2023 CHRISTMAS LECTURES ticket ballot FAQs

Find out more about the 2023 CHRISTMAS LECTURES tickets.

Young people at the Royal Institution Christmas lectures 2019
Image credit: Paul Wilkinson

Who can enter the ballot?

The ballot is open to all Ri Members, Ri Young Members, Ri Family Members and Ri Patrons, as well as Ri Corporate Members and Partners.

One entry per individual Member or Patron and one entry per each Member of a Family Membership. Your membership must be valid at the time you enter the ballot.

I'm not a Member – how can I join?

You can join as a member or patron online, or by calling the Ri Membership team on +44 (0)20 7491 6588 from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5.30pm.

We would be delighted to welcome you to our community of supporters and as well as exclusive entry to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES ticket ballot you will also benefit from free or heavily discounted tickets to our adult and family programmes.

Ri Young Membership for ages 17 and under is just £32 a year. Ri Membership is £80 per year with a concessionary rate of £42 for those between the ages of 18 to 29. 

If you’d like to enjoy our membership benefits as a family, then Ri Family Membership is for you!

By becoming an Ri Family Member, you can buy up to four Ri Young Memberships for just £20 each.

I have a question about my membership. Whom should I contact?

Please email the Ri Membership team at membership@ri.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)20 7491 6588 from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5.30pm.

I have an Ri Family Membership. How can I enter the ballot?

Each member of an Ri Family Membership is a Member (Ri Member or Ri Young Member) in their own right. Therefore, each Member can enter the ballot using their own unique membership number which can be found on their membership card. If for example you have two Ri Members and two Ri Young Members within your Family Membership, then you can have four ballot entries – one entry per Member.

The easiest way to enter the ballot is online.

If you need any assistance, please contact the Ri Membership team at membership@ri.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)20 7491 6588 from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5.30pm.

I’m a home educator. Can I enter the ballot?

To be able to apply, home educators need to be Members of the Ri.

If you are already an Ri Member, you can join the ballot online. If you are not yet an Ri Member then you can join online.

The ballot used to be open to UK registered schools. Why isn’t it available to schools anymore?

Making tickets available to schools is part of our commitment to make the CHRISTMAS LECTURES accessible to as many people as possible. We are still making tickets available to schools this year, we’re just doing it differently. Instead of opening the ballot to all UK registered schools, we have decided to make tickets available through the network of schools we have been supporting throughout the year. Each school is in one of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK as ranked by the Income Deprivation Index and they all benefit from extra support to engage with science. Tickets for children at these schools will be free.

How do I enter the ballot?

You can enter the ballot online.


Can I apply for multiple Lecture dates?

Yes, however if successful you will only be allocated tickets for one Lecture. The ballot process will ask you to list your preference for each Lecture date.

If successful, you will be allocated tickets to one Lecture only, based on your first available preference.

Please note: If there are multiple Ri Members at the same address, each member can apply for a different Lecture day as their first preference. Successful applicants must purchase all tickets they have been allocated. Please consider your ticket choices carefully when applying.

Can I enter the ballot more than once?

Only one ballot application can be submitted per membership. The ballot application must be made in the member’s name and use the unique membership number, even for Ri Young Members.

How many tickets can I apply for?

Members can apply for a maximum of five tickets per Lecture. We set a limit because attending the Lectures is very popular and it helps to ensure as any people as possible have the opportunity.

Each ballot form can be used to apply for multiple tickets on a particular date. As always, an adult ticket is only available when purchasing a junior ticket and juniors must be 11 to 17 years old at the time of filming. Proof of age may be requested. As adults and juniors are seated separately, an accompanying adult is not required in the Theatre.

Why do adult tickets have to be accompanied with a junior ticket?

We want to ensure that the main allocation of tickets is for young people. Since 1825 the CHRISTMAS LECTURES have always been for a young audience and it's a tradition we are proud to keep to this day; adults are able to take their seats up in the gallery.

How much do the tickets cost?

£39 for juniors aged 11–17 and £49 for adults. A small Eventbrite booking fee is also added at checkout

What is a screening room ticket?

These tickets allow you to watch a live feed from the recording in the Theatre on a big screen in one of our beautiful rooms. You do not need to enter the ballot for screening room tickets and unlike for the Theatre show, there are no age restrictions.

When are the Lectures being filmed?

  • Tuesday, 12 December 2023
  • Thursday, 14 December 2023
  • Saturday, 16 December 2023

Filming will start at 6.00pm and we ask all attendees to arrive at the Ri by 5.15pm at the latest. For continuity in filming, it will not be possible to seat anyone arriving after filming has begun, even if there is a break in the recording.

As the events are being filmed live, it is difficult to give an exact finish time. However, from previous experience we estimate that filming will finish at around 8.30pm.

When will I hear if I’ve been successful? What about if I haven’t been successful?

We will start to notify successful applicants from Tuesday 17 October and set a date by which payment should be made. When the payment deadline has passed, we will reallocate the tickets of those who haven’t paid to the next people in the ballot.

We will endeavour to offer all requested tickets, if you are successful in the ballot, however on rare occasions this might not be possible and you could be offered fewer tickets than originally requested.

Do you have any standby tickets available?

Standby tickets may go on sale after the ballot has ended, subject to availability.

Will the money be taken as soon as I enter or when/if I’ve been successful?

No. If you are successful, we will contact you with details on how to pay for your tickets after the ballot has closed.

How and when will I receive my ticket?

You will receive your ticket via post  in advance of the date you are attending filming.

Who do I get in touch with and how should I let the Ri know about my, or my child’s, accessibility needs?

Please email the CHRISTMAS LECTURES team at xmaslecs@ri.ac.uk in the first instance to discuss your requirements.

What safeguarding measures are in place at the Ri?

The Ri takes safeguarding of young people and vulnerable adults extremely seriously. You can read our policy here. During the filming of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, there will be designated DBS checked stewards in the Theatre to assist with any queries or concerns.

And as set out above, we are following UK Health Security Agency guidance with regard to any Covid-19 measures.

What should I do if any of my contact details are incorrect?

If there are any changes to your name, postal or email address then please contact us to update these details as soon as possible. You can update any of your personal details by contacting us at membership@ri.ac.uk or calling us on +44 (0)20 7491 6588.

Please note that on occasion emails can be directed to your junk or spam folders. Please ensure that @ri.ac.uk is added to your list of safe domains.

How do I get to the Ri?

Our building is located at 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS. We are a short walk from Green Park station on the London Underground, and there are buses that stop along Piccadilly at the top of Albemarle Street that depart from London Victoria (no. 38) and Charing Cross (no. 9) stations.

Is there parking at the Ri?

As the Ri is located in Mayfair in central London, parking is very limited and we advise attendees to use public transport where possible. For more information on nearby parking, please see https://www.westminster.gov.uk/parking

Details of getting to the Ri by public transport can be found on the find us section on our website.