Mel C & All Saints bring Henley Festival to a close

Henley Festival 2017 was brought to a spectacular close on Sunday 9th July when All Saints were joined on stage by
Melanie C to sing their smash hit Pure Shores to a rapturous crowd. Black-tie clad revellers danced in the isles as All Saints belted out their classic hits Lady Marmalade and Never Ever. Earlier on Melanie C got the party started with I Turn to You and Baby When Your Gone, written with Bryan Adams, as well as inviting ten teenage girls from the audience onto the stage to sing Spice Girls hit Say You’ll Be There, watched by Victoria Beckham’s parents.

The UK’s only black-tie festival was opened by pop superstar Jess Glynne on Wednesday night, on one of the hottest evenings of the year with her dance hits Take Me Home and Hold My Hand. On Thursday, 80s electro-pop pioneers Pet Shop Boys wowed the Henley Festival audience with an incredible laser and light show. The duo emerged on stage behind spinning discs wearing geometric helmets to put on an array of new and classic hits including Go West, The Pop Kids and It’s A Sin. Friday night saw Chaka Khan take festival goers on a journey through the 70s, bringing the house down at the end of the night with her 80s favourites I’m Every Woman and Aint No Body. Finally, on Saturday night, the Henley Festival crowd were given a huge injection of energy from Goldie, as the godfather of UK Drum and Bass came om stage with the Heritage Orchestra to perform his classic 1995 album Timeless as well as four songs from his recently released album The Journey Man.

Tickets sold to the 25,000 festival goers over the five-day festival have helped to raise funds for The Children’s Society, a charity that supports young carers. Henley Festival is one of the UK’s few festivals that is not for profit with all proceeds going to a variety of local charities alongside The Children’s Society.

Elsewhere visitors packed out the Salon Comedy Club to watch some of the biggest names in British comedy including Sara Pascoe, Russell Kane, Andy Parsons, Seann Walsh, Joel Dommett and Mark Dolan. Also performing at the festival were up-and-coming local artists Ed & Ollie Goodale in the Bedouin Tent, and comedians Paul Foot, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Mitch Benn. 

Henley Festival’s visual arts programme was kicked off by scribbling addict Mr Doodle, textile performance artist Harriet Riddell, limited-edition prints by Damien Hirst, Salvador Dali and Picasso, sculpture by Paul Day as well as a photography exhibition by avant garde photographer Oliver Elliot.

Finally, Family Sunday saw the festival site transformed into a children’s paradise, with dance classes from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, children’s entertainers, magicians, comedians, musicians and more keeping families entertained, while babies boogied in Baby Loves Disco at the Festival’s Pure Heaven nightclub.

Charlotte Geeves, Director at Henley Festival, sad “We’ve been thrilled to host such talented performers across all genres at this year’s Festival. From the truly incredible headliners, whose passion and energy kept audiences dancing well into the night, to the best comedian line-up we’ve ever been lucky enough to host, to the unsigned artists. Hundreds of people have worked incredibly hard to create this year’s festival, and we are immensely grateful to them all. We are delighted to have continued to support The Children’s Society this year, and our other charity partners, whose incredible work supporting child carers is so inspiring to us all.”

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