Sting, Lulu, Olly Murs and more for Henley Festival 2012

  • 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
  • Sixties-songstress, Lulu and The London Community Gospel Choir
  • X-Factor finalist Olly Murs will close the Festival on 8 July.

The Henley Festival is the UK’s most glamorous summer party; five magical nights on the banks of the River Thames in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside. Tickets go on sale to the public from 15 March or you can beat the wait and become a Friend of the Henley Festival to get your tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased at, or from the Festival box office: 01491 843404
Tickets 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 July 4, 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, cabaret and literature entertain while pop-up art boutiques and sculpture lawns bring major galleries and artists to the Festival – a unique ‘collectors’ concierge’ provides advice and introductions to those looking to buy.

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’sFestival 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 and a ‘collectors concierge’ provides advice and introductions to those looking to buy. 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, Goodhead and Courtiers, 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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