The UK's only black-tie festival - Henley Festival, which is held on the banks of the Thames at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, from Wednesday 11th until Sunday 15th July 2018 - has announced a line-up of music, comedy, top-chef food and art, topped-off each night with a firework display.
Music headliners on the Floating Stage over the five days are (respectively) Rita Ora, Grace Jones, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Curtis Stigers and the Ronnie Scotts Big Band Present 'Sinatra At The Sands', and English National Opera performing with soloists, full orchestra and chorus and under the baton of ENO Music Director Martyn Brabbins. Their repertoire is taken from many of the greatest operas including Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro, Madam Butterfly, Turandot and La Traviata as well as a little Gilbert & Sullivan to top the night off.
For music elsewhere, there's Ray Gelato and the Giants, Purdy, The Staks Band, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, and Miss Kiddy and The Cads, all in the Jazz club, and from BBC Introducing there's Pearl, TN, Lorne, Alex Green, Cecil, and WolfNote.
In the Beduoin Tent there's world music from The Coute Diomboulou Band, Son Yambu, The Bikini Beach Band, Trovador, Against The Grain, and also folk music from The Coal Porters, Megan Henwood, Maz O'Connor, Solasta, and Le Bistrotet.
For comedy, there's Paul Merton, Lee Nelson, Lucy Porter, Mark Watson, Dominic Holland, The Great British Take Off (Jon Culshaw & Bill Dare), Suzi Ruffell, Pierre Novellie, Rhys James, Flo & Joan, Alfie Brown, and Adam Rowe, plus cabaret from Tina C, and Vellma Celli.
And for the foodies Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett MBE will be taking the reins of Europe’s biggest field restaurant, creating a bespoke menu exclusively for Henley, at the Riverside Restaurant. There'll also be restaurants popping up including Crooked Billet, The Spice Merchant, and Brasserie @ Jazz Club in the Speigltent, alongside street food from BBQ club, Snob Lobster, Jessecco Prosecco, Pizza Express and Audacious Crispy Squid, and champagne and cocktails from Moët Champagne Bar, Black Cab Coffee & Cocktails, Hotel du Vin and many more.
And while the festival is an adult only event, Sunday daytime sees the festival turned into a huge playground for families and kids of all ages, with activities and entertainers, who captivate and enchant. 2018’s Family Sunday offers balloon making, glitter tattoos, music lessons, comedy for kids, toddler disco, choir performances as well as fantastic entertainment from TV favourites Mr Bloom, Mr Danger and Fun & Gamz.
Tickets will go on sale on Monday 5th February. We'll have links to buy when on sale.
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