Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, N22 7AY (map)
Tel: 0871 984 0002
Nearest Tube : Wood Green
Best pub for a pre-gig drink: The Park Inn
The Alexandra Palace is: A double decker bus
Interesting fact: The world's first public broadcasts of television were made from this site in 1936, and the palace remained the BBC's main transmitting centre until 1956. The antenna mast still stands.
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Alexandra Palace Guide
Venue Guide Alexandra Palace Information
Paradoxically, this beautiful Grade II-listed building is an ugly hulking beast of a live music venue. Difficult to get to, with poor acoustics and disappointing vantage points. Yet somehow this has been the scene of some truly memorable gigs by the likes of Blur, the White Stripes and the Strokes. That is more to do with its size than anything else, it being the venue bands seem to play at that very special moment in their careers when things go supernova.
Impressive from the outside, Alexandra Palace is situated on top of a hill, offering superb views of the London skyline. Entry is via one of two huge but pretty identical looking doors on either side of the venue, so don’t come out of the wrong one and spend an hour looking for your friends like I did. A bit of a pain to get to, I would recommend driving if you have a car, as there are plenty of parking spaces. Alternatively, get the Picadilly line to Wood Green, then the W3 bus which heads up the hill to the Palace entrance.
There is a bar next to the venue but if you are early I would recommend drinking in the Park Inn, situated at the bottom of the hill.
Upon entering the venue you walk through an entrance foyer area complete with plants and an attractive water feature. On the left is a large bar with stairs to the toilets in the far corner. Heading through the double doors brings you into the main auditorium, basically just a huge room rather like an aircraft hangar, with similar acoustics.
It is here that the viewing problem becomes apparent; the floor is absolutely flat, and such is the capacity that you cannot really see anything unless you are either at the very front or at the very back. I have genuinely seen concert-goers bring their own box to stand on at the Alexandra Palace.
Haringey Council are currently threatening to sell Alexandra Palace to a commercial developer, and there is no doubt it would be a great shame to lose such a characterful building as a venue. The Ally Pally desperately needs to find a function, but sadly hosting rock concerts is probably not its strong point.
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The cavernous Alexandra Palace
The exterior of the Alexandra Palace is stunning
But you may need binoculars and a stool once inside