameslink are all within walking distance.

Bus

Services running to LSO St Luke's are 55, 243 (stop nearest to LSO St Luke's), 43, 76, 141, 205, 214, 271. We are easily accessible by bus from around the city.

Plan your journey using the TfL Interactive Bus Map.

Car parking

The nearest NCP parking is at the Barbican Centre. For full details please visit the Visitor info: Barbican page. We have disabled parking spaces available, but these must be booked in advance by calling LSO St Luke's on +44 20 7490 3939.

Bicycle

Our nearest TfL Bicycle Hire docking station is at Old Street tube station.

Plan your journey using the TfL Cycle Journey Planner.

Opening times

LSO St Luke's:
The building is generally only open during events. Doors usually open one hour before the event start time.

Advance Box Office (Barbican Centre, Silk St entrance):
Monday to Saturday 10am–9pm
Sundays and Public Holidays 12pm–9pm

Box Office telephone booking (+44 20 7638 8891; booking fee applies):
Monday-Saturday 10am–8pm
Sunday and Public Holidays 11am–8pm

Cloakrooms

If you have large items with you please ask to speak to a member of staff.

Eating and drinking

There are plenty of options for pre- and post-show restaurants and bars in the Old Street area, at the Barbican, on Whitecross Street and towards Smithfield Market. The LSO St Luke's Café and Bar is usually open before events, and serves a full hot meal service before and after BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts.

Where to stay

Find and book accommodation near the Barbican and LSO St Luke's through travellers' recommendations on Trip Advisor.

How to Book


How to make a booking for the LSO or for events at LSO St Luke's.

There are several ways to make a booking for the London Symphony Orchestra or for events at LSO St Luke's:

Book online

Probably the most convenient way to book a ticket, we offer online booking for all LSO concerts at the Barbican and for most events at LSO St Luke's from this website. Online booking is available 24 hours a day.

Online booking enables you to choose your own seats in the hall, and offers the advantage of paying a reduced booking fee (currently £3 per transaction for Barbican events and £0.60 for those at LSO St Luke's).

To book online, click on the Buy Tickets button on any event on the What's On pages.

You can also buy tickets for LSO concerts and LSO St Luke's events on the Barbican Centre website.

Book by phone

The Barbican Box Office takes bookings over the phone for all LSO concerts and LSO St Luke's events. Please call +44 20 7638 8891.

The Box Office is open 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 8pm on Sundays and Public Holidays. The booking fee is £4 per transaction for Barbican events and £0.70p for those at LSO St Luke's.

The staff will be able to assist you with any queries or special circumstances, and if you are a disabled patron we ask you to book by phone so that the staff can make any arrangements for you that you require, such as a companion seat, large print programme or someone to look after your assistance dog.

In person

You can buy tickets in person from the Advance Box Office on Level 0, just inside the Silk Street entrance to the Centre. The desk is open 10am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 12pm-9pm Sundays and Public Holidays.

On the evening of a performance tickets can be purchased from the Stalls box office on level minus one at the Barbican, or from the staff in the main entrance at LSO St Luke's. The desks open 90 minutes before the performance.

There is no booking fee for bookings made in person.

For details of our terms and conditions, including our policy on refunds and exchanges, please visit the FAQs page.

Access


Information about accessibility at the Barbican Centre and LSO St Luke's.

The Barbican Centre and LSO St Luke's are both fully accessible.

Barbican Centre

The main entrance at Silk Street is ramped and lifts give access to all levels. The Concert Hall has seating for wheelchair users - please inform the Box Office of any access requirements when booking. There are three wheelchairs for visitors' use, subject to availability; these can be pre-booked by calling the Box Office on +44 20 7638 8891.

An induction loop is provided in the Concert Hall. Visitors with hearing aids can make use of this facility by switching their hearing aid to the 'T' position

Assistance dogs may be taken into the auditoria or left with a member of staff. Adapted WCs are provided on Levels -2, -1, G, 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Large print programmes are available on the night of the concert. Please go to the Stalls Sales point on Level Minus One.

Disabled visitors are requested to join the Barbican Access Membership scheme. Members can inform the Barbican of their access requirements, receive information in alternative formats and may be eligible to reductions on tickets. Any available discounted tickets are limited in number and subject to availability, you are advised to book early. Full details will be sent with your membership information.

Maps, guides, information about joining the Barbican Access Scheme and a full downloadable PDF guide to the Barbican Centre can be found on the Barbican website.

LSO St Luke's

LSO St Luke’s is fully accessible. The building is on three levels, all with lift access. The performance space and the Stalls of the Jerwood Hall are at ground level.

To speak to a member of LSO St Luke's staff for further information about access to the Centre, call +44 20 7490 3939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ramps allow easy access to the Main Entrance on Helmet Row. From here there is level access to the Jerwood Hall and all levels through push-plate doors and using lifts.

The Hall has two levels, Stalls and Balcony. When in use for a concert, there is a tiered seating bank with rows of linked chairs on floor level in front. The wheelchair accessible spaces at the stalls level are on either side of the flat-level seating on the front and back rows.

The Balcony has a single row of seats that wrap around the auditorium. Some of the fixed seating can be removed to make three wheelchair positions available.

From the Main Entrance, automatic doors provide a route to the lift in the northwest stairwell, which goes up to the Balcony or down to the Crypt. Automatic doors give full access to the public areas of both levels.

From the Artists Entrance a lift goes down to the Crypt, from which access to the Crypt facilities is on one level.

LSO St Luke's has personal receivers for use with our infra-red system with or without a hearing aid. These can be collected from the Main Entrance for concerts and on request from a member of LSO St Luke's staff for other events. Please telephone in advance to ensure that we have sufficient receivers available, as numbers are limited.

If you would like your dog to remain with you in the auditorium or for someone to look after your dog please contact a member of LSO St Luke's staff to arrange this in advance.

LSO St Luke's has two accessible toilets, both in the Crypt. One is adjacent to the public toilets and can be reached by crossing the Cafe. The other is for staff/performers and is located in the service corridor near the conductor's green room. Members of staff can give directions to this facility when appropriate.

LSO St Luke's has one payphone in the southwest stairwell at Crypt level, though it is not positioned at wheelchair height. If you are visiting LSO St Luke's in a wheelchair and require the use of a telephone, please ask a member of staff who will be happy to assist you.

Programme Notes


Download LSO concert programmes 48 hours before the concert.

Programmes for the LSO's concerts at the Barbican are made available to download 48 hours before the concert. Our programmes are free of charge, both to download and at the hall.

download generic

Sun 24 May 2015

Sun 17 May 2015 

Tue 12 May 2015

Thu 7 May 2015

Sun 3 May 2015

Thu 30 Apr 2015

Sun 26 Apr 2015

Thu 23 Apr 2015

Sun 12 Apr 2015

Wed 8 Apr 2015

Thu 12 & 15 Mar 2015

Thu 5 Mar 2015

Sun 1 Mar 2015

Sun 1 Mar 2015: replacement conductor biog and programme note

Thu 19 Feb 2015

Sun 15 Feb 2015

Thu 5 Feb 2015

Sun 1 Feb 2015

Sun 25 Jan 2015

Sun 18 Jan 2015

Thu 15 Jan 2015

Sun 11 Jan 2015

Thu 18 Dec 2014

Sun 14 Dec 2014

Thu 11 Dec 2014

NB These files are PDFs and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. Please click here to download Acrobat if you do not already have it installed.

SMS Returns Queue


Sign up for SMS alerts about returned tickets for sold out concerts.

If you are too late in getting tickets before the concert has sold out, you can join our SMS Returns Queue - an easy and convenient way to hear first about tickets that become available for sold out concerts.

To join, simply text RETURNS to 60123

You will be subscribed to the queue, and will receive a text alert if and when any seats become available with details of how to purchase the tickets. Don't hang around though – we can't guarantee that there are many tickets available or that they will be around for long! The service is mostly for LSO concerts at the Barbican Centre, although where possible we will try to inform subscribers of returns for concerts at LSO St Luke's.

The service is free, although your network will charge your usual network rate for the first sign up text you send. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to 60123.

Please note that this service is only available to UK mobiles at this time.

The operator of the SMS service is KODIME Ltd, 8 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AF in conjunction with the London Symphony Orchestra. Please click here for full terms & conditions.

Practical Info for Groups


Planning your group visit

Useful information for planning your group's visit to the Barbican Centre or LSO St Luke's.

The LSO is based at the Barbican Centre, in the heart of the City of London.

Street address:
Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London
EC2Y 8DS

For information on Group discounts and benefits please visit our Group Discounts page.

Getting here

Coach

If you are travelling to the Centre on a coach or minibus, the following information will be essential. Please ensure that the following information is relayed to the relevant members of your party and your coach driver:

  • The Barbican Centre is situated in a residential area
  • Vehicle engines must be turned off at all times when your vehicle is stationary
  • Sound systems must be silenced before coach doors are opened
  • Take care when opening and closing vehicle doors to minimise noise disturbance
  • Please do not raise voices until well within the Centre
  • Under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002 the City of London has powers to request drivers to turn off their engines when stationary, or receive a Fixed Penalty Notice, which will result in a fine.
  • It is an offence in the City of London for coaches parked in designated bays to leave their engines running under the City of London Coach Parking Places Order 1990.

Coach Drop-Off and Pick-Up Points

The usual drop-off point for coaches under 11ft 6” (3.5m) high and 20ft (6.3m) length is the Barbican private underground roadway accessed from Silk Street (signed Car Park & Taxis); the underground roadway allows parties to be dropped near the Stalls Foyer (Level Minus One) and near the main lifts to all levels.

Please ensure that your driver is aware of the need to turn off the vehicle engine whilst dropping off on the internal roadway.

Larger coaches can drop off on Silk Street public highway. Due to the residential nature of the area surrounding the Barbican Centre, time waiting on Silk Street should be kept to a minimum and vehicle engines must be turned off whilst dropping off/collecting.

Due to parking restrictions in the area coaches will need to make arrangements to leave after drop-off and park/wait elsewhere, returning to pick-up only.

The pick-up point is always Silk Street public highway. Coaches should arrive as close to the anticipated finish time of any event as possible. Vehicle engines must be switched off upon arrival until immediately prior to departure. Parking, congestion and noise have led to previous local resident complaints and police action.

For an update on the finish time of your event please ask your coach driver to speak with any of our team when you arrive or telephone the 24-hour attended Silk Street Reception on +44 20 7382 7308 for an update as the event progresses.

Coach Parking Bays

The nearest coach bays to the Barbican are:

Fore Street
2 bays
Free
Max stay 4 hours

Queen Victoria Street
8 bays
£6/hour
Max stay 4 hours
Chargeable Mon–Fri 8.00am–7.00pm, Sat 8.00am–11.00am
Operational 24 hours

St Martin's Le Grand
4 bays
£6/hour
Max stay 90 mins
Chargeable Mon–Fri 8.00am–7.00pm, Sat 8.00am–11.00am
Operational 24 hours

Angel Street
4 bays
£6/hour
Max stay 90 mins
Chargeable Mon–Fri 8.00am–7.00pm, Sat 8.00am–11.00am
Operational 24 hours

London Underground

The nearest Underground station is Barbican. Exit the station, cross Aldersgate Street and walk through the road tunnel (Beech Street), before taking the first turning right into Silk Street. For more information about planning your journey, visit Transport for London.

National Rail

Nearby rail stations are Moorgate, Liverpool Street and Farringdon, all approximately a 10-minute walk away.

Car

The Barbican has four car parks, with spaces that can be booked in advance through the Box Office. Phone +44 20 7382 7211 for more information.

> More information about the Barbican
> View a map of the venue

Access

The Barbican has step-free access, lifts and induction loops, and there are seats in the Hall for wheelchair users; please ask the Box Office for more information when booking. To find out more about access, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or download a copy of the Access Guide.

> Download a copy of the Barbican's Access Guide

Eating & drinking

The Barbican is the perfect place to relax or have a bite to eat before a concert. You can fine-dine in Gin Joint at Searcy's, a newly refurbished brasserie and bar, enjoy platters and cocktails in the stylish Barbican Lounge, or have a quick meal in the cafeteria-style Foodhall. There are also foyer bars and cafés that serve drinks, light snacks and ice creams in the concert intervals.

> More information about the Barbican's bars and restaurants

Other useful information

Programmes are free of charge and will be handed out on the door as you enter the Hall. The Barbican has a free cloakroom on Level -1 (Stalls), and there are also public telephones and a cashpoint.

Make a day of it

The Barbican is Europe’s largest multi-arts centre, and its many facilities also include a gift shop, cinemas, art galleries, a theatre and a library. The venue is also close to St Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London, the Bank of England, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe, giving you plenty of choice if you’d like to make a day your visit.

> Visit the Barbican's website