Henley Festival is set to return in 2024 and promises to stage an unforgettable, unique experience featuring five unmissable summer nights packed full of world-class music, comedy, dining, dancing and magical moments on the stunning riverside in Henley-on-Thames.
Taking place from Wednesday, 10 to Sunday, 14 July, the organisers of the UK’s only black-tie music and arts festival have revealed a sensational lineup for 2024, with headliners including Nicole Scherzinger, Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics Songbook, Gladys Knight, Rylan, Nigel Kennedy, Sam Ryder and much more.
Festival goers are invited to be part of something truly amazing – 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.
The Henley Festival 2024 lineup
Opening this year’s Henley Festival on its iconic Floating Stage is none other than the international icon, singer and actress Nicole Scherzinger, fresh from her triumphant residency at The Savoy Theatre starring as lead role Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical ‘Sunset Boulevard’.
The first Festival night will be brought to a vibrant ending by The Bootleg Beatles, the world’s premier Beatles tribute band, taking The Club on a whistle-stop journey through the most revolutionary and divisive decade of all: the Swinging Sixties.
On Thursday, Dave Stewart, the award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, producer, innovator and Eurythmics co-founder, is set to captivate the Floating Stage audience with ‘Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics Songbook’, including a carefully curated selection of timeless hits from Eurythmics extraordinary catalogue of songs.
Henley Festival will welcome Empress of Soul’, music legend, seven-time Grammy Award winner, Hollywood Walk of Fame and Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee Gladys Knight to headline the unique Floating Stage on Friday – an extra special occasion as it will mark last show of her UK Farewell Tour.
As the sun goes down on Henley Festival’s Friday evening, award-winning television presenter, radio DJ, podcaster and number one best-selling author, Rylan, will be DJing and entertaining the crowd with a trademark larger-than-life performance!
The extraordinary House Gospel Choir will open Saturday night’s Floating Stage performances, getting the Henley audience singing, dancing and raving along with their unique House meets Gospel experience.
The atmosphere will continue to be electric on Saturday evening as Ministry of Sound Ibiza Anthems with Ellie Sax take to the Floating Stage, presenting the anthems that have sound-tracked everyone’s most iconic Ibiza moments. Following last year’s sell-out show, the iconic dance music brand Ministry of Sound returns to Henley Festival with a brand-new show for 2024 – ‘Ministry of Sound Ibiza Anthems with Ellie Sax’ – bringing The White Isle to Henley for one night only.
On Sunday – the final evening at Henley Festival – the Floating Stage will welcome two incredible musical talents. The night will star one of classical music’s true greats – Nigel Kennedy, the bestselling violinist of all time. Rounding out the festival is Sam Ryder, who – since uploading his now infamous covers during lockdown in 2020 – has rocketed into the musical stratosphere.
Henley Festival will once again be bringing world-class laughs to the Thames riverside, opening on Wednesday night with a performance by multi-award-winning comedian, author and sports pundit Mark Watson, who made history with his solo and uninterrupted 24-hour show at the Edinburgh Festival.
On Thursday, the multi-award-deserving flâneur, raconteur and bon-viveur Marcel Lucont returns to Henley with his trademark deadpan French wit, wry observations and world-class erotic poetry.
Broadcast favourite Angela Barnes, as seen on Mock the Week and The Now Show, takes the stage on Friday with her self-effacing stand-up set and is followed by the Host of Great British Sewing Bee, star of Taskmaster, Live At The Apollo, as well as award-winning writer and actor, Sara Pascoe, on Saturday.
Sunday will see Rosie and Nicola Dempsey take to the stage with their comedy music act Flo & Joan before Henley Festival is brought to a close by one the world’s favourite stand-up comedians and television presenters Dara Ó Briain, host of Mock the Week, Blockbusters, Robot Wars, Stargazing Live, Dara and Ed’s Great Big Adventure and Dara Ó Briain’s Go 8Bit.
Henley’s very own jazz club in the Paradiso will feature incredible performances from jazz quartet Mimi Rose & The Mulberry Earls, singer-songwriter Rebecca Poole, festival favourites Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm, the mesmerising Belle Noir, and the Electro Swing Project.
The beautiful Bedouin Tent will treat festivalgoers to a spellbinding mix of global world music and local folk in a relaxed, bohemian setting. Expect performances from Brighton-based gypsy swing band Amuse Manouche, contemporary party band Coyote, Reading-based artist Natalie Gray, the captivating Horses on the Beach, singer-songwriter Lady Nade, the electrifying Beth Morris & The Moonrisers.
Come Saturday, Charlotte Campbell takes her street performances to the stage and Bloc off the Wall round off the night with their high-energy set list. Sunday ends on a high note with Strictly Come Dancing sensation Jesse Smith and a spell-binding showband performance by JG Collective.
Playdate at Henley Festival will take over the riverside on Sunday with a range of activities and performances for children of all ages – it’s set to be an unmissable day out for the whole family with a jam-packed programme.
Each iconic evening at Henley Festival is brought to a jaw-dropping conclusion with spectacular firework displays exclusively designed by the passionate pyrotechnic professionals at Titanium Fireworks, the team behind some of the UK’s biggest firework shows in the last decade.
Founded as a charity more than 40 years ago, Henley Festival’s mission is to support the next generation of talent. This year’s Henley Festival RISE lineup will once again give a platform for young musicians, comedians and visual artists to take their first steps on stage, as well offering opportunities for young people aspiring to work behind the scenes.
Expect performances on the RISE Emerging Talent Stage Presented by Westcoast from Alex Francis with his captivating blend of contemporary pop and classical soul; Plymouth-based jazz and soul vocalist Louise Parker; young Ukrainian artist, producer and multi-instrumentalist The Multiverse, previously known as Oleksandr Balabanov; this year’s winner of the Westcoast Rising Star Award – genre-blending producer, singer and songwriter KATYA; pop princess Eden Hunter; and band of indie brothers The Great Leslie. The Wave Machine, the solo project of Angus Trott, a Cornwall-based multi-instrumentalist inspired by the ways of the ocean, will close RISE by Henley Festival on Sunday.
Jo Bausor, CEO of Henley Festival, said: “RISE is rapidly becoming the beating heart of Henley Festival and is at the core of everything we do. We’re delighted to be able to expand our RISE programme in 2024 to provide more paid opportunities for young emerging talent to perform, exhibit or complete work placements.”
New for this year, Henley Festival has presented the inaugural Westcoast RISING Star Award – celebrating outstanding achievement and great potential – to singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist KATYA, known for her refreshingly personal solo performances where she combines her soulful vocals and layered guitar with electronic beats, jazz overtones and atmospheric soundscapes.
KATYA’s debut single, “I’ll Take Your Number”, was released the day before her performance on the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury and garnered national and international radio support with spins on BBC Radio 1 and on Germany’s Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
KATYA, the inaugural recipient of the Westcoast Rising Star Award, said: “I’m really grateful to have been chosen to receive Westcoast’s Rising Star award. It means so much to be acknowledged for my music and the work I continue to put in to further my career, particularly as an independent artist. RISE at Henley Festival is such an important initiative, and the support it provides up-and-coming creatives like myself is invaluable.”
Westcoast, a Berkshire-based technology company distributing some of the world’s leading tech brands, is delighted to continue its long association with Henley Festival in 2024 and to support RISE, Henley Festival’s charitable programme.
Jess Tyley, Marketing Director of Westcoast, said: “We are delighted to continue our ongoing support to Henley Festival’s RISE programme, acknowledging the vital role it plays in championing emerging musicians during challenging times for grassroots music.
“It is with huge excitement that we announce the inauguration of this year’s Westcoast Rising Star Award, presented to the exceptionally talented Katya. This award underscores our commitment to nurturing and celebrating the bright future of artists who contribute significantly to the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry.”
Here’s when you’ll be able to purchase your Henley Festival tickets:
- Patrons – Wednesday 24 January 2024
- Platinum Friends – Friday 26 January 2024
- Gold Friends – Monday 29 January 2024
- Silver Friends – Tuesday 30 January 2024
- Bronze Friends – Wednesday 31 January 2024
- General Public – Friday 02 February 2024