Leicester Symphony Orchestra 1922

History of De Montfort Hall

De Montfort Hall is a major concert hall located in Leicester City Centre and set in its own grounds. The hall was opened in 1913 and is a direct provision by Leicester City Council.

Its infrastructure comprises a flexible auditorium that can be laid out in a number of different ways (tiered, standing, cabaret, dance floor etc) and with a 400 to 2,200 capacity, four bars and the outdoor amphitheatre with a capacity from 250 to 7,000.

The hall houses an historic organ - the only surviving example of a large concert organ constructed by Leicester organ builders Stephen Taylor and Son Ltd. The organ was a gift to the town by local industrialist Alfred Corah.

De Montfort Hall was mainly used as a concert venue when it was first opened, although during the First World War it was used as a drill hall. During this time Edward Elgar and Sir Malcolm Sargent played in the venue - the latter helping to found Leicester Symphony Orchestra.

During the Second World War the hall was once again used for both military and civilian purposes, with one highlight being a concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra for American troops before their dispatch to Europe.

After the war the venue reverted back to a concert hall and meeting venue, with every top name appearing over the years on the stage, including:

Frank Sinatra 1953
Buddy Holly 1958
The Beatles 1963 (twice) & 1964
Dusty Springfield 1963 & 1964
The Rolling Stones 1964 (three times) 1965 & 1976
Status Quo 1968 1973 & 1984
Elton John 1971 & 1973
Pink Floyd 1972
David Bowie 1973
Roxy Music 1973 1974 1979 1981 1982
AC/DC 1979
The Police 1979
Iron Maiden 1980 1982 1983 1984 1986 1990
Bon Jovi 1986
REM 1989

De Montfort Hall now hosts an incredible variety of entertainment and is still the largest live entertainment venue in the city.

The hall is known for the quality of its shows, including many West End musicals, the latest rock and pop acts, top comedians, opera and orchestra, ballet and dance and children’s shows. It is also holds Navratri celebrations each year as well as university graduations and is available for hire as a wedding and conference venue.


 
 

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