With the days longer and temperatures (hopefully) rising, here are five of the best events to look forward to in the months ahead in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire
ON THE MOUNT
A spectacular, open-air woodland amphitheatre with panoramic treescape vistas, The Mount amplifies the senses, providing immersive musical experiences in the heart of nature. This brand-new music venue near Reading is sited within one of the most diverse estates in England, Wasing, renowned for its exclusive wedding venue, organic farm and wild swim lake and sauna. Upon arrival, visitors will amble along a beautiful woodland trail to the amphitheatre where an array of seasonal cuisine and world music awaits.
The Mount’s Opening Ceremony, Solstice At The Mount, will take place at Summer Solstice on 21 June 2023. A moment that takes place on the same day everywhere on the planet, the Solstice connects everyone in a truly global moment. This inaugural concert will feature a mesmerising line-up of world music from the Yawanawa, an indigenous people of Brazil, and spellbinding sets from Australian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd. It will be a captivating celebration of culture, food and music in one magical evening.
From 20–24 June, thrill seekers and racegoers will come together to escape the ordinary and indulge in a week of celebration at Royal Ascot. Steeped in history, the illustrious event sets the stage for world-class horse racing in all its joy, igniting passions and inspiring new generations to leave their everyday at the door.
Watch on as world-class thoroughbreds thunder towards glory in the tranquil surroundings of the English countryside. Whether you’re savouring a champagne picnic on the vast trackside lawns or donning your most extravagant headpiece at the Bandstand, you’re invited to experience the undeniable charm of Royal Ascot’s unique enclosures this summer.
Unbridle yourself from routine at Royal Ascot. This is where the nation comes to play.
The eagerly anticipated line up for the Henley Festival has been announced. Triple BRIT Award winner Rag’n’Bone Man will open Henley Festival 2023 on 5 July. Best known for his hit single and 4x platinum #1 album ‘Human,’ which held its position in the charts for 29 weeks straight, he has since continued to dominate the charts through collaborations, singles and releasing his second #1 album ‘Life by Misadventure’ in 2021.
On Thursday 6 July, the Floating Stage will host Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Mark Feehily, aka the most successful Irish boyband of all time: Westlife. With 33 #1 albums worldwide and countless accolades, one of pop music’s most influential boy bands will thrill the Henley crowd with their chart-topping hits including Flying Without Wings, World of Our Own and Uptown Girl.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and a multiple Grammy Award winning songwriter, composer, producer, arranger, guitarist and music legend, Nile Rodgers will be returning to Henley Festival to headline Friday night. As the co-founder of CHIC, Rodgers pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like “Le Freak”, the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records, and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times.”
Ministry of Sound Classical takes on the very best tunes hand-picked from dance music history and recreates in a breath-taking performance by an incredible 30-piece orchestra on 8 July. The beautiful riverside backdrop will set the scene for a live music spectacle, featuring guest DJ Danny Rampling and stunning vocalists performing classical remakes of iconic dance anthems.
Sunday Night Sessions will reflect the breadth and depth of Henley Festival. Floating Stage performances from Ronnie Scott’s, presenting the finest Jazz since 1959, travelling from Soho to Henley for an unforgettable jazztastic show, followed by the euro-disco phenomenon Boney M. with the original lead singer Liz Mitchell back by popular demand, performing international chartbusters with a 15-piece band as the sun goes down. To top off the evening, firmly established as one of Britain’s biggest and best-loved comedy stars, Jack Dee will be performing in the Riverside Cabaret venue.
Richard Ashcroft has been announced for an outdoor show in the stunning grounds of Englefield House near Pangbourne in Berkshire this summer, as part of the Heritage Live concert series. The iconic singer-songwriter will perform in the grounds of the Elizabethan country house and estate on Saturday 22 July 2023, alongside special guests for the event Ocean Colour Scene and The Sherlocks.
Ashcroft is a two-time Ivor Novello winner (Songwriter of the Year in 1998 and Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 2019) who has released five Top 5 solo albums, including the #1 debut Alone With Everybody, and most recently last year his #2 album Acoustic Hymns.
He first came to attention with The Verve, with who he released one of the biggest albums of the era in the shape of Urban Hymns (the UK’s 18th biggest selling album of all-time) as well as a succession of anthems which remain staples of his live set today, including The Drugs Don’t Work, Bittersweet Symphony, Lucky Man, and Sonnet.
Following this, award-winning, multi-platinum singer and songwriter Hozier has been announced for a huge outdoor show on Sunday 23 July, supported by special guests Far From Saints and Victoria Canal.
The show in the grounds of Englefield House comes after Hozier released his most recent EP, ‘Eat Your Young’ in honour of his birthday and St Patrick’s Day on 17 March, featuring all new material across three tracks, “All Things End”, “Through Me (The Flood)” and the title track. The EP is out now and available digitally HERE. Working on further music, his third album “Unreal Unearth” is set for release later this year.
Flackstock, the festival raising awareness of mental health issues and funds for mental health charities in memory of TV presenter Caroline Flack, has also been announced at Englefield House to take place on Monday 24 July, for the second year running. The Friday and Sunday night Heritage Live shows will be announced over the coming weeks.
International icon Tom Jones is set to delight fans when he returns to Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 22 July, for a full headline set after racing. Along with sustaining his popularity as a live performer and recording artist for more than six decades, Jones continues to garner critical acclaim, including with the release of his most recent album, ‘Surrounded By Time’. The album made him the oldest male to claim a number 1 spot on the UK Official Album Chart with an album of new material, overtaking Bob Dylan.
It is the most recent high point in a career full of highlights, including a deeply cherished knighthood from Her Majesty The Queen in 2006. Other highlights of his long career include receiving multiple BRIT Awards, a Silver Clef Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Hitmaker Award from the [US] Songwriters Hall of Fame, GQ Man Of The Year, and the prestigious [UK] Music Industry Trusts Award.
Fellow The Voice coach Olly Murs will headline on BetVictor Hungerford Day Saturday 19 August.