The UK’s only boutique black-tie festival is coming
Henley Festival is bringing a new level of luxury to the summer festival season
A black-tie dress code and Michelin starred menu aren’t often two components you’d discover at a festival, but that’s exactly what glamorous boutique festival Henley Festival is offering discerning guests. Taking over the idyllic settings of the riverbank in Henley-on-Thames from 11-15 July, the event boasts Turner Prize-nominated artists and performances from the biggest names in popular music – including Rita Ora, Grace Jones and Nile Rodgers & Chic.
The picturesque grounds will be transformed into a Great Gatsby spectacle, as suited and booted guests arrive – many by boat – across the festival site, to the views of fireworks filling the sky. As well as contemporary music, live jazz is also on the bill courtesy of the Festival’s very own Jazz Club. In the stunning Spiegel Tent, musicians such as Purdy – who has supported Lana Del Ray and Jools Holland – and Ray Gelato and the Giants will take to the stage.
For gastronomes, there’s a myriad of fine dining options to enjoy. Angela Hartnett MBE will be creating an exclusive bespoke menu at the Riverside Restaurant, focusing on the ‘purity of flavour and reverence’. “I am absolutely delighted to be working closely with the Henley Festival for the first time and to serve the food that I love at such a great and iconic event, ” the chef said.
Elsewhere the spotlight is on art, as some of Britain’s most talented artists, photographers and galleries present their masterpieces. This year, work from Turner Prize-nominated artist and Royal Academician David Mach will be presented, as well as founder of the Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards, Charlie Waite. Award-winning wildlife sculptor Rosamond Lloyd will also be collaborating with the contemporary art curator and aboriginal art collector Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi on an exhibit that’s yet to be unveiled.
Set up 36 years ago as a classical music charity event, Henley Festival continues to run on a non-profit basis today, supporting both local and national projects. This year proceeds will be donated to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a suicide-prevention and mental health charity, and The Teenage Wilderness Trust, which offers students courses on bush craft, wilderness learning techniques and practical life skills to reengage them in education.