Concerts: Frequently Asked Questions

People often wonder what the rules are during a classical concert. When do you clap? What happens if you are late? Should you wear a bow-tie? As it happens there aren’t really any rules, and people have just tended to do the same thing since the first music concerts many years ago…

At the Edinburgh University Music Society we want you to come to our concerts and relax, enjoy the music and have a terrific evening, and so we have answered a few of the questions you might be pondering upon below. If we haven’t answered your question here then feel free to get in touch!

Is there a dress code?

Only for the players! Though an EUMS concert is a good excuse to dress up, we don’t mind if you turn up in jeans and trainers either.

Can I bring my children?

We welcome children to all EUMS concerts, and you can get reduced-price tickets for under-26s.

What time do the doors open?

The majority of EUMS concerts begin at 7.30pm, which means that doors open at around 7pm.

Can I buy a ticket on the door?

We always sell tickets for our concerts on the door, though we would always recommend booking in advance to make sure you aren’t disappointed.

Are there discounted tickets?

EUMS offer a concessionary ticket for all concerts. For example, if the full price is £10, then the concessionary ticket will cost £5.

Do you sell programmes?

Programmes are sold at the front-of-house for a small cost, and provide details of the pieces, the performers and of any upcoming EUMS events.

What if my friends or I are late?

You will be allowed into the concert at a suitable break in the programme, though you will be requested to wait until the interval if you are particularly late.

Can I take photos?

We ask that you don’t take photos during the performance since this can be distracting to the players and our other audience members, especially if the flash goes off! We also ask you politely not to make audio or video recordings of the music as this is illegal, even if it is just for your own enjoyment.

How long is the interval?

Most concerts have 20 minute intervals, but there may be a few with shorter or long intervals, or indeed none at all.

Are the queues for the toilets really long?

Some of our venues only have a couple of toilets, but there are usually ample facilities for even the most well-watered audiences!

When should I clap?

There are no set rules for when you should clap, though in the UK it is traditional to clap at the end of a piece of music, as opposed to after each movement. This is to help the music flow smoothly or to set the scene for the following movement. Your programme should give you a clue as to how many movements there are. If in doubt, keep an eye on the conductor who will usually provide a signal that the piece has ended. If you are really unsure then the best plan is to wait for others to start. Don’t worry about it: we love it when our audience expresses their delight at our performance!