Midas PR’s campaign for Henley Festival reaches 118million people

Our client

Now in its 36th year, Henley Festival is the UK’s only black-tie boutique festival which runs over five days from 11th – 15th with a spectacular setting along the river Thames.   With a capacity of 25,000, Henley Festival’s champagne lawns, street theatre, cabaret, fireworks, outdoor sculpture, live art, alongside pop-up restaurants from Ronnie Scott’s, The Crooked Billet and Spice Merchant, offer a magical mix of music, comedy, food and art. Artists performing at the 2018 festival included Rita Ora, Grace Jones, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Curtis Stigers and English National Opera, as well as comedy from Lee Nelson, Paul Merton, Lucy Porter and Mark Watson. Following the huge success of Midas PR’s work on the 2016 and 2017 editions of Henley Festival, Midas were reappointed to run the publicity campaign for Henley Festival for the third time in 2018. Key objectives included selling tickets and profiling the breadth of the programme across, music, comedy, food and visual arts and increasing the number of pieces of interview coverage.

How we did it

Over the course of the seven-month campaign Midas PR secured 729 pieces of coverage across broadcast, print and digital media, from 217 individual media outlets. In total the campaign reached a combined audience of 118 million with a total PR value of 2.6 million, with 98 press attending Henley Festival across the five days of the festival.

Only two of the headliners were available for interview in the lead up to the festival: Curtis Stigers and English National Opera. Midas capitalised on the limited availability and secured several high-profile interviews with Curtis promoting his performance at Henley Festival across national and broadcast media including BBC One: Saturday Kitchen, BBC R4: Saturday Live, BBC R3: In Tune, BBC R2: Ken Bruce, Jazz FM, Metro and Daily Express. Ahead of the festival, Midas also secured interviews with up-and-coming saxophonist YolanDA Brown with Sky News and Country & Town House. Onsite, Midas secured interviews with Nile Rodgers including BBC News Online and The Ocelot, as well as number of lifestyle and regional radio interviews with the BBC Introducing acts, including BBC Berkshire, BBC Oxford and The Luxury Channel.

Ahead of the festival, Midas secured a number of national newspaper and broadcast interviews with three of the comedy headliners. Jon Culshaw appeared on Channel 4: Count Down to promote the festival, and was also interviewed on ITV 1: Lorraine, BBC R2: Steve Wright, BBC R2: Sara Cox. Lee Nelson was interviewed on ITV 1: Good Morning Britain and by Sunday Mirror, and Mark Watson was interviewed by Daily Telegraph and Waitrose Weekend. Midas also secured previews for the Comedy line-up twice in Mail on Sunday, and also in The Times Comedy Central, British Comedy Guide and Chortle.

To promote Michelin Star chef Angela Hartnett MBE curating a bespoke menu for Henley Festival 2018, Midas secured interviews with Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard and The Pool. Midas also secured previews highlighting Henley Festival’s food programme in ES Magazine, Waitrose Weekend, Square Meal, Olive, and Foodism.

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