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Henley Festival: Ferry ’cross the Thames
Published 24/02/14

BRYAN FERRY will be among the headline acts at this year’s Henley Festival.

The iconic singer, who has sold a combined 30 million albums, will perform on the opening night, Wednesday, July 9.

Other performers will include 85-year-old crooner Burt Bacharach, soul singer Joss Stone and pop music’s most famous brothers, The Jacksons.

The main act to appear on the “floating stage” on the final evening of the five-night festival will be announced in the near future.

Ferry began his solo singing career while still a member of Roxy Music. His hits include A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Let’s Stick Together and Slave To Love.

Bacharach has performed for more than 60 years and has written more than 70 top 40 hits in the America and more than 50 in Britain. He has won six Grammy awards and three Academy awards.

He will perform on the Friday night of the festival, which has been running 32 years this year.

The Jacksons, comprising Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, will perform on the Saturday night while Stone will headline on the Thursday night. Her appearance is a UK festival exclusive.

Stone, 26, rose to fame in 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album The Soul Sessions and has had four consecutive albums make the top 10.

She said: “I am really looking forward to performing at the Henley Festival. To play such a beautiful location will make it a very special day.”

A total of 5,000 tickets are available for each night of the black-tie event, which also offers fine dining and a selection of comedy shows, art and sculpture exhibitions and quirky street theatre performers from around the world, including Australia, France, Spain and Slovenia.

Each night’s performance will be followed by the traditional fireworks.

Gill Mitchell, the festival’s chief executive, said: “This will be the 32nd time we have transformed the site of Henley Royal Regatta into a wondrously spectacular and glamorous, black-tie music and arts festival.

“With fine dining provided by Albert Roux and his son Michel Roux Jr and an eclectic programme of music, comedy, visual art and cabaret supporting a top line-up of artists on our famous floating stage, this year the bar will be raised even higher.”

Stewart Collins, the festival’s creative director, said: “This truly is one incredible line-up. We’ve continued to raise the bar at the Henley Festival year on year for some time now but I have to say that the mix of headline UK and international artists lined up for our floating stage is absolutely fabulous.

“For the first time ever we have major household names performing across the series of evenings, so if you add this to the highest-profile supporting programme we’ve had for years, and the raft of trademark surprises and innovations, it’s easy to feel extremely excited about the prospects for this coming July!”

As reported in last week’s Henley Standard, the festival has partnered with the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.

This will enable the event to help more disadvantaged children and organisers have pledged a minimum of 50,000 a year to the charity for the next three years.

This will be instead of funding the festival’s own charitable trust, which it says has failed to interest audiences sufficiently.

The trust funded many projects, including a music therapist for the Headway charity, and in 2012 it helped deliver the Tree of Light for the Cultural Olympiad. The festival will continue to fund the Henley Festival Orchestra and to hand out grants.

Jeremy Newton, chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation, said: “It’s an absolute privilege to be working together with the Henley Festival. This marks the start of an exciting partnership to run activities that will inspire, challenge and develop those children who have had very little experience of the arts.”

This year’s festival runs from July 9 to July 13. Tickets will go on general sale on March 24. To book or for more information, visit www.henley-festival.co.uk

Keep up to date with news of the festival in the Henley Standard and at www.henleystandard.co.uk

Published 24/02/14

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