Arts & Culture

Henley Festival are hugely excited to welcome pop icon and music legend Elton John to perform on the Floating Stage at the UK’s leading boutique festival on Wednesday 6 July 2016.

Following the release of his hotly anticipated new album, Wonderful Crazy Night due out on 5 February 2016, Elton John will perform on the Floating Stage for the first time in the 34 year history of the festival. Elton John’s performance at Henley will be one of only five concerts in the UK next year and the only place to see him perform in a unique riverside setting.

Elton John is one of the world’s most famous and best loved musicians. Having sold more than 250 million records worldwide, he holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time, has had 37 gold and 27 multi-platinum albums, and has played over 3,500 concerts across 80 countries.

With festival goers dressed in black tie and Michelin starred food on offer, Elton John’s performance on the River Thames to 7,000 festival goers will be the most exclusive night of the year, his performance will be followed by a magical 15 minute firework display along the river.

Elton John has said: “The simple truth is I want to spend more time with my family, and I am only too aware of just how precious the time ahead is. My sons are growing up so quickly; their early years are just flying by and I want to be there with them. So these concerts will give me the chance to thank the British audiences who have been so faithful to me over these many decades. We cannot get to everyone but I am going to try – and I am thrilled that I will be able to say I have played the beautiful Henley-on-Thames.”

Charlotte Geeves, Henley Festival Director said: “We are extremely excited to be able to announce that the world’s most famous pop star will be headlining Henley Festival for the first time. Henley Festival goers are huge Elton John fans so he can expect a very warm welcome when he plays at Henley. It’s definitely going to be a night to remember and we can’t wait for him to open the festival in July.”

Henley Festival, the UK’s most glamorous boutique festival, returns to its stunning setting along the river in Henley-on-Thames from 6 - 10 July 2016 with tickets going on sale to the general public on Monday 7 December at 10am.

Henley Festival, where revellers wear Black Tie, food is catered by Michelin starred chefs and each night ends in a magical firework display, is one of the UK’s most unique festivals. As a non-camping festival, Henley is the perfect antidote to watching music in a muddy field, offering festival goers a one of a kind festival experience that continues to grow from year to year, with an audience of 35,000 people expected in 2016.

In 2016 Henley Festival will be shaking up its festival format offering one of the most diverse and exciting line ups of the festival season. Festival goers can expect both young upcoming talent and some of the biggest names in the business across music, comedy, food, visual arts, street theatre and late night revelry.

The Henley Festival is run on a “not for profit‚Äù basis and through that it is also able to support local charities

Henley’s iconic Floating Stage, boasting a spectacular backdrop of the River Thames, has played host to the world’s most celebrated popular, world and classical musicians for over three decades. Each of the five festival nights from the 6th of July 2016 will offer a show stopping performance from an industry great. Watch this space for headliner announcements.  For the first time in 2016, Henley will showcase up and coming talent with a five day programme of unsigned acts on a brand new music stage at the festival. Henley will also be bringing a programme of late night entertainment from some of the UKs brightest Jazz and World Music stars to a unique stage at this year’s festival.

Alongside music from the world’s biggest stars of popular and classical music, Henley has the best food credentials of any UK festival, bringing together Michelin starred chefs and award winning restaurateurs from around the country to create bespoke dishes for festival goers. Previous chefs at the festival have included Albert Roux & Michael Roux Jn, Atul Kochhar and Mark Hix, and 2016’s food programme will be no less mouth-watering with a new Michelin starred chef soon to be announced.

Shaking up its festival format for 2016, Henley will be bringing a programme of red hot British comedians to the festival, doubling Henley Festival’s comedy bill in size from previous years.

Henley Festival’s visual art offering has grown from strength to strength in the last decade, and the festival prides itself on supporting independent artists and galleries. In 2016 the festival will showcase contemporary art installation and sculpture across the festival site as well as hanging works by leading photographers and painters in a series of pop up galleries dotted around the festival. Artists who exhibited at the festival in 2015 included: Damien Hurst, Marc Quinn, Gil Carvalho, Gerard Sexton and Jiwon Oh.

Get your dance hit each night, with Henley’s resident DJ to keep the celebrations going into the small hours. Embrace a revelry filled night of the surreal and the beautiful as you encounter Henley Festival’s international collective of street theatre entertainers, cabaret stars, buskers and DJs. Henley Festival’s enchanting roving troupe of street entertainers interact with festival goers offering delights, surprises and mesmerising performances throughout the festival.

Not just for grownups, Sunday at Henley festival is Family Day, where kids can enjoy festival site and interact with children’s entertainers, musicians, comedians and street entertainers as well as taking part in crafting sessions and making art, while parents can relax in the stunning festival grounds.

Tickets go on sale to the public on Monday 7 December and start from £35