New Acts Announced for The Henley Festival - 4 – 8 July 2012

  • New Acts: Blue, Nathan Pacheco, Laura Wright and Peridot dance group join other headliners Sting, Tim Minchin, Lulu, Katherine Jenkins, Olly Murs and Alfie Boe
  • Celebrating 30 years, The Henley Festival is the UK’s most magical summer party; 5 nights, 7 stages, 4 art galleries, Albert and Michel Roux Jr dining and 25,000 revellers in black-tie

The Henley Festival (4 – 8 July 2012) is the UK’s most luxurious festival, a magical, five-night, star-studded, strictly black-tie event on the banks of the River Thames. 

New acts announced are:

  • 00’s No. 1 Boy band Blue who join sixties-songstress Lulu and the London Community Gospel Choir on 7 July.
  • Urban dance troop Peridot will also join Lulu on stage for an entertaining dance showdown.
  • American singer/songwriter Nathan Pacheco will join mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins on 5 July.
  • One of 2011’s biggest selling classical artists Laura Wright joins acclaimed tenor Alfie Boe and co-writer of the Olivier award winning musical Matilda,Tim Minchin, on 6 July.

Acts already confirmed include:

  • Sting will open the Festival on 4 July.
  • Singing sensation Katherine Jenkins.
  • Top 10 recording artist, acclaimed Opera singer and recently the star of Les Miserables Alfie Boe with guest musical funnyman Tim Minchin.
  • Lulu and The London Community Gospel Choir.
  • X-Factor finalist Olly Murs will close the Festival on 8 July.

Tickets are selling fast at, and can also be bought from the Festival box office: 01491 843404.  Tickets are priced from £35 per day. All Festival profits go to local charities [details below].

This year the Festival is celebrating 30 years at the heart of the English summer season and has announced a line up like never before.

Composer, singer, author, actor, activist - Sting was born in Newcastle, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The band released five albums, earned six Grammy awards, and in 2003 was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Since 1985, Sting has released 13 solo albums. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of his solo career, 25 Years, the definitive box set collection, was recently released. The Best Of 25 Years is also available as a double disc. Sting has sold nearly 100 million albums from his combined work with the Police and as a solo artist and has earned an additional 10 Grammy awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and three Oscar nominations. This summer, Sting will perform many of his most celebrated hits at the Henley Festival on 4 July 2012.

Aside from the headline acts, black tie revellers will enjoy candlelit dining at award winning chefs Albert and Michel Roux Jr’s riverside restaurant or have a more relaxed bite at one of the Festival’s six other restaurants. Along the riverbank world-class acts [full details below] from the worlds of jazz, opera, pop, theatre, comedy and cabaret entertain while pop-up art boutiques and sculpture lawns bring major galleries and artists to the Festival.

The headline acts are closed each night by a dazzling firework display before partygoers dance into the night at the Festival’s resident nightclub.

Henley-on-Thames is 60 minutes from London by train, (or 10 minutes by helicopter to the Festival’s helipad). Many guests choose to make a weekend of it and stay in one of the many five star hotels in Henley or nearby [more details below].

Henley Festival 2012 acts:

Cabaret and performance:
Among the stand-up comedy acts on offer are Have I got News for you! regular Dr Phil Hammond, Fascinating Aïda star Sarah-Louise Young, and charismatic Canadian comedic Craig Campbell.

The Festival’s signature cabaret acts, The Roving Company of Eccentrica, will amuse, entertain, surprise and shock guests with their unique brand of street performances, spread throughout the Festival’s grounds.

World-class dining:
Revellers enjoy candlelit summer nights dining at Albert and Michelin Starred Michel Roux Jr’s Festival riverside Roux restaurant, try the Terrace Restaurant or Café du Soir, (no booking required) - or have a more relaxed bite to eat at one of the Festival’s street-food concessions.

FEAST! Contemporary arts programme
Pop up art boutiques and sculpture lawns bring major galleries and artists to the Festival. The Festival’s Visual Arts Programme includes FEAST! - an exceptional range of selling exhibitions – including the Festival’s famous Sculpture gardens - that showcases major international established artists and emerging talent.

2012 highlights include:

  • The serious surrealism of Alexander Vorobyev
  • Abstract contemporary art by Jeffrey Kroll and Nicolas Ruston
  • The Festival’s annual sculpture garden featuring the work of British sculptor Roland Piche and Auguste Rodin’s iconic masterpiece The Thinker.
  • “Carbon Art” specialist Alastair Gibson
  • Aboriginal Art from Australia
  • Body painted optical illusions created live by Kiwi artist Emma Hack

All profits to charity
The Henley Festival is a not for profit organisation. All profits raised go to local and national charities across the Thames Valley. This includes creating and funding the Henley Festival Orchestra which provides over 80 young people with a musical instrument, tuition and performance opportunities throughout the year. The Henley Festival Orchestra also enjoys the opportunity to work with outstanding international performers including Nigel Kennedy and Jon Lord.
Find out more here:

Stewart Collins, Henley Festival Artistic Director said: “To celebrate the Festival’s landmark birthday we’ve really pulled out all the stops. This year’s programme promises to be one of our most sensational to date – after all, 30 years is an achievement for any event and we wanted to see our guests celebrate in style. The Henley Festival is renowned for leaving our guests with magical memories and this will be an unmissable year for regulars and newcomers alike.’

The Henley Festival is sponsored by Invesco Perpetual, Westcoast, Lavazza Coffee, Benham Goodhead Print and Courtiers amongst others, the Festival showcases some of the best loved artists and performers from the classical, jazz and contemporary music world, as well as talent drawn from the global cultural scene, from sculpture and street theatre acts to poetry and art.

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Henley Festival Press Office:
Kallaway PR
• Rajina Gurung, Sussanah Glynn, Will Kallaway:
• Telephone 0207 221 7883 or email
• Henley Festival images:

Telephone box office: 01491 843404
Tickets go on sale to the public: 15 March 2012
Tickets priced from: £35 per day.

Become a Friend of the Henley Festival:
Friends enjoy benefits such as priority booking for Festival tickets and boat moorings, free upgrade of tickets if available and an invite to the directors Champagne reception.
Full details can be found here:

Opening times:
Wednesday 4 July: 18:00 – 00:00
Thursday 5 July: 18:00 – 00:00
Friday 6 July: 18:00 – 01:00
Saturday 7 July: 18:00 – 01:30
Sunday 8 July: 18.30 – 23.30

What to Wear?
The dress code is strictly black-tie. For gentlemen the quintessentially English black tie with a twist of eccentricity and a dash of daring is the order of the evening. For ladies, the Festival is a time for glamorous cocktail dresses and gowns with jewels. Full cloakroom facilities are provided.

Getting to the Festival
Getting to Henley on Thames is quick and easy:

  • Train: 60 minutes from London Paddington
  • Car: 35 miles (or 40 minutes) along M4 motorway from London
  • Helicopter: 15 minutes from London to the Festival’s helipad

Make a Weekend of It
Henley is overlooked by beautiful Chiltern landscapes of wooded hills and green fields, ideal for walks and picnics. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the very heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stallholders and shoppers on market days.

Examples of where to Stay

  • The Hotel du Vin is a character property, located in the former Brakspears brewery, only 50 yards from Henley’s waterfront. Food and wine take high priority here; with al fresco tables. Parking facilities,
  • The French Horn, nestling at the foot of the Chilterns at Sonning is a traditional English country house,
  • Danesfield House Hotel and Spa is set in 65 acres of estate grounds with a Michelin Starred restaurant on the outskirts of town

The Henley Festival Trust
The Henley Festival is not for profit. All profits and Festival Friends membership fees go to local and national charities across the Thames Valley including brain injury charity Headway and creating and funding the Henley Festival Orchestra. Donations are distributed through the Henley Festival Trust, which is funded by the Festival.

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