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Diary notes: Henley Festival set to return in 2024


Henley Festival – the UK’s only black-tie music and arts festival – will return to the beautiful riverside in Henley-on-Thames from Wednesday, 10 July to Sunday, 14 July 2024. The 2024 festival is presented by Westcoast.

Across five magical summer nights, Festival goers are invited to be part of something truly incredible – a world-class music programme of pop, world, classical, folk and jazz set alongside stellar comedy, stunning art galleries and sculpture installations, as well as gourmet dining, dancing and jaw-dropping fireworks.

Henley Festival was founded as a charity more than 40 years ago with a mission to support the next generation of talent. In 2024, the Festival’s RISE line-up will once again provide a platform for young musicians, comedians and visual artists to take their first steps on stage and offer opportunities for young people aspiring to work behind the scenes.

Across four decades, the festival’s iconic Floating Stage on the River Thames has hosted a raft of global superstars, including Elton John, Grace Jones, Rag’n’Bone Man, Dame Shirley Bassey, Nile Rodgers, Elvis Costello, Bryn Terfel, Jess Glynne, Will Young, BLAKE, Madness, Burt Bacharach, Ministry of Sound Classical, Rita Ora, and James Blunt.

Other stars to have graced the Floating Stage are Curtis Stigers & Rob Brydon, Lionel Richie, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, The Script, Katherine Jenkins, Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics, The Jacksons, Pet Shop Boys, Jessie J, Craig David, Tom Odell, Chaka Khan, Goldie, All Saints, Melanie C, Jamie Cullum, and the English National Opera.

As well as showcasing the world’s best-loved popular and classical musicians, Henley Festival celebrates jazz, world and folk in its atmospheric Spiegel and Bedouin Tents, alongside world-class DJs in the Festival Club.

More than music, the festival’s epic line-up of award-winning comedy has included performances from Julian Clary, Paul Merton, Shappi Khorsandi, Rich Hall, Russell Kane, Sara Pascoe, Joel Dommett, Tim Minchin, Reginald D Hunter, Nina Conti, Andy Hamilton, Jo Brand, Adam Kay, Andy Parsons, Jack Dee, Lucy Porter, The Boy with Tape on His Face, Marcus Brigstocke, Milton Jones, Fiona Allen, Rhys James and Al Murray.

From street food to fine dining, Henley is a Festival for food lovers with Michelin-starred chefs tantalising taste buds in the past few years, including Angela Hartnett MBE, Albert Roux, Michel Roux Junior and Daniel Clifford.

For art aficionados, Henley breaks the mould of traditional art displays at festivals with innovative installations curated by some of the UK’s most talented artists, sculptors, printmakers, photographers and galleries with installations and exhibitions adorning the green banks of the Thames.

On Sunday, the festival is transformed into an enchanting playground for children of all ages and stages at the Festival Playdate, with a whole host of dazzling activities, performances and concerts to inspire and entertain curious and creative little minds – creating memories for all the family.

And if that’s not enough, each evening is topped off with a jaw-dropping fireworks display.

The sensational line-up for 2024 will be revealed in January.

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