Because London can be really bloody expensive!
Last July I turned 25 and as a result, suddenly started seeing 25 used as a cut-off point everywhere. Not only did I move into a different age box on standardised forms (goodbye 18-24, hello 25-34), but I realised that a bunch of discounts and concession schemes I have been enjoying in London come to an end at 25 as well.
Some of these schemes I’d been aware about for a long time and signed up for as soon as I moved to the city. But others I’ve only just discovered and have quickly signed up to nab some discount offers before I turn 26 and the world ends.
Wouldn’t it have been helpful, I thought the other day as I found yet another young persons scheme to sign up to, if there was a definitive list of these discount programmes? Think of the offers I’ve missed out on and the tickets I’ve paid full-price for because I didn’t know I was eligible to pay less.
So, readers, I went and wrote one.
1.Young Barbican (14-25)
Young Barbican offers discount tickets to pretty much all the events and performances it hosts (these range from art, film and music to theatre and dance) and start as low as £5. They let you know what is available by email newsletter once a month.
2. Entry Pass at The National Theatre (16-25)
I use this mostly to get £5 to the National’s theatre productions (you have to move fast though, each performance only has a few Entry Pass tickets available and they go like hot cakes) but you can also get discounts in the National’s bookshop, cafe and backstage tours as well as access to events and courses put on especially for young people.
3. RSC Key (16-25)
The Royal Shakespeare Company not only offers Key holders £5 tickets but if you see five shows, you get the sixth free! This is one I only found out about very recently and am kicking myself that I didn’t know about it before as the RSC is so highly regarded in the UK.
4. BFI 25-and-under (16-25)
Sign up to the British Film Institute scheme and you can turn up 45 minutes before any film screening and be in with a chance of grabbing a ticket for just £3. This is a big deal when cinema tickets in Central London can easily run up to £15 (I’m looking at you, Curzon Theatres).
5. ENO Access All Arias (16-29)
You can book two discounted tickets (for you and a guest of any age) for productions by the English National Opera at the iconic London Coliseum.
6. LPO Noise (up to 26)
London Philharmonic Orchestra offers cheap £8 tickets to performances. If your a registered full-time student, the offer is even better with tickets only £4!
All the above schemes are free to sign up to and can be used by London dwellers and visitors alike. Happy discounts young’uns!
NB: There are a few other young person schemes (Young Friends Of The Almeida and Breeze at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre are two that spring to mid but I’m sure there are others) that offer discounts but require the payment of a signing up/annual fee (usually around £10-£15) which may well be worth it is you live in the city but probably not for travellers.