The BBC and the Proms – a major music festival that does not reflect the musical tastes of the 25,507,726 BBC TV Licence payers

On the 28th August 2015 I wrote to the BBC regarding the lack of diversity in the music programming of the Proms. My  complaint was:

“It was impossible to glean Tony Halls contact details from the BBC website but the BBC Trust was more transparent.

The BBC publicity states “While the Proms celebrates its 120th year in 2015, it still remains true to its original aim: to present the widest range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences”. Here we are in 2015 with a programme of 76 Proms of which 7 are non-classical music. To give some idea of this year’s broad range the late night Bhangra and Bollywood is with the BBC Philharmonic. But where is the reflection of the “widest range of music”; no brass bands, no folk music, world musics, jazz in the shape of Frank Sinatra and swing – nothing adventurous, no opera that I could see, in fact no recognition of the incredible range of musics enjoyed by the UK public who pay for the Proms.

For the avoidance of doubt 15% of the uk population is made up of people of diverse ethnicity and the audience for opera is 1.67 million attenders, for classical music 3.29 million and for jazz 2.67 million.

I would be grateful for an explanation for the lack of diversity in the music programming of the Proms and what the BBC proposes to do about this lack of diversity.

Further I emailed the trust and received an unhelpful reply from the BBC Trust Unit. I enclose copies of my email and the response.

I then wrote to the BBC Trust’s chairman due to the fact that the BBC is not particularly transparent when it comes to contact details for its executive officers. I enclose the letter and the reply

Currently the BBC is under fire from the Culture and Sport Select Committee and I would have thought that every sinew would have been strained to ensure that you keep the public on board.

I would be grateful for a full reply.”

If I printed the full correspondence you would probably lose the will to live. Suffice it to say I took the correspondence as far as I could go and the response from the BBC trust is attached. Please see: BBC Decision Page 1 BBC Decision Page 2 BBC Decision Page 3 BBC Decision Page 4


Share this post: