Nicole, Gladys, Sam Ryder & More Headline 2024 Festival

Henley Festival is thrilled to reveal the line-up for 2024, featuring five magical summer nights packed full of world-class music, comedy, dining, dancing and magical moments from Wednesday 10 July to Sunday 14 July, with headliners including Nicole Scherzinger, Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics Songbook, Gladys Knight, Rylan, Nigel Kennedy, Sam Ryder and much more.

Opening this year’s Henley Festival on its iconic Floating Stage is none other than the international icon, singer and actress Nicole Scherzinger, fresh from her triumphant residency at The Savoy Theatre starring as lead role Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical ‘Sunset Boulevard’ – for which she won an Evening Standard Theatre Award for ‘Best Musical Performance’ for the part and is nominated for many more. The Masked Singer panellist and Olivier-nominated singer, Scherzinger has sold more than 60 million records, both solo and as part of The Pussycat Dolls, as well as featuring as a judge on The X Factor, cast member on NBC’s Annie Live! in 2021 and winning Dancing with the Stars in 2010.

The first Festival night will be brought to a vibrant ending by The Bootleg Beatles, the world’s premier Beatles tribute band, taking The Club on a whistle-stop journey through the most revolutionary and divisive decade of all: the Swinging Sixties.

On Thursday, Dave Stewart, the award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, producer, innovator and Eurythmics co-founder, is set to captivate the Floating Stage audience with ‘Dave Stewart’s Eurythmics Songbook’ including a carefully curated selection of timeless hits from Eurythmics extraordinary catalogue of songs. Featuring Dave alongside an all-female band of virtuoso singers and musicians, the show promises to take fans on a nostalgic and electrifying musical journey spanning four decades of the iconic musical partnership’s ground-breaking hits. Celebrating a remarkable 40 years since the release of the timeless Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Eurythmics, known for their unique blend of synth-pop, new wave, soul and rock, have sold over 75 million albums worldwide since their 1980’s debut and have become enduring icons of popular music.

Henley Festival is thrilled to welcome Empress of Soul’, music legend, seven-time Grammy Award winner, Hollywood Walk of Fame and Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Gladys Knight to headline the unique Floating Stage on Friday – an extra special occasion as it will mark last show of her UK Farewell Tour. Enjoying #1 hits in Pop, Gospel, R&B and Adult Contemporary, Knight has recorded over 38 albums over the years. With Gladys Knight & The Pips, the group went on to record some of the most memorable songs of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including “Every Beat of my Heart”, “Letter Full of Tears”, and the #1 smash hit “Midnight Train to Georgia”- with the party kept rolling with hits like “On and On” from the Academy Award nominated soundtrack of Curtis Mayfield’s “Claudine,” and “That’s What Friends are For” with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Dionne Warwick.

As the sun goes down on Henley Festival’s Friday evening, award-winning television presenter, radio DJ, podcaster and number one best-selling author, Rylan, will be DJing and entertaining the crowd with a trademark larger-than-life performance! Since appearing as a contestant on the ninth series of The X Factor, Ryan has taken the nation by storm, and ten years on, he is one of the UK’s most loved broadcasters, best known for his work on Strictly: It Takes Two, This Morning, Celebrity Goggle Box, Eurovision, Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and the host of BBC Radio 2’s Rylan on Saturday.

The extraordinary House Gospel Choir will open Saturday night’s Floating Stage performances, getting the Henley audience singing, dancing and raving along with their unique House meets Gospel experience. The London-based vocal group, which debuted in 2014 at Glastonbury Festival, is the place where spirituality and the euphoria of the dancefloor come together – amped up further by a full house band and percussion from the one and only Dezy Bongo, creating an effortless live fusion of the biggest house and gospel tunes that never fails to raise the roof.

The atmosphere will continue to be electric on Saturday evening as Ministry of Sound Ibiza Anthems with Ellie Sax take to the Floating Stage presenting the anthems that have sound-tracked everyone’s most iconic Ibiza moments. Following last year’s sell-out show, the iconic dance music brand Ministry of Sound returns to Henley Festival with a brand-new show for 2024 – ‘Ministry of Sound Ibiza Anthems with Ellie Sax’ – bringing The White Isle to Henley for one night only.

On Sunday – the final evening at Henley Festival – the Floating Stage will welcome not one, but two incredible musical talents. The night will star one of classical music’s true greats: Nigel Kennedy. Kennedy remains the bestselling violinist of all time, and his virtuoso technique, unique talent and mass appeal have brought fresh perspectives to both the classical and contemporary repertoire. He has won multiple awards across the world, performed and recorded music from the baroque era to the modern day, and his most recent album My World just hit the top of the classical charts in the UK. Nigel Kennedy’s performance at Henley Festival – called ‘Nigel Kennedy: Musical Adventure’ – will be music to the crowd’s ears.

Rounding out the festival is none other than Sam Ryder, who – since uploading his now infamous covers during lockdown in 2020 – has rocketed into the musical stratosphere. With his hit single Space Man, he gave the United Kingdom its best Eurovision result since 1998 and the highest-charting UK Eurovision entry in over a quarter of a century. His debut album ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ was a catalogue of infectious pop energy that soared to number 1 and rapid successes have earned him personal bests, as well as prestigious accolades, including performing at the Queen’s Jubilee, the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Wembley Stadium and closing out the 2023 BRIT Awards and a BRIT Nomination for ‘Breakthrough Act’.

CEO of Henley Festival Jo Bausor said, “I think it is the most diverse, eclectic, inclusive and original line-up ever.  A couple of coups as well; to get Gladys’ last show is amazing and to manage to get Nicole over the from the States is also fantastic. I’m really pleased and we are very lucky that they are coming to Henley.”

Founded as a charity more than 40 years ago, Henley Festival’s mission is to support the next generation of talent. This year’s Henley Festival RISE line-up will once again give a platform for young musicians, comedians and visual artists to take their first steps on stage, as well offering opportunities for young people aspiring to work behind the scenes.

Jo Bausor, commented, RISE is rapidly becoming the beating heart of Henley Festival and is at the core of everything we do. We’re delighted to be able to expand our RISE programme in 2024 to provide more paid opportunities for young emerging talent to perform, exhibit or complete work placements.”

New for this year, Henley Festival has presented the inaugural Westcoast RISING Star Award – celebrating outstanding achievement and great potential – to singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist KATYA, known for her refreshingly personal solo performances where she combines her soulful vocals and layered guitar with electronic beats, jazz overtones and atmospheric soundscapes. KATYA’s debut single, ‘I’ll Take Your Number’, was released the day before her performance on the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury, and garnered national and international radio support with spins on BBC Radio 1 and on Germany’s Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

I’m really grateful to have been chosen to receive Westcoast’s Rising Star award. It means so much to be acknowledged for my music and the work I continue to put in to further my career, particularly as an independent artist. RISE at Henley Festival is such an important initiative, and the support it provides up-and-coming creatives like myself is invaluable,” said KATYA

Jess Tyley, Marketing Director at Westcoast added, “We are delighted to continue our ongoing support to Henley Festival’s RISE programme, acknowledging the vital role it plays in championing emerging musicians during challenging times for grassroots music. It is with huge excitement that we announce the inauguration of this year’s Westcoast Rising Star Award, presented to the exceptionally talented Katya. This award underscores our commitment to nurturing and celebrating the bright future of artists who contribute significantly to the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry.’

Tickets go on sale to the general public on 2 February via https://boxoffice.henley-festival.co.uk/

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