Sunday, 09 August 2020

Festival to hold ‘drive-in’ party this summer

Festival to hold ‘drive-in’ party this summer

HENLEY Festival is to hold a three-night “drive-in” comedy, karaoke and cinema event this summer.

Car Park Party will be held on Lion Meadow from Thursday to Saturday, July 9 to 11 when the festival was due to be held before being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first night will be all about laughter with acts supplied by the Comedy Store while the Friday night will feature cinema.

Live music will round off the event on the Saturday night with a sing-a-long concert by the Massaoke Band.

All the entertainment can be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of your own car. Festival chief executive Nick Mattingley said: “We are thrilled to host the first Car Park Party at our normal festival location, generously supported by Henley Royal Regatta.

“We are working closely with industry professionals and the local authority to make sure that it is in line with the latest social distancing measures, giving the highest level of reassurance to attendees so that they are able to sit back, relax, laugh and sing their hearts out.

“At the same time it’s a great piece of entertainment. I think everyone is wanting to bounce back from the enforced lockdown in a way they can enjoy being out and about once more. By July people will be ready to have a good party.”

The event is being organised in partnership with Coalition Agency, which represents artists and stages shows worldwide.

Mr Mattingley said: “In a year when the Henley Festival Trust has no income from the festival. we’ve had to fall back on innovative ideas to fill the gap. Car Park Party absolutely fits the bill.”

Use of the car park has been agreed by the regatta, which owns the land.

Mr Mattingley said: “It’s quite a big space so we’re hopefully going to get at least 250 cars each night if we can. We know we have got capacity for more than that but we don’t want to over-do it. We will have alleyways between the cars to enforce distancing.”

A traffic management team will be on site. Vehicles will be parked 2m apart and number plates will be checked on entry. Tickets will be scanned through car windows, so no human contact will be necessary.

There will be a range of food and drink available. Toilet facilities will be provided with social distancing health and safety management and sanitisation measures in place.

There will be limited tickets priced at £35 per car. These are due go on sale tomorrow (Friday) at

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