The idea for the Night of the Proms was developed in 1984 by two Belgian students, Jan Van Esbroeck en Jan Vereecke. With the English ‘Last Night of the Proms’ in mind, they decided to organize the ‘First Night of the Proms’ in the Antwerp Sportpaleis. Because an evening with only classical music would perhaps not go down well with everybody, a section with pop classics was added to the programme. What sceptics had not deemed possible, happened on the 19th of October 1985: Jan and Jan welcomed 13,.500 music lovers, among whom were many non-students.
The concept of classical music combined with pop was a great success. The reactions of press and audience were so overwhelming that the organizers could not but continue. Year after year, there were more concert nights, and in 1990, the Night of the Proms was exported to Holland for the first time. Germany followed suit in 1994. There were also concerts in France, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark and nowadays concerts are also given in the French speaking part of Belgium (Charleroi) and Spain.
An all-singing, all-dancing celebration of music through the ages.
If you are looking for a fun-guaranteed and musical night out in a unique concept, then Night of the Proms is definitely the place to be!
Night of the Proms is one of the most visited and most attractive musical events in Belgium and in Europe. It takes the audience on a journey through rousing and familiar classical repertoire, timeless pop classics, sing-along tunes and get-up-and-dance music, all of this backed by a mind-blowing visual and aural setting. The regular Night of the Proms orchestra Il Novecento conducted by Robert Groslot, a choir and an Electric Band lead by John ‘Music’ Miles play music from the last three centuries in such a joyful manner and with such verve, that everybody is carried away by their delightful performances. They also accompany international pop artists who enrapture the very lively audience with their greatest hits. Young and old uninhibitedly swing to the beat and at the end of the show thousands strike up Elgar’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.
Yes indeed, the idea of Night of the Proms was inspired by the British Last Night of the Proms. Many years ago, two Flemish students gave it their own twist by adding contemporary music and popular artists to the programme. The new and very original concept of ‘Classic meets Pop’ was born.
The first Night of the Proms concert was staged at the Antwerp Sportpaleis in October 1985 and welcomed 13,500 music lovers. The event turned out to be a huge commercial and critical success that grew in popularity, year on year. Word spread about the innovative mixing of classical music and pop evergreens, the audience got more and more diversified and from 1990 onwards the event also started to push back frontiers. Nowadays Night of the Proms plays several shows in autumn in Belgium (reaching 15,000 people per night in Antwerp), The Netherlands (Rotterdam) and several cities in Germany. Following a few months’ break, it picks up in spring to visit the French speaking part of Belgium (Charleroi), immediately followed by Spain.
What began as a student-like activity is now a permanent fixture for hundreds of thousands. Since 1985, more than 7 million visitors attended the shows and witnessed many unforgettable musical moments. The tremendous success of Night of the Proms made it possible to attract famous pop stars to be part of this fabulous musical spectacular. Artists such as Joe Cocker, Simple Minds, Status Quo, Meat Loaf, Zucchero, Sting, Roger Hodgson (ex-Supertramp), Bryan Ferry, UB40, Chrissie Hynde, Andrea Bocelli, Al Jarreau, Chris de Burgh, Toto, Alan Parsons, Art Garfunkel, Deborah Harry, Wet Wet Wet, Level 42’s Mark King, Lisa Stansfield, Coolio, James Brown, Shaggy, Ike Turner, The Pointer Sisters, Roger Daltrey, Donna Summer, Safri Duo, Tears For Fears, Texas and many, many others have been accompanied by the Night of the Proms’ orchestra and choir and shared their love of music with people of all ages and of different musical persuasions.