Henley Festival 2021, Henley-on-Thames, UK
July 1 - July 31
Rustle out your DJ as the UK’s most glamorous festival, the Henley Festival returns to the banks of the River Thames in July 2021. The exact date is unknown as yet, with the 2020 event cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Expect Michelin star chefs, lots of bubbly, award winning comedy and famous bands to join in the Madness that is as close to the Great Gatsby as you can get this side of the Pond.
The Henley Festival was started 38 years ago as a classical music charitable event, and the not-for-profit ethos remains to this day with proceeds supporting both national and local charities.
Henley Festival Line Up 2021
Henley Festival Music
Festival organisers have confirmed that James Blunt, Madness, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Disco Classic and A Classical Salute will appear at the 2021 Henley Festival, but the rest of the perfomers are not confirmed. The following is the programme for the abandoned 2020 Henley Festival.
Frenetic festival revellers Madness will open the Henley Festival on Wednesday 8 July on the Floating Stage, performing classics House of Fun, Baggy Trousers and It Must Be Love along with tracks from their latest album The Bullingdon Boys.
Multi-award winning James Blunt will join in the fun on 9 July. While singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor will bring her mix of mixture of pop, disco, and 80s electronica to Henley on the Friday night. DJ Sara Cox will keep the party going into the early hours.
On 11 July Kathy Sledge, of 70s disco classic Sister Sledge – We Are Family – will reinvent the disco along with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra for the ultimate Henley party night.
Sunday will see a more subdued note, with Myleene Klass presenting Classic FM’s Classical Salute, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Bell. Expect military classics, Strauss, Gershwin and Rule Britannia with the evening culminating in the most spectacular fireworks extravaganza.
Henley has its own Jazz Club in the Spiegel Tent. The Boneshaker Band will perform on 8 July, with Moscow Drug Club on 9 July, and London’s Jazz Dynamos on 10 July. Natty Congeroo & the Flames of Rhythm will bring their eclectic mix of Swing, Hot Jazz, Rhythm ’n’ Blues, and Gospel to the tent on the Saturday night, while the Aureum Saxophone Quartet will close the Jazz Club on 12 July.
The Bedouin Tent will see a potpourri of World Music and UK folk, including Paprika, Max Pashm, Namvula, Julu & Heg, Henry Webster, Elliott Morris, Nicola & Jim, Martin Harley and Charlotte Campbell.
Henley Festival Comedy
Henley is not just about great music, fine cuisine and champagne. The Henley comedy line up for 2020 will see Rory Bremner, Al Murray, Milton Jones and Shappi Khorsandi amongst the 20 comedians ensuring your Henley Festival will be full of laughs.
Food at the Henley Festival
Michelin-star chef Angela Hartnett will create a bespoke menu exclusively for Henley festivalgoers at the Riverside Restaurant. Other foodie options include: Garden Bistro by Jimmy Garcia Oink, Hotel Chocolat, Black Cab Coffee Jessecco Prosecco.
Henley Family Sunday
Sunday is family day, with saxophonist YolanDa Brown performing alongside the Henley Symphony Orchestra. Glitter face painting, eccentric comedy and interactive performance art will ensure the kids are entertained while mum and dad, or dad and dad enjoy themselves.
Henley Festival Dress Code
The Festival is the only black-tie festival in the UK. Organisers say you can never be overdressed at the Henley Festival. There is no dress code for the Sunday family event, so you don’t have to find a min-Tux for the little’uns.
When is the Henley Festival 2021?
Some time in July 2021.
Where is the Henley Festival?
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK.
Tickets for Henley Festival
Details can be found here.
Getting to Henley-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames is only six miles from Reading, which has a direct fast service to London Paddington (20 minutes). Alternatively Henley-on-Thames station is about an hour’s ride from London Paddington, with a ten-minute walk to the festival. If coming by car take either the M4 (junction 8/9), or the M40 (Junction 4). Or of course, you could just turn up by boat.
Things to do in Henley-on-Thames
A picturesque market town, Henley-on-Thames is 25 miles from Oxford, and London a train ride away. Surrounded by the rolling hills of the Chilterns – an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty –Henley-on-Thames makes an ideal London weekend getaway.
More information on the Festival
For further information about the Festival, click here.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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