Directed by Tom Harper, the 90-second film includes scenes of the empty venue during the pandemic as Jagger recites the poem “For Friends Only” by W.H. Auden. Rare archival footage of the venue is also shown, dating back to Albert Einstein speaking in 1933. Glimpses of Diana Ross in 1973, Bob Dylan from the film Don’t Look Back, Led Zeppelin in 1970, Adele in 2011, and other performances are also shown.
“Without doubt, the Royal Albert Hall is one of the greatest concert venues in the world and so I was delighted to be asked to read a short poem by W.H. Auden as part of this excellent short film by Tom Harper,” Jagger said in a statement. “I have some wonderful memories of performing there with the Stones in the Sixties when once or twice it did get a bit wild, with enthusiastic fans joining us onstage and almost bringing the show to an abrupt end — but we soldiered on and had a great time.”
He continued: “I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Royal Albert Hall a very happy 150th birthday and look forward to the future, seeing and listening to many fantastic artists and musicians performing onstage at this iconic venue.”
“I have desperately missed live performance — there is something electric and fundamentally human about the shared experience of being in a room surrounded by other people, part of an audience,” Harper added. “The Royal Albert Hall is a magnificent building even when it’s empty, but what makes it truly special is the connection it fosters through those shared experiences. That is what this film is about: Not only a celebration of performances from the Hall’s glorious past, but also the sense of anticipation of some of the things to look forward to when we can be together again.”