One of the most iconic celebrations of classical music, the BBC Proms, is to receive a 21st century technology boost from UK based MyTAG this summer.
The Proms has announced it is to use an innovative form of paperless security for those working or performing at the much-anticipated 2022 event at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
All musicians, contractors, performers and back of house staff, approximately 7,000 people, will use MyTAG digital Proof of ID to access the venue in London.
Organisers say the move will reassure those working at the venue of a safe and seamless entry experience, while keeping the 127-year-old festival at the forefront of event innovation.
Visitors from around the world will attend this globally recognised event between 15 July and 10 September.
The eight-week celebration includes 73 concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.
And due to the scale of the festival, security sits at the heart of the operation, with MyTAG a supplier for the 2022 event.
Mike George, MyTAG Founder and Managing Director commented: “We are delighted that MyTAG Proof of ID is being used to support security at the BBC Proms for a second year running.
“Our trusted ID cards use NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to ensure those working or performing at the concerts can only access authorised areas on the days and times that are specified.”
When musicians, performers or back of house staff arrive at the Royal Albert Hall, their identity will be checked, and they will be issued with a trusted MyTAG ID card.
These are printed on site using digital ID hardware and cannot be copied or cloned.
To access an area, an individual simply shows their MyTAG ID card to the security guard who will tap it on their hand-held device to reveal the person’s access permissions.
If the card has expired, or entry is not permitted into a specific area, access is denied, giving event organisers peace of mind.
Mike George added: “Our patented technology brings identity cards and security into the modern age. We’re confident it will help create a secure and more seamless experience for everyone in attendance.”
Although MyTAG has clients across the globe, the UK arm mainly operates from Devon and London. It currently has around 25 employees but continues to expand, says spokeswoman Julie Birch.
The word ‘Prom’ is short for promenade concert, a term which originally referred to outdoor concerts in London’s pleasure gardens and on bandstands in seaside resorts.
The audience was free to stroll around while the band’s music played in the background. It was particularly fashionable in the Victorian era.
For the BBC Proms, the term refers to the use of the standing area inside the Royal Albert Hall.
The BBC has broadcasted the Proms for decades, albeit with a break for World War 2.
Most people are familiar with Last Night of the Proms, which is a celebration of pomp and Britishness.
The Royal Albert Hall could be filled many times over with people who would wish to attend.
But to involve extra people, and to cater for those who are not near London, the Proms in the Park concerts were started in 1996.
Initially, there was one, in Hyde Park adjacent to the Hall, which was a simple video relay of the concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
As audiences grew, Proms in the Park started to have musicians of their own on stage, including the BBC Concert Orchestra.
In the 2000s, Proms in the Park started to be held in other locations across the UK, usually with one of the BBC’s orchestras playing.
In 2005, Belfast, Glasgow, Swansea and Manchester hosted a Last Night Prom in the Park, broadcast live from each venue.
In 2007, Manchester’s prom was replaced by one in Middlesbrough. Then, in 2008 the number reduced from five to four, in Hyde Park, Belfast, Glasgow and Swansea.
In 2009, it returned to a total of five. Each location has its own live concert, typically playing the national anthem of the host country.
The crowd then joins live to a big screen of the Royal Albert Hall traditional finale.