The Ultimate Backstage Experience
A unique event for young people who’ve had cancer to get together and enjoy one of our iconic gigs at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2023 for free.
About the event
At the Ultimate Backstage Experience, we’ll welcome you and a plus one to London’s famous Royal Albert Hall, a stunning venue with a unique history and atmosphere.
You’ll meet other young people who’ve also had cancer and get to know them throughout the afternoon.
Together you’ll get the chance to enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the Hall (you might even be lucky enough to hear an artist in soundcheck), as well as dinner backstage before the show.
You’ll then take your place in some of the best seats in the house – in the Stalls next to the stage – to watch the gig in style.
We’ll cover your travel and accommodation costs including a taxi back to the hotel at the end of the night. The next day you will have free time to enjoy London with your guest.
Places are limited so will be allocated via a ballot. Details of who can apply and how to enter are below.
This event is very kindly sponsored by our partner Domino’s pizza, who have been helping us bring young people with cancer together since 2015.
We have also received generous gift in kind support from the Royal Albert Hall engagement team to run this event.
When is it?
The Ultimate Backstage Experience will take place on different days for people who are aged 13-17 and 18-27. There will be two events for under 18s and five for over 18s on the following dates:
- Thursday 23 March
- Friday 24 March
- Monday 20 March
- Tuesday 21 March
- Wednesday 22 March
- Saturday 25 March
- Sunday 26 March
The full line-up for each date will probably be announced once the ballot for the Ultimate Backstage Experience has closed. Please do not wait to see which acts are performing before applying. The experience is about more than seeing the gig, so don’t worry about choosing a date based on who you might be going to see.
Who can enter the ballot?
You can apply for the Ultimate Backstage Experience ballot if you:
- Were diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 13 and 24.
- Will be between the ages of 13 and 27 on 20 March 2023.
- Have been treated in the UK.
You must also either:
- Have finished active cancer treatment during or after March 2021; OR
- Currently be on maintenance treatment; OR
- Have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant between March 2020 and March 2022 and not be on active treatment.
You will also need to:
- Check with your clinical team that you are well enough to travel to/from London and spend a day at the Royal Albert Hall at an indoor gig with five thousand people.
- Agree to take a lateral flow test in the week before the gigs (we will post it to you).
If you are successful in the ballot, your guest must:
- Be aged 18 or above.
- Not be under medical guidance to avoid enclosed crowded spaces.
- Be able to support you during the two days with any practical, physical or emotional support, should you need it.
- Agree to take a lateral flow test in the week before the gigs (we will post it to them).
If you’re under 18 your guest will need to be your parent, guardian or carer. You can’t bring a friend, but you can bring your brother or sister if they’re over 18 and you have permission from your parent/guardian.
This opportunity is not suitable for anyone who is immunosuppressed and has been advised to avoid enclosed crowded spaces.
It’s not compulsory to have had the Covid-19 vaccinations, but we do strongly suggest you and your guest are vaccinated to reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and to help protect others. At the event it’s likely that you will be indoors with unvaccinated people.
Please note, we retain the right to tighten medical restrictions nearer the time in the event of a spike in Covid-19 cases and/or change in government guidelines.
How do I apply?
Thank you for your interest in entering the ballot for the Ultimate Backstage Experience. Unfortunately the ballot is now closed.
What happens next?
Once you have entered the ballot, we will contact your clinical team to verify that you are eligible for the event. If you are not eligible, you will be notified.
If your clinical team confirm you are eligible, then you will be entered into the ballot. Tickets will be assigned based on the availability you gave us when you entered the ballot. You will be notified if you have been successful by the end of February.
Each person who is successful will only be able to attend one night of the Ultimate Backstage Experience. We allocate all nights at once, so unfortunately it is not possible to change the date you are given.
For those who have not been successful, we will also be conducting a ballot for a small waiting list each day. You will be notified if you are on the waiting list.
Frequently asked questions
Please get in touch with [email protected] and we can discuss your particular needs. Let us know if you need us to support you to fill out your application form.
If you need a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or language translator, please tell us when you complete your application form and we can do our best to support this.
If you are successful in the ballot, we will work with you to make your attendance possible in any way we can – let us know!
We will prioritise young people who have not attended before. However, in the unlikely event that we are undersubscribed, then you may still get a place if you meet the eligibility criteria. Therefore, you can still enter the ballot.
Only eligible young people who’ve had cancer can enter the ballot, but if you are successful then we will send your guest a registration form to complete. Guests cannot enter the ballot itself.
Yes. Your guest must be an adult aged 18 or over. They are responsible for travelling with you to the event to provide you with support and reassurance, as well as sharing the special experience with you.
Young people often tell us that the opportunity to bring a guest to the Ultimate Backstage Experience is a chance to say “thank you” to someone who has supported them through treatment or post-treatment.
No. Your guest must be an adult – i.e. aged 18 or above. They are responsible for providing practical and emotional support and reassurance; therefore, it is not appropriate for them to be under 18.
If you can no longer make it, please notify us immediately by emailing [email protected] so that we can offer your place to someone else. The ballot for the event is usually oversubscribed and there is a waiting list, so we will have a lot of people who would love to attend if you aren’t able to.
Follow current government advice on when to stay home if you have Covid-19.
If you test positive for Covid-19 6 to 10 days before the date you are due to attend the Ultimate Backstage Experience, please email [email protected] immediately. We will then advise you on what action needs to be taken and how this might affect you and your guest’s attendance at the event.
If you test positive for Covid-19 5 days or less from the date you are due to attend the event, unfortunately you will not be able to come because you are likely to still be infectious. If this happens, please email [email protected] immediately and we will offer your place to someone on the waiting list.
If this happens, please tell us immediately by emailing [email protected]. We will then advise you on what action needs to be taken and how this might affect you and your guest’s attendance at the Ultimate Backstage Experience.
However, please note:
- If your guest tests positive for Covid-19, or is unable to attend for any other reason, within 48 hours before the event then unfortunately neither you nor your guest will be able to attend the Ultimate Backstage Experience. This is because you must have an accompanying guest with you to attend, and we will be unable to reschedule travel and accommodation bookings with less than 48 hours’ notice.
- If you are travelling by plane – unfortunately neither you nor an alternative guest will be able to attend the Ultimate Backstage Experience as we are unable to transfer booked flights to a new person.
Attending the event involves travelling on public transport and watching a gig seated in the Stalls at The Royal Albert Hall with thousands of other people. You are welcome to wear a mask if you want and we will have hand sanitizer available. However, it is a mass indoor event therefore attendance is at your own risk.
The event is not suitable for anyone who is immunosuppressed and has been advised to avoid enclosed crowded spaces because it involves mixing indoors in an old, poorly ventilated building. Therefore we cannot protect participants from the risk of catching flu, Covid-19, colds and other viruses.
We do not require participants to have been vaccinated for Covid-19. However, we do strongly suggest you and your guest are vaccinated to reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and to help protect others. Please note that regardless of your own vaccination status, it is likely that you will be indoors with unvaccinated people.
You will need to arrive at the Royal Albert Hall between 1.30pm to1.45pm on the day of the event.
The Royal Albert Hall address is Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP.
It is a 12-minute walk from South Kensington tube station (Circle and District lines).
The nearest wheelchair accessible station is Earl’s Court; however this is 28 minutes from the Hall, so you may need to get a taxi if using that station. We will cover the cost of the taxi for you – please get a receipt so we can reimburse you.
No, we will cover the cost of your travel for you and your guest and book it for you both, but you will need to complete the registration form that we send you in order for us to be able to do so.
Before completing the form, you will also need to have a think about how you will get to London and do some research on your best route.
Google Maps or Trainline are very useful for planning journeys. It might take you a little while, but will help your journey run smoothly on the day.
We will pay for the cost of your transport, accommodation, evening meal on the day of the concert and breakfast the following day.
You may need to buy food for your journey and/or lunch the next day. However if this, or any other expenses you would incur as a result of the event, would cause financial challenges and stop you from attending, please let us know by contacting [email protected] so that we can look at options to support you attending.
Our team will not be there to greet you if you arrive at the Royal Albert Hall before 1.30pm. However, there is a café at the box office that you can wait in if you arrive early.
The end time for each of our shows varies slightly but it will be approximately 11pm. We have then arranged a minibus to take all participants to the hotel.
There will be 15 young people who have had cancer attending the event each evening. Each of them will have a guest accompanying them.
No, the date you’ve been given a place for is the only one we can offer you. Our ballot for the event is usually oversubscribed, so we fill our capacity each evening. Therefore there are no spare places for you to swap with.
The recommended dress code is smart casual, but don’t worry too much about it – you can wear what you feel comfortable in.
The day will consist of travelling to London, a tour of the Royal Albert Hall, buffet dinner and watching the show from the Stalls in the evening.
We understand that you may wish to wear different clothes to travel in and for the show, therefore you can bring a change of clothes with you if you want.
Please wear sensible shoes.
More young people aged 18-24 are diagnosed with cancer each year compared to people aged 13-17. Therefore, we’ve tried to be as representative as possible with the allocation of dates.
All young people, their guests, facilitators, Teenage Cancer Trust staff and venue staff have the right to be treated with respect and protected from harm wherever possible. As organisers of the Ultimate Backstage Experience, we want you to get the most out of the event.
When registering, all participants have agreed the below behaviour criteria for both themselves and their guest in order to provide a safe environment for everyone during the event.
Requirements when attending the Ultimate Backstage Experience:
- You must remember that you are representing Teenage Cancer Trust and you must always behave sensibly and respectfully.
- You should comply with reasonable requests for safety and event management from Teenage Cancer Trust staff.
- You should show respect for each other and to all staff.
- You must use camera and social media technology responsibly, ensuring that you obtain permission before taking photographs and sharing them across internet platforms.
- Teenage Cancer Trust actively discourages smoking and vaping. It is not allowed anywhere on site.
The following behaviours are not acceptable:
- You will not bully, intimidate, harass or act in any way that causes harm or distress – this includes ableism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism or any other behaviour which goes against our aim of creating and promoting an inclusive event.
- You will not have or use illegal substances or recreational drugs.
- You will not be verbally or physically aggressive.
- You will not bully, intimidate, harass or act in any way that causes harm or distress.
- You will not behave in a way that is a health and safety risk to yourself and others.
- You will not steal or deliberately damage equipment or property.
- If you purchase and consume alcohol, you will drink and behave responsibly and will not bring your own drinks from outside of the venue or arrive drunk.
Failure to follow these criteria may result in being asked to leave the event and you may not be permitted to attend future Teenage Cancer Trust events. Any behaviour that is illegal will result in the Police being called.