Just Stop Oil protesters interrupt the Proms

Two protesters from environmental campaign group Just Stop Oil have interrupted the First Night of the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The duo mounted the stage and briefly unfurled an orange banner on Friday.

They were met with boos and jeers from some members of the audience at the BBC’s classical music festival, before being led away by security staff.

Just Stop Oil has targeted a number of events this year, including the Ashes, Wimbledon and the Chelsea Flower Show.

In a tweet, Just Stop Oil said their supporters “set off confetti cannons and sounded air horns, demanding the UK government immediately halt all new oil and gas consents and licences. They attempted to address the audience before being forcibly removed”.

It added that the action, which lasted for about five minutes shortly after the interval, targeted the event because of the BBC’s “underwhelming coverage of the climate emergency”.

The Proms opening night featured a new translation of Jean Sibelius’s Snöfrid, narrated by The Crown actress Lesley Manville, and a new work by Ukrainian composer Bohdana Frolyak, called Let The Light In.

In response to the incident, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer wrote on social media: “My message is this: Leave people to enjoy the events they love, and stop damaging your own cause.”

During the Proms programme and before the protest, BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Georgia Mann remarked on how close members of the audience were to the performers at the Royal Albert Hall.

“Somehow it surprises me every summer when we sit here from this vantage point just how close the Prommers are to the artists – I’ve said before – touching distance,” she said.

Six thousand people were gathered in the venue for the sell-out event.

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