BMW Classics 2021


A free open-air concert in the heart of London

Sun 15 Aug 2021 6.30pm - 8.10pm
Trafalgar Square, London

Dvořák Slavonic Dances Op 46, Nos 1 & 3
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo capriccioso
Ayanna Witter-Johnson DreamCity *
Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker – Ballet: Act II

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Leia Zhu violin
London Symphony Orchestra
LSO East London Academy Young Musicians *

> Digital concert guide

FREE ENTRY – take your place from 5pm for a 6.30pm start

No glass or furniture in the Square.


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BMW Classics Lockup

After a year away, the LSO's free summer concert in Trafalgar Square – BMW Classics – returns on Sunday 15 August 2021, showcasing the next generation of music stars.

A giant temporary stage in the Square will host Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, joined by young musicians from the pioneering LSO East London Academy and teenage violin prodigy Leia Zhu, guest soloist for Saint-Saëns’ great showpiece, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso.

The programme features music inspired by the theme of dance and ballet, with Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and music from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, in addition to the first live performance of Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s DreamCity, for which the young East London musicians join the ranks of the LSO.

For our audiences around the world, the concert will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel and made available for a further 90 days.


Getting in and out
Entry and exit to Trafalgar Square is via the Upper Terrace in front of The National Gallery at either end, and via the south east corner towards the entry for Charing Cross Tube station. The south west corner towards the Mall is for exit only. Entrances will open from 5pm.

If you have drinks in glass bottles with you, you will be asked to decant these into biodegradable plastic jugs provided at the entrance points.

What if it's full?
The lower part of the square will be filled up first; the upper terrace will have a very limited view of the stage.

We advise that you should arrive early to secure a place. Entrances will open from 5pm. Should the square fill completely, we will need to close the entrance barriers and it’s unlikely any further entry will be granted.

Please be aware that if you leave the Square and it fills up while you are out, you will not be able to get back in.

Safety measures

  • Please do not attend if you or someone in your household is experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, even if these symptoms are mild, or if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Anyone attending is encouraged to take a rapid lateral flow test the evening or morning before the event to check if they may have Covid-19 without showing any symptoms.
  • The capacity of this year's event has been lowered to allow for additional space in the Square for the comfort and safety of the audience.
  • There is no restriction on group sizes, however you are encouraged to keep your distance from other audience groups attending the concert.
  • Wearing a face covering is recommended in any crowded areas and inside the toilets and café.
  • For your safety please follow any directional signage and any instructions given by the event staff.
  • Anyone attending is encouraged to check in to the event using the NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app, or to inform staff at the information points if they wish to check in and do not have access to a smartphone.

We have implemented the following measures to make the event as accessible and inclusive as possible for a wide range of audience members:

  • A step-free level access area in the centre of the Upper Terrace with wheelchair spaces, companion seats, and seats for those who may have other access requirements. The best entry points for this area are either side of The National Gallery.
  • You may find it easiest to enter the square via the north west corner, which is normally slightly less busy.
  • The area also has a hearing loop.
  • Large print programmes are available.
  • There is a portable accessible toilet near this area in addition to the accessible toilet within the permanent toilet block on lower part of the Square.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome.

Not comfortable?
Furniture is not allowed in the Square. Cushions are available to hire from carts at just £2.50 each. Toilets are located on the lower terrace towards the back.

Can we bring a picnic?
You are welcome to bring food and drink in, although please do not bring glass for safety reasons. If you have drinks in glass bottles with you, you will be asked to decant these into biodegradable plastic jugs provided at the entrance points.

There is a café located inside the Square if you wish to buy refreshments when you arrive.

Please don't bring furniture with you, but rugs for the floor are fine.

What if it rains?
We’ll play on for as long as we can, but if the rain gets too heavy we’ll have to stop. There will be messages on the big screens and announcements made, so sit tight and we’ll keep you posted. We have biodegradable plastic ponchos in case you didn't bring a coat!

What time will it finish?
About 8.10pm at the latest.


Get a flavour of this unique event by looking behind the scenes at 2019's concert.

Live stream

This concert will be streamed live on the LSO's YouTube channel.