Henley Festival

The Brief

Midas PR was appointed by Henley Festival in December 2019 to deliver an impactful publicity campaign for Henley Festival. Originally due to take place in July 2020, the festival took place from 15th – 19th September 2021. Key objectives included driving ticket sales whilst securing positive brand building coverage for the festival in quality national and regional media and raising awareness of Henley Festival.

The Work

Midas started work for Henley Festival in December 2019 by inviting media to attend the launch party held on 28th January 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Henley Festival 2020 was rescheduled to July 2020 and while a digital edition took place in its place, the physical festival was re-arranged to September 2021 with the addition of a pop-up summer party in July. Henley Festival’s Summer Fling, however, was sadly cancelled a couple of weeks before it was due to take place due to the delay of lockdown easing.


The PR Campaign for Henley Festival 2021 restarted in March 2021 where part of our strategy was to maximise awareness of the breadth of Henley Festival’s offering and build the festival’s reputation as a credible cultural event that was very much still happening as a physical experience. We did this by developing distinct communications strands for each of the cultural segments the festival represents. The segments included music, comedy, food and lifestyle. Midas pitched for previews, listings, reviews, features and talent interviews across each of these cultural sectors.

The Results

Midas secured 352 pieces of coverage in total including 36 pieces of national coverage, 187 pieces of digital coverage, 58 pieces of broadcast coverage and over 100 pieces of regional coverage.


For the main September festival, coverage highlights included listings in major newspapers such as The Sunday Times, The Daily Express, Metro, lifestyle magazines such as Country & Townhouse, The Spectator, OK!, Woman’s Own, Best Magazine, Hello Magazine and The Sunday Express: S Mag. Additionally, interviews also ran in key national outlets including The Daily Mail, Reader’s Digest, Waitrose Weekend and The Sun – Fabulous Magazine as well as mentions on BBC Radio 2 Sara Cox, Virgin Radio , Kiss FM and BBC Radio 5 Live. Photo and diary stories ran in The Sunday Telegraph, the i Newspaper, Mail Online and Daily Star.


For Henley’s Summer Fling, coverage highlights included news stories in The Evening Standard, Metro.co.uk and The Telegraph with festival listings in Metro, Independent, Hello Magazine, SLOAN! Magazine as well as Your London magazines and their 8 titles.


Media quotes include:


“Moved back from its usual July slot, the Thameside festival this year hosts Madness, James Blunt, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and more” – The Sunday Times


“Another chance to dance this  summer, with James Blunt, Madness, Sophie Ellis-Bextor all popping up at this Oxfordshire event” – OK!


“Get Ready for a Gatsby-inspired, five day extravaganza filled with comedy, music, critically-acclaimed artists and sparkle” – Hello Mag


“The country’s only black-tie festival, Henley always brings a stellar music line-up” – Country and Townhouse


“It’s official: ‘you can never be overdressed at Henley’. This means a strict code of black tie and dinner jacket, a posh frock and careful coiffure” – Metro


“If you’re into world-class music and gourmet food and drinks without the shivering and sloppy mud, this black-tie boutique festival is for you” – The Express Saturday Magazine


The UK’s most glamourous festival is back!” and “An experience you’ll never forget” – Flavour Magazine


“Henley Festival holds a unique position within the festival calendar, swapping out the traditional wellies in a muddy field approach for a more refined affair” – Oracle Magazine