On the Day

Ready for your ceremony?

Please make sure you have done everything on the list below to make sure you are prepared for the day:

On the day

Plan your travel to Royal Festival Hall (RFH) and check for travel restrictions on the Transport for London website.

The auditorium at RFH opens for guests one hour before the start time of the ceremonies – please see the Dates, Times & Ceremonies page for the ceremony start times.

Please be seated 30 minutes before the advertised start time, as the ceremonies will start promptly at the given time. The ceremonies last approximately 90-120 minutes.

Throughout the day, marshals are there to assist you, so please feel free to ask them for help or directions. 

When to arrive

We advise that you arrive 90 minutes before the scheduled start time so you have plenty of time to collect tickets, collect graduation robes and take any photographs.

There are ample waiting areas in The Southbank Centre and cafés and restaurants nearby. Please note, guests are not allowed to wait in the Registration and Robing areas to avoid overcrowding.

Guests should aim to take their seats 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony. 

Photography and DVD services

Official photographers will be on site all day. Frames for photographs will be available and can be purchased from the photography stall on the Ground Floor.

A DVD recording of the Ceremony can be ordered at a stand that will be located inside the building.

Guests are reminded that they may take still photographs during the ceremony but only with hand-held cameras and from their seats. Camcorders are not allowed in the hall.


The graduate will be issued with tickets for themselves and for their guests at the Registration Desk on the day.

If the graduate has been allocated extra tickets, these will need to be paid for on the day by the graduate. Therefore, if you are intending to pay for the extra tickets on the graduate’s behalf, please ensure you give the graduate the money before they go to the registration area as parents/guests are not permitted in this area to avoid overcrowding.

Guests leaving their seats while the ceremony is still in progress is disruptive and distracting for other guests, and for this reason you must remain seated until after the end of the ceremony and after the procession and graduates have left the hall.


If you are bringing young children to the ceremony, then please note that there are no crèche facilities available at the hall and you must ensure you take children out of the ceremony if they become unsettled. No unaccompanied children will be admitted to the auditorium.

It is a requirement of Royal Festival Hall that children aged two years or more have their own seat so please bear this in mind when you purchase guest tickets.

The reception

After the ceremony, you are invited to light refreshments at a reception. It would be appreciated if you could give the marshals your full co-operation especially by remaining seated at the end of the Ceremony until you are directed to the appropriate reception area.

Movement within the building

Because of the very large numbers of people in the building, we have planned the movement of graduates and their guests so that congestion is minimised and traffic flow maintained. It is particularly important that we are able to keep the landings and the areas at the bottom of staircases clear at all times.

Thank you for your help. We hope you have an enjoyable day.