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HENLEY FESTIVAL REVEALS SENSATIONAL LINE-UP FOR 2024

Featuring… NICOLE SCHERZINGER, DAVE STEWART’S EURYTHMICS SONGBOOK GLADYS KNIGHT, RYLAN! Late in Pure Heaven HOUSE GOSPEL CHOIR, MINISTRY OF SOUND IBIZA ANTHEMS WITH ELLIE SAX,
NIGEL KENNEDY, SAM RYDER
MARK WATSON, ANGELA BARNES, SARA PASCOE, MARCEL LUCONT, DARA Ó BRIAIN & much more…

Henley Festival Presented by Westcoast is thrilled to reveal a sensational line-up for 2024, featuring five magical summer nights packed full of world-class music, comedy, dining, dancing and magical moments from Wednesday 10 July to Sunday 14 July, with headliners including Nicole Scherzinger, Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics Songbook, Gladys Knight, Rylan, Nigel Kennedy, Sam Ryder and much more.

Westcoast, a Berkshire based technology company distributing some of the world’s leading tech brands, are delighted to continue their long association with Henley Festival in 2024 and to support RISE, Henley Festival’s charitable programme.

The UK’s only black-tie music and arts festival – an unmissable experience set on the beautiful riverside in Henley-on-Thames – invites Festival goers 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.

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 line-up 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. 

“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.” Jo Bausor, CEO of Henley Festival

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.

“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.” KATYA, inaugural recipient of the Westcoast Rising Star Award

‘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.’ Jess Tyley, Marketing Director, Westcoast

HENLEY FESTIVAL 2024: FULL LINE-UP

FLOATING STAGE HEADLINERS

NICOLE SCHERZINGER | | GLADYS KNIGHT 

DAVE STEWART’S EURYTHMICS SONGBOOK 

HOUSE GOSPEL CHOIR | MINISTRY OF SOUND IBIZA ANTHEMS WITH ELLIE SAX

And on Sunday… NIGEL KENNEDY| SAM RYDER

LATE NIGHT in The Club

RYLAN! | THE BOOTLEG BEATLES 

COMEDY at the Paradiso & Riverside

MARK WATSON | ANGELA BARNES | DARA Ó BRIAIN | SARA PASCOE | FLO & JOAN | MARCEL LUCONT

RISE by Henley Festival

Creating opportunities for emerging talent to learn, perform and flourish

Westcoast Rising Star Award Winner KATYA 

ALEX FRANCIS | LOUISE PARKER | THE MULTIVERSE 

EDEN HUNTER | THE GREAT LESLIE | THE WAVE MACHINE 

JAZZ & SWING at the Paradiso

MIMI ROSE & THE MULBERRY EARLS | REBECCA POOLE | BELLE NOIR 

ELECTRO SWING PROJECT | NATTY CONGEROO & THE FLAMES OF RHYTHM

WORLD in the Bedouin Tent

AMUSE MANOUCHE | COYOTE | NATALIE GRAY | HORSES ON THE BEACH | JESSE SMITH | JG COLLECTIVE

LADY NADE | BETH MORRIS & THE MOONRISERS | CHARLOTTE CAMPBELL | BLOC OFF THE WALL 

VISUAL ARTS in Henley Festival’s Galleries & Sculpture Garden

HAUT DE GAMME | PUNCHBOWL GALLERY | THE BARKER GALLERY

I SPY CONTEMPORARY – TOMMY GURR | PANTER & HALL | AMBER GALLERY

AFTER NYNE CONTEMPORARY GALLERY | NINA BROOKE | THE DRANG GALLERY

MARIE BOYLE | FIONA HUNGER | MIKE CLANCY 

CHRISTOPHER TOWNSEND | SIMON PROBYN | HOLLY BENDALL 

plus RISE artists WILLIAM BACON and DISCOVERY 88: AMIE ELIZABETH 

PLAYDATE @ Henley Festival

JONNY AWSUM | MARCEL LUCONT: LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES | FRED IN THE SHED

OUT OF THE BOX: DARRYL CARRINGTON | KIDS SILENT DISCO | PUNCH & JUDY | PROFESSOR STRANGE  TWISTINA THE AMAZING BALLOON LADY | BUBBLE FAIRY | HOCUS POCUS CLOWNS | CIRCUS SKILLS 

MATT PANG’S HAPPY HEART BIKE | DOODLE JAM | SINGING WORKSHOPS | PEMBERTON & HAGUE 

THOMAS TRILBY | HUMAN HEDGES | FUTURE MANNEQUINS | SLINKIES | KITSCH KAFÉ

THE FLOATING STAGE HEADLINERS 2023

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’ – for which she won an Evening Standard Theatre Award for ‘Best Musical Performance’ for the part and is nominated for many more. The Masked Singer panellist and Olivier-nominated singer, Scherzinger has sold more than 60 million records, both solo and as part of The Pussycat Dolls, as well as featuring as a judge on The X Factor, cast member on NBC’s Annie Live! in 2021 and winning Dancing with the Stars in 2010. 

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. Featuring Dave alongside an all-female band of virtuoso singers and musicians, the show promises to take fans on a nostalgic and electrifying musical journey spanning four decades of the iconic musical partnership’s ground-breaking hits. Celebrating a remarkable 40 years since the release of the timeless Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Eurythmics, known for their unique blend of synth-pop, new wave, soul and rock, have sold over 75 million albums worldwide since their 1980’s debut and have become enduring icons of popular music.

Henley Festival is thrilled to 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. Enjoying #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary, Knight has recorded over 38 albums over the years. With Gladys Knight & The Pips, the group went on to record some of the most memorable songs of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including “Every Beat of my Heart”, “Letter Full of Tears”, and the #1 smash hit “Midnight Train to Georgia”- with the party kept rolling with hits like “On and On” from the Academy Award nominated soundtrack of Curtis Mayfield’s “Claudine,” and “That’s What Friends are For” with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dionne Warwick. This is a performance sure to have the Henley Festival audience dancing on the banks of the Thames.

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! Since appearing as a contestant on the ninth series of The X Factor, Ryan has taken the nation by storm, and ten years on, he is one of the UK’s most loved broadcasters, best known for his work on Strictly: It Takes Two, This Morning, Celebrity Goggle Box, Eurovision, Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and the host of BBC Radio 2’s Rylan on Saturday

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 London-based vocal group, which debuted in 2014 at Glastonbury Festival, is the place where spirituality and the euphoria of the dancefloor come together – amped up further by a full house band and percussion from the one and only Dezy Bongo, creating an effortless live fusion of the biggest house and gospel tunes that never fails to raise the roof. 

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 not one, but two incredible musical talents. The night will star one of classical music’s true greats: Nigel Kennedy. Kennedy remains the bestselling violinist of all time, and his virtuoso technique, unique talent and mass appeal have brought fresh perspectives to both the classical and contemporary repertoire. He has won multiple awards across the world, performed and recorded music from the baroque era to the modern day, and his most recent album My World just hit the top of the classical charts in the UK. Nigel Kennedy’s performance at Henley Festival – called ‘Nigel Kennedy: Musical Adventure’ – will be music to the crowd’s ears. 

Rounding out the festival is none other than Sam Ryder, who – since uploading his now infamous covers during lockdown in 2020 – has rocketed into the musical stratosphere. With his hit single Space Man, he gave the United Kingdom its best Eurovision result since 1998 and the highest-charting UK Eurovision entry in over a quarter of a century. His debut album ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ was a catalogue of infectious pop energy that soared to number 1 and rapid successes have earned him personal bests, as well as prestigious accolades, including performing at the Queen’s Jubilee, the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Wembley Stadium and closing out the 2023 BRIT Awards and a BRIT Nomination for ‘Breakthrough Act’. 

RISE by HENLEY FESTIVAL

Henley Festival was set up in 1982 as a charity whose mission is to stage an unforgettable music and arts Festival for the local community. This mission remains the same. In 2022, Henley Festival launched their new charitable initiative RISE, nurturing the next generation of talent to take their first steps into the wonderful world of performance, both in front and behind the spotlight. RISE creates opportunities for emerging talent to learn, perform and flourish: for young musicians and visual artists to showcase their work on a grand scale, alongside a work experience programme to support young people aspiring to work behind the scenes on bringing the creative process together. 

This year, the RISE musicians line-up is once again set to impress, including 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.

The visual artists taking part in Henley Festival’s charitable initiative RISE will also be showcased at the High RISE Gallery, including William Bacon, a London-based artist who works primarily with found objects that interrogate the traces of modern culture, and award-winning abstract artist Amie Elizabeth. RISE Backstage will be growing to welcome two Sound Engineers, two Lighting Engineers and, new for this year, two Production Staff.

JAZZ in the Paradiso

Henley’s very own jazz club in the Paradiso opens its doors on Wednesday with a stunning performance from Mimi Rose & The Mulberry Earls, a quartet of the finest and most distinguished musicians helmed by a well-established vocalist who will elevate the atmosphere with her rich, soulful vocals, glamorous style and bright energy. Thursday’s performance features the highly acclaimed singer-songwriter Rebecca Poole, previously performing under the artist name ‘Purdy’, whose dulcet tones landed her a part in the hit Netflix series The Crown, singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”. Friday sees festival favourites Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm return to Henley to share their trademark high energy performance of electrifying Hot Jazz, Swing, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues and Gospel numbers. 

Come Saturday, Belle Noir will take to the stage, with the trio channelling the golden age of Hollywood to delight the audience their mesmerizingly sultry spin on songs by legends. Closing the Festival on Sunday is the Electro Swing Project, produced by musical director Sarah Louise Ings and featuring a brilliant roster of London’s most acclaimed musicians, performers and West End singers who will undoubtedly tempt the audience to dance the night away!

WORLD & FOLK in the Bedouin Tent

Henley Festival’s beautiful Bedouin Tent will treat festival goers to a spellbinding mix of global world music and local folk in a relaxed, bohemian setting, alongside drinks and dancing. On Wednesday, the line-up features Brighton-based gypsy swing band Amuse Manouche, with their hot club sounds inspired by jazz greats such as Django Reinhardt and Ella Fitzgerald, while cool and contemporary party band Coyote will round off opening night with their exceptional covers of both modern and classic hits. On Thursday, Reading-based artist Natalie Gray will share a performance filled with fun, upbeat and catchy pop and synth beats, before Horses on the Beach captivate the crowd with a blend of Latin and Balkan jazz, hip hop and ska. Multi-award-winning eclectic Folk and Americana singer-songwriter Lady Nade will take audiences on a journey with the healing power of music on Friday night, while Beth Morris & The Moonrisers of The Voice fame will keep the party going with their electrifying performance.

Come Saturday, Charlotte Campbell takes her street performances to the stage with her upbeat roster of pop classics, while apres-ski icons, Bloc off the Wall, round off the night with their high-energy set list and incredible stage presence. Sunday ends on a high note with a performance by acclaimed lead vocalist for The Classic Rock Show, Led Zeppelin Symphonic, and Strictly Come Dancing sensation Jesse Smith, before the night signs off with a spell-binding showband performance by JG Collective.

AWARD-WINNING COMEDY in the Paradiso and Riverside

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.

OUTDOOR CABARET in the SALON QUARTER STAGE sponsored by Beckhoff

New for 2024, the Salon Quarter is a vibrant area featuring outdoor cabaret on a raised stage in the round within a beautiful riverside setting. With acts and DJs both pre and post floating stage concert, enjoy a meal in the Festival’s only non-bookable restaurant, or a cocktail from the bar whilst soaking up the vibes of our eclectic music and street theatre programme. 

FESTIVAL FOR FOOD LOVERS

From fine dining to street food, Henley is the Festival for food lovers with a raft of pop-up bars and restaurants adorning the riverside sure to tantalise all taste buds. Proud to support British farming and seasonal, locally sourced produce, ‘Dish’ will return to the stunning Riverside Restaurant this year, offering festival goers an outstanding fine dining experience of exceptional quality and innovative design, and ‘Caper and Berry’ will return to the Terrace Restaurant. 

VISUAL ARTS SHOWCASE

Henley Festival is known for bringing visual art to the forefront of the festival scene with innovative installations curated by some of the UK’s most talented artists, photographers and galleries. This year’s unparalleled programme will bring fine art, ceramics, sculptures, photography, prints and paintings to the banks of the Thames, with a raft of stunning work adorning the Festival’s Galleries and Sculpture Garden. Exhibitors include Haut de Gamme, Punchbowl Gallery, The Barker Gallery, Panter & Hall and world-renowned artists Tommy Gurr and Nina Brooke. 

PLAYDATE AT HENLEY FESTIVAL

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. Musical comedian Jonny Awsum will be performing his Award-Winning Kids Show in the Spiegel Tent, and Marcel Loucont will be hosting the wild interactive game show, “Les Enfants Terribles” where international insouciance meets infantile exuberance. There will be entertainment aplenty for little ones with Darryl Carrington’s “Out of the Box” stage performance of everything from traditional circus skills to modern technology; Fred in the Shed’s enthralling magical entertainment with his mischievous animal friends; Professor Twistopher’s traditional Punch and Judyshow; crazy time-travelling magician Professor Strange performing mind-blowing magic and lively circus tricks on his giant tricycle; Twistina the Amazing Balloon Lady’s brilliant balloon models; the surreal Hocus Pocus Clowns; the juggling, dancing and entertaining duo Pemberton and Hague; international circus performer Thomas Trilby, a live Doodle Jam session with Tommy Gurr, the fantastical Human HedgesFuture Mannequins, Slinkies, and a nostalgic food adventure with the 60’s- and 70’s-themed Kitsch Kafé

SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS

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, from The Mayor of London New Year’s Eve celebrations, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Liverpool River of Light, Hull 2017 City of Culture, England 2015 Rugby World Cup, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to the London 2012 Olympics. Henley is the only music festival working Titanium and their extraordinary brand of sparkle is the perfect partner for the magical and unforgettable memories made at the Henley-on-Thames riverside.

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