After the lockdown ends(4), we need to talk about time

There is no cogent reason, other than tradition and musicians’ convenience, that concerts start at 7.30 or 8 pm.

Over time, patterns of life have changed but the habit has not.

Now, with socialising and the possibility of refreshments likely to be restricted for a long time to come, we need to consider what’s the best time to start a concert.

Has the audience ever been asked?

Many, in my experience, would prefer 6.30, straight out of work.

The older generation, generally retired, would like to go even earlier.

Before concerts resume, it would be a good idea to conduct a survey of what concertgoers actually want in order that orchestras can go back on stage confdent that they are addressing the maximum number at the optimum time.