Our pick of this year’s best festive concerts around the UK
As mince pies and advent calendars start to fill high street shelves, we’ve put together our guide to some of the UK’s top Christmas concerts. It will help you make the most of opportunities to sing all of your favourite carols and experience a slightly different take on Christmas music.
Contact us to request tickets to any of these events and to receive our full guide to festive concerts
Best for traditionalists
Handel’s Messiah is synonymous with Christmas and it is always popular with our members. Forming part of programmes in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff among others, chances are there will be a performance taking place near you.
If you prefer to stick to carols, you’ll be spoilt for choice this year, with options including Carols by Candlelight providing an atmospheric and magical evening at venues including the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester (15 December) and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (19 December).
Elsewhere, you can enjoy the impressively beautiful voices of the King’s College Choir as they visit Manchester (13 December) and London (16 December). Don’t worry if you can’t make it to a concert, you can watch them on BBC Two on Christmas Eve – a perfect start to your festive celebrations.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will bring their magnificent talent to Ipswich (2 December) and London (18 December) for Christmas Cracker which will feature traditional Yuletide favourites alongside modern hits such as Wham!’s Last Christmas and Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.
For many, Christmas isn’t complete without the sound of a young Aled Jones hitting the top of his vocal range on Walking in the Air and a family viewing of The Snowman. If the same can be said for you, make sure you head to City Hall in Sheffield (14 December), York Barbican (16 December) or Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall (21 and 21 December) for screenings of this winter classic with a live orchestra. Alternatively, you can join the man himself at London’s Barbican on 22 and 23 December for Christmas with Aled Jones with the evening set to include Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem and Bach’s Ave Maria.
Best for something different
As well as enjoying the traditional side of Christmas, our members and lifestyle managers are always keen to try something new and this year there is plenty of choice if you want to move away from carols.
For a Christmas celebration that harks back to a bygone era, we recommend catching five-piece harmony group The Overtones on their 20-date Christmas with The Overtones tour.
Alternatively, if the soothing, acoustic sound of folk music is what you’d like to enjoy on a chilly evening, we recommend spending some time in the company of Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby. Her annual Christmas tour sees her work her way through beautiful arrangements of traditional Christmas songs drawn from history and originals from her own pen.
Keeping with the folk theme, the award-winning Cara Dillon will release Upon a Winter’s Night, her first Christmas album, this November and will be supporting it with a string of UK shows. We can’t wait to hear what this Celtic wonder brings to some well-known winter favourites.
If you like your festive season to be full of sparkle then look no further than A Kylie Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall (9 and 10 December). Last year’s concert sold out within minutes, so this year, the pop princess will be playing two nights at the iconic London venue. In 2015 there was glitter, snow, tiaras, a choir dressed as Christmas puddings and a full orchestra – we’re excited about this year’s shows already.
Lastly, for those who prefer to rock around the Christmas tree, Queen’s Brian May will be hitting the road with theatre stalwart, Kerry Ellis for their Candlelit Christmas series of shows, taking in 11 stops including Dorking, Leeds, Coventry and Eastbourne. This will be the pair’s sixth tour together and will see things take a more intimate feel as May swaps his electric guitar for an acoustic but we’re assured there will be electric climax to each evening’s set.
Pictured: Kylie and the Overtones