First Winter Music Festival Gives a Feel Good Glow!

The first winter music festival, Glow Henley took place last week over 6 days in the grounds of Leander Club and was a glowing success!

The festival kicked off on Tuesday with a pre-launch community party with local musicians and dance groups taking to the stage.  Berkshire and Henley Dance School students opened the show with upbeat dance routines, who were then followed by Valley Road School Choir sing festive songs, Amelia Nicols on violin and singer Ceri-Ann Gregory.

1990s boy band act, East 17 were the headline act on Wednesday’s at the Official Launch Party who sang their classic Christmas song Stay Another Day. Thursday was billed as an Après Ski Party which saw the evening kick off with Henley resident and Olympic skier and his friend Ben Hargreaves invite people to take part in Skid Games (Pass the Moon Boot,  Floor Shots,  Ski Boot Pong and Ice Statues).  Music entertainment followed from JG Collective and Adam Isaac.

Pianist OKIEM, The Infinity Orchestra and Sami Nathan performed on Friday at the Ultimate Christmas Party and Saturday Leander Club hosted an authentic Winter Bavarian Christmas experience with an oompah band, German sausages and steins.

The festival closed on Sunday with a Family Day followed by a Comedy night.

On Sunday young musicians were invited to enter Glow’s Battle of the Bands. Representing Gillotts School were siblings Felix (Year 9 – guitar and vocals) and Didi ( Year 7 – drums) Richardson who played three songs to a packed audience. They finished with Wham’s Last Christmas for which they invited several children on to the stage to play sleigh bells with them. Runners-up were “Idle Thoughts”, an excellent four-piece band from Shiplake College.  The winner’s prize is a day of artist development at Henwood Studios with Jayson Jaurigue (JJ), founder of Eight Ray Music and co-founder of Glow Henley. In addition and as part of the prize, JJ will hold a music masterclass at Gillotts School. Afterwards Felix said “It was a lot of fun and we thank Glow Festival for the opportunity to play.” and Didi added, “Thank you Eight Ray Music and JJ!”

Henry McIntosh, Co-Founder of GLOW said, “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came and supported GLOW. Our mission was to entertain, inspire and give something back, hopefully we achieved all three. A big thank you to our sponsors Hobbs Gin, our charity partner Riverside Counselling Service and Leander for hosting us across the week. We’re looking forward to hosting more GLOW festivals moving forward, so feel free to subscribe via our website for updates. Thank you again and see you all soon!”

Photos by Michaela Clarke and Lisa Weathers