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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 June 2007, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Festival Hall reopens with a bang
The refurbished auditorium at the Royal Festival Hall
The modernisation cost 91m over two years
A weekend of free events is taking place to mark the reopening of the refurbished Royal Festival Hall.

The Grade I listed building on London's South Bank has undergone a two-year 91m pound renovation.

The 2,788-seater auditorium now has upgraded acoustics, under-seat air conditioning and increased leg-room.

The events, called The Overture, include a mass busking session led by Billy Bragg and a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

The events began when 800 choral singers arrived on candlelit barges at dusk on Friday and performed a choral work specially composed by Orlando Gough.

The scheduled events over the weekend include ballroom and Bollywood dancers, jazz musician Harry Beckett and will feature a cast of 18,000 performers.

"This will be the most ambitious participation weekend we have seen in this country for years," said artistic director Jude Kelly.

"It is an opportunity for artists of all kinds to feel they are the centre of our story."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The new look royal festival hall is opened to the public



SEE ALSO
Arts venue unveils 90m revamp
20 Apr 04 |  Entertainment
Lottery boost for Festival Hall
09 Oct 02 |  England
Festival Hall plan gets go-ahead
06 Mar 02 |  Entertainment
Festival Hall celebrates birthday
03 May 01 |  Entertainment

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