Elton John, Dame Shirley Bassey and more lead Henley Festival lineup

Henley Festival, the UK’s most glamorous boutique festival, returns to its stunning setting along the river in Henley-on-Thames from 6th – 10th July 2016 with tickets going on sale to the general public on Thursday 25th February at 10am.
As one of the most decorated and recognisable names in British music, we are delighted that Elton John and His Band will open Henley Festival 2016 on Wednesday 6th to a sold out audience, whilst one of Britain’s greatest-ever entertainers Dame Shirley Bassey will be teaming up with Brit-Award winning vocal group BLAKE on Saturday 9th. Legendary multi award winning singer song writer Elvis Costello & The Imposters will keep the party going on Thursday night when they take to the floating stage. Friday night will see the festival return to its classical roots with legendary Welsh Opera singer Bryn Terfelperforming with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra. Finally everyone’s favourite singer-songwriter Will Young will bring Henley Festival to a momentous close on the Sunday night.
Will Young said: I’m really very excited to be closing Henley Festival on the Sunday night. I had such fun playing there last time, it’s such a beautiful setting on the banks of the river Thames, not to mention headlining alongside one of my favourite people, Sir Elton John.
One further act headlining the festival on Saturday 9th July is yet to be announced.
Brand new for 2016, legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s will be making the festival their home for the full five days.  Festival goers will be treated to the full Ronnie Scott’s experience, seated at cabaret style tables they will be able to watch performances by the stellar Ronnie Scott’s Allstars under the guidance of Jazz maestro James Pearsonwhile waiters discretely serve cocktails and show stopping food.
Also hugely exciting for 2016 is the arrival of the New Music Stagefeaturing 10 of the brightest names in new music. Taking over the newly erected big top, Henley Festival will showcase up and coming talent with a five day programme of unsigned acts taking place before the floating stage performance each night.
Legendary nightclub Heaven will be bringing their sister club Pure to the festival, kicking off the dancing each night as soon as the headline act finishes on the floating stage
Our BIGGEST COMEDY line up yet!
Shaking up its festival format for 2016, Henley will be bringing a programme of red hot British comedians to the festival, quadrupling Henley Festival’s comedy bill in size from previous years.  We are hugely excited to be announcing Al Murray, Reginald D Hunter, Nina Conti, Dillie Keane, Richard Herring, Adam Kay, The Boy with Tape on His Face, Hal Cruttenden and Simon Evans as some of the biggest names on the line up of 20 comics who will keep crowds entertained each night at the festival.
For the 2016 festival, Michelin starred chef Daniel Clifford will be taking the reins of Europe’s biggest field restaurant, creating a bespoke tasting menu exclusively for Henley, serving 950 covers a night at the Riverside Restaurant. Daniel Clifford’s astonishingly creative, flawlessly executed dishes focus on purity of flavour and reverence for ingredients. He was AA Chefs' chef of the year in 2015 and his restaurant ‘Midsummer House’ in Cambridge holds two Michelin stars, garnering widespread acclaim and cementing his reputation as one of the best chefs in Britain.
Daniel said: I am incredibly excited to work at such an iconic event as Henley. The Riverside Restaurant will be the fine dining offering for guests with dishes such as Sautéed scallop, granny smith apple, celeriac and perigold truffle puree and Seared Cornish mackerel, piccalilli Chantilly, pickled white cabbage
For festival goers who prefer to eat on the go, there are plenty of other food options. Ronnie Scott’s will offer superb steaks, Ronnie style burgers and gorgeous fish pie with a fine dining twist. A stalwart of the festival, Paul Clerehugh will be with us throughout the week with his bespoke festival menu at The Crooked Billet, offering fantastic British food using locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Cooking up a storm of authentic Indian food, Hasan & Bashir deliver Northern Thali to hungry festival goers at Spice Merchant Pop-Up. For street food enthusiasts, head to The Top for a diverse mix of cuisine and a never ending banquet of first class food to go.
Legendary events company rhubarb are confirmed as the food partner for Henley Music Festival 2016 and will be managing the catering for theRiverside Restaurant, Ronnie Scott's, and The Terrace. Glen Sutton, Director of Events for rhubarb said: We are delighted to partner with Henley Music Festival. This is an exciting addition to our events portfolio and our culinary team are preparing a range of beautiful and delicious menus to further enhance what is set to be a fantastic few days of music and celebrations.

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 entertainers.
From deeply silly giant kangaroos to a lifelike family of gorillas, a troupe of hairy angels and a provocative exhibition of hair art, Henley Festival’s enchanting roving troupe of street theatre entertainers interact with festival goers offering delights, surprises and mesmerising performances throughout the festival.
For lovers of cabaret and circus, Henley has teamed up with the UK’s leading circus technology troops to offer a dazzling show of LED lit circus and cabaret performances as part of the all new Digital Cabaretin the brand new Big Top stage. From neon lit flapper girls and fairy dust ballet dancers, to mesmerising digital hoops and jugging displays, fans of La Clique, La Soiree and Cirque de Soleil will not be disappointed!
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 lined up include installation artists Aether & Hemera, Goldie, Illuminati and sculptorsDanu and Dawn Benson.
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 including Beatbox starShlomo, comedy from Jay Foreman, and leading circus company, Upswing as well as taking part in crafting sessions and making art, while parents can relax in the stunning festival grounds.
Henley Festival and The Children’s Society are working in partnership to bring inspiration and vital support to thousands of children who care for their parents and family members. The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Our supporters around the country fund our services and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side.

Elton John to open Henley Festival 2016

Following the release of his hotly anticipated new album, Wonderful Crazy Night due out on 5th 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.

lton 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 commented: “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.” 

Bestival 2013 Review – Part 2

An overnight wash out and soggy campsites do nothing to calm the excitement of the campsites, particularly not the shock-and-awe naked guy who leapt into our front garden (code for hangout area in between tents) yelling loudly that he wanted everyone to join him in being “Tattooed and handsome”, but the sun is peeking out here and there as the dressed up masses head towards the main arena. Walking around, it’s clear to see the rain hasn’t dampened the British love for dressing up, as mer-men, sailors, jellyfish and sharks roam freely. We asked one enterprising soul if her freezer was now full of fish fingers, as she’d fashioned a costume from Birdseye boxes, she replied “Yeah, we’ll be eating them all winter…”.

2013 debut album smash-hitters Bastille turn out in style dressed as members of Team Zissou and play all the favourites to a packed out arena. ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Icarus’ go down a storm but it’s ‘Flaws’ that really packs a punch and a cover of ‘Rhythm of the Night’ is weird but kind of brilliant at the same time. Ending with ‘Pompeii’ Bastille do themselves justice, with the whole crowd singing along.

Bastille @ Bestival 2013

Following Bastille is A-Yo featuring Mark Ronson Vs. Zane Lowe with a Bestival party-mix, and over on the big hill, the Bandstand is playing host to the Zee Guveya Heritage Band. Getting up for ‘The Pizza Dance’ whilst a cardboard Viking longship (with a Viking hoarde aboard) sails/walks past is extremely bizarre, but sipping our Bestivale’s and sampling the amazing food on offer provides a little Bestival downtime. We munch our way through fresh grilled corn on the cob and the most delicious lobster and chips (which were caught just round the corner in Ventnor apparently) before dragging ourselves to the peak of the hill for a look across the site. The magnificent scale of Bestival is only surpassed by it’s colour, from the tents to the arena areas, the flags and the works of art – Bestival really is a beautiful place.

A-Yo @ Bestival 2013

At the top of the hill is the secret hideaway for lost souls known as The Solace Tent. The interior is all leather chairs and wicker sofas, comfy cushions and tables you can write messages on – enough of a sanctuary in it’s own right, but the lovely bods there will give weary travellers a cup of something hot and a tasty bit of cake (baked by IOW churches)… for free! Re-energised by the Solace saints, a trip to tiny town is a giggle – the kid sized village which you can take amusing photographs in, before heading back down the hill via a rummage in the second hand tents (nanna-knits everywhere) and a few cheeky tasters at the Crabbies bus.

On the main stage, Rudimental are showing off their status with an absolutely packed arena, busting out big hit ‘Right Here’ accented by a weird burst of what tasted like flavoured smoke (?!) before a cover of Fugees’ ‘Ready or Not’ and closing with the huge ‘Feel The Love’, with everyone pogo-ing like mad. Next up are Glaswegian punk-pop rockers Franz Ferdinand with a blast of hits starting with ‘No You Girls’. ‘Do You Want To’ is only slightly marred by the enormous downpour that drops in, but as the skies clear, the boys of FF bring it home with ‘Take Me Out’. They might be accused of being a bit samey sometimes, with jarring chords over marching-band beats, but they do what they say on the tin, and perform well. It’s probably a shame for them that they’re playing right before their practical antithesis – Snoop Dogg.

Franz Ferdinand @ Bestival 2013

With giant red, yellow and green Rasta banners and posters of his own face – it was inevitable that Snoop Dogg would roll out with as much swagger and self-confidence as he displays on screen. Rocking a leather jacket and Adidas sweatpants, The Doggfather churns out hits ‘PIMP’, ‘Gin and Juice’ and Katy Perry cover ‘California Gurls’ featuring the dancing skills of some scantily dressed ladies giving him a lapdance. ‘Next Episode’ and ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ prove Snoop to be a great showman, and he finishes Saturday night on a high (probably quite literally in his case). See the full headline review for more details!

Sunday is a soggy morning too, but everyone seems determined to go full out for the last day of this truly special festival, so it’s on to do a bit of dancing with Bestival mascots The Cuban Brothers. With quite a lot of swearing, manly gyrating and costumes that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination (fringed, metallic lycra jumpsuits to be precise) they’re probably not the act to take your kids to, but damn are they good fun. Guest vocalist Mica Paris belts out ‘So Sweet’ which is from the new Cubans album ‘Yo Bonita’ (which we later got signed by Miguel and Kengo-San over at the Sunday Best tent) and breakdancing skills are busted out by Archerio, Kengo and newbie ‘One-Erection’. Miguel gets suitably excited about all the dancing (after having a broken foot and not being able to participate last year), takes off his white captain’s pants and thrusts the mic-stand like a pro. After telling a story about their times at Bestival… “We were in the woods eating philosopher’s stone mushrooms and we were lost… we were so cold we had to set our socks on fire to keep warm” and stuffing the mic into his spangly undercrackers, it’s time to say goodbye to the crazy Cubanos for another year.

The Cuban Brothers @ Bestival 2013

Next up, Tom Odell croons his way into the ladies hearts with his soulful piano laden music, but it is a bit of a comedown after the hype created by The Cuban Brothers, but everyone warms up again for Chic feat. Nile Rodgers and a bit of boogying on down.

Disasterously scheduled at the same time as the Sunday headliner – Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip’s Swamp Shack appearance has nevertheless garnered a pretty massive crowd around the strange run down house style stage, and as the smoke billows from the beat-up cars that set the scene, the duo drop right into classic ‘Beat That My Heart Skipped’, sending fans wild. Calling out “I’m all adrenaliney, I’m all shaky” Dan busts out the beat for ‘Sick Tonight’ and Pip launches into it with power, swinging on the (actually quite fragile) porch of the shack. After being handed two curly wurlys by some odd gentleman in the front row, Dan and Pip give us a tasty treat back in the form of new tracks ‘Stunner’ and ‘Gold Teeth (feat Flux Pavillion)’, the latter played for the very first time ever. Taking on a darker side the songs have everyone getting rowdy with Pip swishing water off the Shack’s decking to the beat.

Heading over to join the biggest crowd of the weekend at the main stage, Rock Royalty, Sir Elton John is giving us a tour through his vast collection of hits, wearing a trademark sparkly jacket. Elton’s packed set includes ‘Candle In The Wind’, ‘Crocodile Rock’ and ‘Rocket Man’, with the crowd singing along to closing ‘Your Song’ (See the full review for more details!). As the stage goes dark, Bestival’s closing ceremony commences, with an even bigger firework display than last year, a giant circular 10 being set alight and ticker tape explosions from the stage. Way to go out with a bang.

Elton John @ Bestival 2013

As usual, it doesn’t end there – Knife Party are playing at The Port and Easy Rider is on in The Amphitheatre… the night is young at Bestival, and we intend to make the most of it before we have to leave it behind for another year, but it’s safe to say that Rob and co. went all out this year, it truly has been a spectacular celebration and we would like to doff our captain’s caps and say HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY BESTIVAL!

Photos by James Bridle for the Summer Festival Guide

Bestival 2013 Review – Elton John

How do you close an epic teniversary, four day festival extravaganza, in a field full of the happiest souls in the country? LIKE A SIR. That’s how. Sir Elton John to be precise, Great British rock royalty doesn’t get better than this. Elton’s coming is preceded by shoulder-to-shoulder, asscheek-to-asscheek, barely standing room only arena-fullness and an air of excitement you can practically inhale. Despite worries of cancellation due to appendicitis earlier in the summer, Elton practically bounces on stage with aplomb in a bejewelled jacket emblazoned with ‘Madman Across The Water’ for comically entertaining ‘The Bitch Is Back’.

Ballad-tastic ‘Tiny Dancer’ and ‘Candle in the Wind’ were clearly loved by Elton fans, but a yawn here and there betrayed more than a few people hanging out for the rockier hits like the truly epic ‘I’m Still Standing’ and ‘Crocodile Rock’ – complete with crowd participation (especially from the few people dressed in crocodile onesies that night, perfect).  ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ prompts shadow boxing all over, and a few ill-timed jokes result in mates accidentally punching each other and then falling about laughing, and karaoke style lyrics on screen for new single ‘Home Again’ keep everyone singing along and engaged.

Calling out “You’ve been amazing, I’ll never forget this” Elton says exactly what’s on everyone’s minds, and there’s a kind of mutual community in that – something special to Bestival, a shared emotion between artist and fans experiencing something together, and this certainly is the kind of memory that lasts. Elton finishes up with a huge sing-along ‘Your Song’, with people opening their voices into the sky before the enormous closing firework display. It’s been a belter.

Elton John Bestival

Bestival adds more new music

With the recent news that Bestival's Friday headliner will be party starter extraordinaire Fatboy Slim playing a very special Bestival Birthday Bash set, the triumvirate of amazing must-see headliners is complete as he joins the previously announced Elton John and Snoop Dogg. And now, Bestival HQ’s attention turn to adding yet more incredible new live music and DJs to the mammoth line-up. Scooping the Best Major Festival award last year yet retaining our boutique sensibilities, Bestival’s spectacular 10th birthday this September 5th-8th is going to be the greatest show on earth with more fun per square metre than you’ll find anywhere else; it’s absolutely unmissable!

Rob da Bank says: “HMS Bestival is well and truly under way, steaming across the high seas picking up even more musical passengers. Crystal fighters are Bestival stalwarts and about to go stratospheric, Jon Hopkins has made one of the electronic albums of the year and no party is a Bestival party without Hudson Mohawke and The Correspondents…all aboard you crazy landlubbers!

Crystal Fighters are among the latest litany of vital new acts that are getting us all hot under the collar. With one of the most incredible and visceral live shows around they’re a truly mind-blowing experience that you'd be mad to miss. With their second album Cave Rave out this week, the band are fully charged and ready to rain down their unique brand of mayhem on the Bestival crowd, making our 10th birthday bash that bit more special.

But that’s not all as we’ll also have live sets from sometime King Creosote cohort and purveyor of epic, widescreen bliss Jon Hopkins, everybody’s favourite raconteur, Howard Marks, bass driven swingers The Correspondents, Memphis soulstress Valerie June (whose debut album, ‘Pushin’ Against a Stone’ is out now on our sister label Sunday Best), much fancied aural architect East India Youth, Sunday Best’s secret weapon Tythe, Phil Kieran showcasing his psychedelic song-craft with new project Le Carousel, new voice of the people Sean McGowan, driving post-harcore force Signals, spectral acoustic electronic types Golden Fable, the Isle of Wight's own Cherishport, acoustic soloist Sarah Close, Essex songsmiths New City Kings, alt-folk Mancunians The Slow Show, hotly tipped B-Towners Troumaca, alt-pop rockers Velvet Stream, Bestival’s Island choral competition winners Wight Harmony and indie-banger-pop from Mr Tom.

Keeping your feet moving long into the night will be an array of on-point selectors including Hudson Mohawke whose production prowess is so in demand he’s currently rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kayne West. An undoubted wonky genius who channels a seemingly endless array of goodtime grooves from hip-hop, dub, future RnB, downright dirty funk and beyond into a seamless dancefloor decimating spectacle, Hudson is working on the follow up to his acclaimed Butter long-player and we can't wait to see what wild new alloy of sounds he has in store for us.

We’ll also have sets from Hacienda legend Greg Wilson, Jungle don Micky Finn, glitchy eletrofunk wunderkind Bobby Tank and the incredible JFB Scratch who recently mixed up a decade of Bestival goodness for us which you can watch here. Plus we’ll have Continental Drifts’ Chris Tofu, party destroyer Handsome Dave Rocker, beatbox champion Reeps One, Heavenly records' sublime Heavenly Jukebox, the previously mentioned Tythe rocking his Intros/Outros look, rave historian Jerome Hill, deep and warm techno fiend Ben Hoo, Bestival Island DJ competition winner Long Jack, old skool electro disco chameleon Mojo Filter, Portsmouth’s Pete Callard, the genre-defying Rev Milo Speedwagon, house maestro Tom Williams, London DJ collective Warm, radio supremo Olli Dutton and eclectic mix warriors The Dudes.

Finally, we’re very sorry to say that The Child Of Lov has cancelled all of his summer dates, so he won’t be joining us at Bestival as previously announced. Never fear, however, there’s still a truckload of ace stuff happening across the weekend, so hopefully no one will be too put out!



www.ticketline.co.uk/bestival-tickets / 0844 888 4410

Ticketmaster / 0844 844 0444

See Tickets / 0871 220 0260


Adult Ticket with entry from Thursday 5th September – £190

Adult Ticket with entry from Friday 6th September – £180

Adult Premium ‘Wild Copse’ Camping Ticket – £316 (more info)

Student Ticket with entry from Thursday 5th September – £180

(For full-time students only. Valid NUS or ISIC ID required at the box office. No other student ID accepted)

Bestival Friday night headliner announced!

Featuring 10 fields of wonderment and 20 stages filled with amazing music, insane sideshows and magical happenings,Bestival’s spectacular 10th birthday bash this September 5th-8th is set to be nothing short of EPIC. 

Celebrating those 10 years for all they’re worth, we’ve already got a musical line-up that’s second to none, with headline appearances from Elton John and Snoop Dogg, sets from M.I.AFranz FerdinandThe Flaming LipsThe KnifeWu-Tang ClanRichie HawtinCarl CoxAnnie Mac Presents, and so many more. Plus we’ve got jaw-dropping attractions like our amazing new arena The PortFilms in the ForestWorld Music Day on the BandstandThe Wishing TreeSwamp Shack and The Grand Palace of Entertainment, and now we are mind-blowingly excited to announce our crowd slaying Friday night headliner!

Rob da Bank says: “I still can't believe Bestival is gonna be ten… but it is and that’s great cos it means we get to go even more mental with our onsite creations and general madness. We wanted to have a big moment for all our amazing crew and the beautiful Bestivalites whether they've been with us for the last decade or even just this year so we went back to one of our headliners from the first year and someone who's supported us since our early days in clubland. Yes ladies and gents, boys and girls roll up roll up for what will be the biggest spectacle in UK festival land as we unveil Fatboy Slim’s Bestival Birthday Bash.”

Fatboy Slim says: “It was at Glastonbury 2003 where I closed the Sunday Best stage for Rob da Bank that I first saw the glint in his eye to create his own festival. 12 months later I was headlining Bestival and TEN years on, here I am again, throwing them the biggest birthday bash possible and sharing the main stage alongside Elton John and Snoop Dogg. It’s an absolute honour to return for this momentous occasion – staying creative and independent in these times. You've come a long way, baby!"

Fatboy Slim

YES! Our much anticipated Friday night headliner will be the one and only Fatboy Slim AKA Norman Cook. Norman was one of the very first headliners at the inaugural Bestival in 2004, so it's a real coup to have him aboard HMS Bestival in his rightful place once again, helping to celebrate our spectacular tenth anniversary. Playing an exclusive set just for us, which he's dubbed 'Fatboy Slim's Bestival Birthday Bash', it’s guaranteed to be a monumental appearance, with outrageous onstage birthday party antics galore and some very special surprises which will be revealed on the night.  Armed with an almost endless abundance of mega-hits from Everybody Needs A 303 to Star 69 (What The F*ck) and way beyond, you can expect the mother of all celebrations as the master of good-time party music throws down a large helping of epic goodness, like only he can.

You don’t want to miss this one it’s going to be a legendary 10th birthday. And what a 10 years it’s been, from just a few thousand people rocking out in 2004 to becoming the Best Major Festival winner in 2012, we certainly have come a long way baby! Staying true to our independent, boutique roots we’re playing with the big boys now and we promise a spectacle that’s not to be missed, it’s going to be the party of the year, so don’t miss out!

Elton John, Snoop Dogg and more announced for Bestival 2013

Commenting on his Sunday night Bestival Headlining set, Elton John said: “I haven’t played any of the major festivals in the UK in recent years, so when the opportunity to play Bestival came up I was very interested. I’ve heard that the Bestival audience comes in fancy dress and I can’t wait to see that, they must all look amazing from the stage. At various times I have worn enormous feathered head-dresses, cloaks, hot pants, jumpsuits, clown suits, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, French Maid, The Eiffel Tower and The Statue of Liberty onstage! Wearing fancy dress makes us all feel less inhibited so I think it’s a great way to enjoy live music.

Elton John

“2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, so you can expect to hear several tracks from that album. My shows always involve audience participation, singing and dancing, so make sure there is plenty of room for movement inside those fancy dress costumes!”

Taking time out from splicing the mainbrace, Rob da Bank said: “So here we are…our tenth birthday…like a small child proudly entering double figures…but here’s Bestival still wearing ill fitting shorts and running about with grazed knees giggling in the sunlight…Happy days! After 10 years of running our beloved festival, Bestival is still as psychedelically wondrous to us as the September day in 2004 when we first threw open the gates. 2013 will be a vintage year. No increase in capacity but more land, a raft of exciting changes around the site including some great new spaces and all dressed and made up in Bestival’s signature style.

“Band and DJ wise we’ve cast our net far and wide… as ever Bestival 2013 will be a magical mix of the old and the new, the vintage and classic rubbing shoulders with the ultra modern and leftfield. From one of the biggest selling artists of all time and certainly the best at fancy dress, Elton John, through the party blazing hip-hop of Snoop Dogg through amazing rare shows from the likes of The Knife,  to the newest of the new bands and acts that I’m so excited about like Jagwar Ma, Merchandise and Cashmere Cat plus literally the finest selection of house and techno DJs we've ever had from Richie Hawtinand Carl Cox to Besti stalwarts Erol Alkan and Annie Mac – this will be our best Bestival yet, so don't miss out!"

Well, what can we say? In a UK festival exclusive and playing his first major festival set on home soil in many years, we’re over the moon that Elton John and his band will be headlining Sunday night at Bestival! Very probably pop music’s most outrageous son, Sir Elton Hercules John’s reputation as an incendiary live act who pulls out all the stops to put on a scintillating show filled with glitz and glamour makes him, without any shadow of a doubt, the perfect megastar to bring the magic and mayhem of Bestival’s tenth birthday to a close. After partying at the original IOW festival as a young musician in the late 60s we’re very proud that Elton finally gets to perform on the Isle of Wight at Bestival. With more than 30 albums and over 60 UK chart hits to his name, Sunday night is guaranteed to be full-on sing-along good times. We’ve already started stockpiling the platform boots, feather boas and glitter. It’s going to be a proper party!

Snoopt DoggWith Sunday night well and truly taken care of, we are beside ourselves with joy to announce that the Doggfather himself Snoop Dogg will be wowing the Bestival main stage crowd as our Saturday night headliner! Hip-hop icon, pop culture phenomenon, izzle speak don and quite simply one of the most gifted spitters ever, Snoop Dogg’s live show takes no prisoners with his laidback flow capping an almost endless catalogue of super-fat beats. With a forthcoming album produced by Major Lazer and some of hip-hop’s biggest anthems under his belt, you can expect Saturday night at Bestival to blow you away.

We have, of course, got plenty more amazing live acts coming aboard including the mighty M.I.A with a UK festival exclusive set and anthemic Scottish four-piece Franz Ferdinand playing an English festival exclusive. We’re also very pleased to announce the welcome return of psychedelic bliss merchants The Flaming Lips playing a UK festival exclusive set, off the wall Swedish art-pop duo The Knife, rap music revolutionaries Wu-Tang Clan, the unpredictably chameleonic Bombay Bicycle Club playing an English festival exclusive set and neo-soulsters The Roots playing a UK Festival exclusive set.

Plus we’ll have knock-out appearances from majestic indie pop stalwarts Belle & Sebastian, beguiling chanteuse Jessie Ware, the deservingly hyped Disclosure, BBC Sound of 2013 winner Tom Odell, the incomparable Sinead O’Connor, disco overlords Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Warp legend Squarepusher, a live set from dancefloor smashers Hot Natured, the hottest rapper in the world Angel Haze,kaleidoscopic choral collective The Polyphonic Spree, quite possibly the greatest guitarist of his generation, Johnny Marr and indie giants Bastille. In what are the first festival shows confirmed for both bands this year, we’ll have mind-bending riffs from Peace and blistering RnB from The Strypes, who have been getting everyone from Elton John to Noel Gallagher out on the town to check out their brilliant live show. We will also be welcoming next level drum n bass behemoth DJ FreshDexys performing their acclaimed show “One Day I’m Going to Soar” plus a few Dexys favouriteschart bothering juggernautRudimental, woozy garage rockers The Walkmen and legendary Mancunian poet John Cooper Clarke.

And that’s not all as we will have live sets from Lissie, The Wonder Stuff, Caravan Palace, The Cuban Brothers, Matthew E White, While She Sleeps, Merchandise, Mikill Pane, True Tiger, Sexy Sushi, Is Tropical, Skaters, Lulu James, Swim Deep, Fleetwood Bac, Jaipur Brass Band, Kawa Circus, Lewis Watson, Jaws and J-Cats. And we’ve still got lots more live acts to announce! 

Stepping up to the ones and twos on a mission to move your dancing shoes are a whole host of groove controllers including the Plastikman himself Richie Hawtin, techno don Carl Cox, Bestival favouriteAnnie Mac Presents, Detroit via Berlin techy house hero Seth Troxler, Mark Ronson going back to back with Zane Lowe in their A-Yo guise, new beat tzar Julio Bashmore, house doyen Maya Jane Coles, omniscient eclecticist Erol Alkan, the sublime reggae of David Rodigan presents RAM JAM, fathomless fiend Dixon, legend of the deep Kerri Chandler, trailblazer Eats Everything, Numbers featuring Jackmaster, Spencer, Redinho, Sophie and special guest Rustie, the future funky dub love of Joy Orbison, the fabled Fabio + Grooverider and a full on Hospitality Bestival takeover, hosted byWrec & Dynamite and featuring High Contrast, Danny Byrd, Nu:Logic and Fred V & Grafix.

Plus we’ll have speaker splitting action from Marcel Dettman, DJ Yoda, The Daft Punk Tribute Night in The Hidden Disco, Redlight, Bondax, Heidi, Ed Rush, Fake Blood, Jesse Rose, Justin Robertson, Andrew Weatherall And Sean Johnston’s A Love From Outer Space, Ben UFO, Cyril Hahn, Daniel P Carter, Catz N Dogz, My Love Is Underground, Cashmere Cat, Krankbrother, Ben Pearce, Dollop DJs, Alexander Nut, Roska, Bodhi, Kry Wolf, Coley From Luv*Jam, Crispin J. Glover and Bad Zuke with many more still to come.

Wonderland complete the lineup for this years Magic Summer Live

he highly anticipated Magic Summer Live in association with BT, today completes its spectacular line up with the female five-piece Wonderland. The band whose wide ranging harmonies and soulful pop hooks make them the perfect choice to join headliner Elton John on July 17th at Hatfield House, playing his only London date this summer. Magic Summer Live will also feature the BRIT Award nominee Rumer, American duo The Pierces, the multi million selling Lighthouse Family and stylish male quintet The Overtones. Tickets are available NOW from www.magic.co.uk priced from £60.
Wonderland join the Magic Summer Live bill after a rocket fuelled arrival on the pop scene. The part Irish, part English quintet were handpicked by chart impresario, Louis Walsh and Westlife’s Kian Egan from a 2008 audition featuring 3,000 hopefuls. Wonderland’s impressive emergence owes plenty to their combined vocal effervescence, with five lead singers working in unison; this is a girl group taking their lead from substance rather than style.  Their perfect pop sound is sure to wow the crowds at Magic Summer Live along with a host of top artists.
 Wonderland said: “Magic have always been so supportive of us and we can’t wait to be a part of this event. It’s also an honour to be sharing a stage with Sir Elton John – who is an inspiration of all of ours”.
Magic Summer Live takes place from 12:00- 22:30 in the beautiful park of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire on Sunday 17th July 2011Hatfield House is just 25 minutes by train from London Kings Cross, directly outside Hatfield mainline station and only 5 minutes off the A1. Tickets are priced from £60 and are on sale now from magic.co.uk and by calling 08700 60 1054.
For further Magic Summer Live announcements tune into Magic 105.4, check out magic.co.uk or follow us on www.facebook.com/magic1054 and twitter.com/magicfm.

Legendary Sir Elton John for Magic Summer Live

Held in the stunning historical grounds of Hatfield House on Sunday 17th July 2011, the day will host an exciting array of top music stars and is set to sell out fast. So don’t miss out on Magic Summer Live, tickets are available NOW from www.magic.co.uk priced from £60.
elton johnElton John’s musical career has spanned over 4 decades and seen him sell over 250 million albums worldwide. He is one the most influential artists of all time with a string of Top 5 singles including: Your Song, Sacrifice, Rocket Man and Daniel.
He is a multiple Grammy and Brit Award winner and will be bringing his extensive catalogue including songs from highly acclaimed new release “The Union” to Magic Summer Live in association with BT. A true musical great, Elton John is the perfect name to headline this spectacular event.
Elton John says, “I’m really excited to be headlining the first ever Magic Summer Live event in July.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer’s day than performing some of my greatest hits on a stage in the absolutely stunning setting of Hatfield House. ”
Joining the bill is sensational pop-soul singer Rumer, who’s self-penned album Seasons of My Soul is a set of songs that anyone with ears can’t help but fall in love with. American duo The Pierces are Catherine and Allison – sisters, songwriters, and singers, who will bring their sweepingly melodic harmonies to Magic Summer Live  - delivering an unforgettable day and night of live music. Watch this space for more artist announcements in the coming weeks…
Magic 105.4’s Neil Fox made the surprise announcement live on his Magic Breakfast Show. Foxy told listeners: “Magic 105.4 is really excited about our brand new event, Magic Summer Live. We have an incredible headline act already on board and Hatfield House is the most picturesque setting. It’s going to be an amazing day with some amazing Magic artists. From “Your Song” to “Rocket Man” we’ve played all of Elton’s hits on Magic 105.4, he is one of the most exciting and extraordinary musicians of our time. With the total artist line up we have in mind, and only 20,000 tickets, of which a limited amount are VIP, make sure you get yours, so you don’t miss out!”
Magic 105.4 Programme Director Pete Simmons said: “Magic 105.4 is London’s number one music station and Sir Elton John is the world’s number one live act. We couldn’t have asked for a better headliner to launch our inaugural Magic Summer Live event. Given his very busy schedule and limited dates in 2011, we are honoured that Sir Elton John has chosen to appear with Magic 105.4.”
Magic Summer Live takes place from 12:00- 22:30 in the beautiful park of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire on Sunday 17th July 2011Hatfield House is just 25 minutes by train from London Kings Cross, directly outside Hatfield mainline station and only 5 minutes off the A1. Tickets are priced from £60 and are on sale now from magic.co.uk and by calling 08700 60 1054. Magic Summer Live will feature some the best names in music so don’t miss out on this highly anticipated event which is expected to sell out.