Commercial Director, Alexandra Palace
It’s hard to beat the views from Alexandra Palace, with its hilltop outdoor stage and the London skyline as its backdrop. Commercial director Lucy Fenner and her team are in the middle of the busiest quarter to date. “I just can’t believe what the venue achieves,” says Fenner. “Huge thank you to Team Ally Pally, our crew, our artists, performers and all those that work with us and bring the venue to life.”
Alexandra Palace celebrated its 150th anniversary in May with a free event for the community. Other 2023 highlights include five-night residency by Fred Again. in the Great Hall; full-circle moments with Bastille, and Ben Howard, who headlined the main arena, and returned to perform at the sold-out summer series in the Park back in July; a six-week run of Bugsy Malone, and multiple comedy nights with Tim Key, Lenny Henry, Jen Brister and Ricky Gervais in the Theatre.
As an independent charity “with a lot less resources than others,” the team at Alexandra Palace strives “to remain authentic, stay true to our purpose by enriching lives through great experiences and being proud of our independence and heritage,” says Fenner.
What has kept her centered through the host of challenges to this industry over the last few years is her love for what she does, “having a strong team around you, and building core relationships with others outside your organization. Don’t sit on concerns, always share them. On a basic level pick up the phone — things are resolved a lot quicker.”
In addition to the 10,000-capacity arena, Fenner’s team runs the 1,300-capacity theater, and maintains a 196-acre park for events, a forest school outreach program, as well as an ice rink.
“Regeneration” is big on the agenda in the coming months, and, “Opening new spaces and new leisure facilities. We saw huge success when we reopened our theater in 2018 and we aim to bring more spaces back to life. Being a sustainable home for all we do is also a key objective.”
Fenner says that “investing in the grassroots of all areas of our business, allowing creatives the opportunity to develop and simply time to be creative” will be key to ensuring a healthy live market in the years to come.
“Ally Pally is driving to develop our audiences and support artists from a young age through our AP Young Creatives Network: inviting 16-25 year olds to experience arts, culture and gigs for free and providing training and development programs,” she says. “All funds raised through commercial activity at Ally Pally are reinvested into the Park & Palace plus our Creative Learning programs. This makes the job extra rewarding.”