The Wokingham Paper

HENLEY FESTIVAL 2019: Boy George, Jessie J, Aled Jones and Julian Clary sign up for annual riverside event

Henley Festival
Henley Festival

THERE will be a floating stage, music from headliners such as Boy George and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and more glitz and glamour than a month of Strictly.

This summer’s Henley Festival, the UK’s only black-tie event of its kind, promises a line-up of star names, fine wine and top nosh set against a Great Gatsby backdrop.

Among the other attractions in between the champagne and fireworks, are Tom Odell, Jessie J and Classic FM.

They will be joined by comedians Ed Byrne, Jan Ravens, and Julian Clary.

Michelin star chef Angela Hartnett has created a bespoke menu exclusively for Henley Festival’s Riverside Restaurant, and throughout the lawns and pop-up galleries will be some of the biggest names in art including world-renowned street artist Ben Eine and UK leading wildlife sculptor Rosamond Lloyd.

Many festival goers arrive by boat to the festival’s spectacular setting on the riverbank in Henley-on-Thames from July 10 to July 14.

Opening the event will be pop icon and mega star Boy George who was recently presented with the Ivor Novello lifetime achievement award. The Grammy-award-winning singer has a worldwide presence selling more than 100 million singles and in excess of 50 million albums.

Henley Festival
Henley Festival

This year’s 37th Festival also welcomes back multi-platinum selling artist Jessie J who, since her last performance, served as a popular judge on both The Voice UK and The Voice Australia.

If you love Mamma Mia, then Saturday night is for you, with an appearance by the highly acclaimed BJÖRN AGAIN show. Designed as a rocked-up light-hearted satirical ABBA spoof, the show rapidly achieved world-wide Cult status and acknowledged for singlehandedly initiating the ABBA revival which brought about ABBA Gold, Muriel’s Wedding and, of course, Mamma Mia.

Classic FM’s popular film music programme Saturday Night at the Movies will be brought to life with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Pete Harrison, with guest soloists Johanna Röhrig (violin), Oliver Poole (piano) presented by popular Classic FM presenter Aled Jones.

This special showcase will be filled with popular classical music used in iconic films from the past 50 years together with some of the greatest Oscar-winning original soundtracks.

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.

This year’s Family Sunday offers balloon making, glitter tattoos, music lessons, comedy for children, toddler disco, choir performances.

Comedian Murray Lachlan-Young will also be bringing his special performance of Modern Cautionary Tales for Children to Henley and Turn Around Theatre will be presenting the tale of The Thief, Fox and The Phoenix at the festival.

Henley Festival
Henley Festival

The Henley Festival was originally a classical music charity event and it has an altruistic aim:

This year grants from the festival will go to two charities that are dedicated to supporting young people.

The first is The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust was set up in memory of a young man who took his own life whilst suffering from depression.

And The Teenage Wilderness Trust supports students who find it difficult to engage with mainstream education by offering reengagement courses using bush craft, wilderness learning techniques and practical life skills to encourage students to get back into learning.

For full details, go to: www.henley-festival.co.uk

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