Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Line-up announcement kept secret for 60 hours

IT was all hush hush following the announcement of the headline acts at this year’s Henley

IT was all hush hush following the announcement of the headline acts at this year’s Henley Festival,

writes Phil Simms.


Organisers had hoped to go public with the list of names but instead had to beg the audience of invited guests at Hotel du Vin on Monday evening to “keep it within these four walls”.

Charlotte Geeves, the festival’s chief executive, said there would be a delay due to a “curve ball” thrown by one of the artists and they wanted to reveal them all at the same time. Artists can sometimes be divas and sometimes throw some curve balls,” she said.  

“Everything we are about to tell you now, if you can keep within these four walls and not tell your friends and nearest and dearest and, most importantly, not put this online as it puts us in a tricky situation with certain artists and contracts.” Stewart Collins, the festival’s artistic director, said: “Please do not pass this on — you are our inner circle. Keep off your Facebook and Twitter accounts and talk quietly into your jacket.”



He added that he now knew how writer Andrew Davies felt having to get Tolstoy’s

War and Peace
down into a few hours for TV.

The requests drew a few laughs but all seemed to agree to keep their silence, along with the

Henley Standard
, which published the line-up on its website as soon as the embargo was lifted at 6am yesterday.

There was more amusement later in the evening when Mr Collins explained that there would be a silent disco which uses cutting edge technology.

“People in Remenham are going to love it because they won’t hear it,” he said. “We are very responsible providers of art and noise.”



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