Youth Festival Launches Going Green 2023 Programme

Going Green is the theme for this year’s Henley Youth Festival taking place between 4-12 March.  The programme was officially launched on Wednesday night at d:two.

The Festival will kick off with the HYF Run on Saturday 4 March where children from Reception to Years 7/8 at Henley Rugby Club sponsored by Physiolistic.  Every runner will receive a medal and the school with the most entries will receive £250 to spend on sports equipment.  To enter go to

Children get the opportunity perform on the Kenton stage, whether that be dancing, singing, acting, performing magic tricks or telling jokes.  Young Performers (Years 1-6) will take place on Thursday 9 March and on Friday 10 March musicians in Years 7-13) can play at Gig Night.  Younger musicians (Years 1-6) can play on Saturday 11 March at Music Makers at Rupert House School.

There’s also competitions to enter; art, writing and film for everyone.  Details of these can be found here  The closing date for entries is 24 February.

Chair of Henley Youth Festival, Laura Matthews said, “We’re looking forward to our 29th festival and thank you all for coming.  Daniel has done an amazing job with bringing some new school performance workshops this year which include The Zoo That Comes to You and The Rude Science Show as well as the regular popular Young Shakespeare show.  We’ve also got new Flamenco and AFC Henley football sessions for schools as well as art and photography workshops.  It is down to our sponsors and partners that we can put this on every year and we can offer free school workshops so that every child gets the chance to come and do something.  It’s lovely to have Greener Henley as partner getting involved this year. I think the Festival is so important especially as schools are cutting down on all the arts.  It so nice to see generation after generation go through this lovely festival.”

Henley Mayor, Michelle Thomas said, “I would like to echo what the Chair has said about the funding cuts in schools that have been seen over the years.  It is really important to plug those gaps and give every single child a chance to sing, dance or participate in music and I’ve always, always said that these sort of experiences are a great leveller, and you just don’t know what you’re going to spark to create in a young person’s mind or body.  I am just delighted that this goes from strength to strength.  I’m starting with handing out medals at the fun run which I did last year as Deputy Mayor and I’m also going to Kenton every evening.  I’m very excited and looking forward to be able to give them my moral support.”

Diana Barnett from Greener Henley said, “The Going Green theme seemed the ideal time to join up with the festival to work with schools thinking about our environment here and they approached us.  We’re launching our environmental science challenge at the beginning which is a project on hedgerows and why do we have them and how important they are.  We’ve also offered for younger children some playground nature walks or talks on different things.  We have got a lot of people in Greener Henley with a lot of expertise in lots of things.  For Year 4 we have got a special project on trees using all areas of curriculum and using lots of resources to make up a booklet about trees.”


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