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THE EVENT: a one-night music festival in aid of the charity Médecins Sans Frontières
VENUE: Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire (tel: 01628 819050, squaremeal.co.uk/hedsor)
HOSTS: Nick, Mark and Hamish Shephard (Hedsor owners)
THE THEME: ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, with larger-than-life rhinos, gorillas, elephants and zebras decorating the lawn
THE MENU: tandoori chicken tikka, lamb kebab, fish pakora, naan bread, vegetable samosa, mixed vegetable pakora, chilli paneer with imli and mint chutney
TO DRINK: beer, wine, cider and natural energy drinks
ENTERTAINMENT: 250 African drums provided by Drum Team and live music from Shlomo (number one beat-boxer in the world), Rocketeer, 5 Cent Theatre, Natty Defcon, Aina, Left Step Band and DJs Anon and Nico D
ON THE GUESTLIST: 750 paying guests (the £55 price tag included food and drink), mostly aged under 30 and dressed as exotic animals
GUESTS SAID: ‘From the minute you arrived you felt like you were actually in the jungle – the set was fantastic and all the outfits were great. “Drum Team” were the perfect warm up act. They got everybody in to the jungle spirit! But Shlomo’s solo act was definitely the highlight – the whole marquee was full for the entire set and nobody wanted him to stop. Overall, a fun-filled evening in a beautiful setting – bring on Hedsor 2012!’ (Hattie Miller, account manager at APR Communications)
TALKING POINT: whether Dame Maggie Smith and Dustin Hoffman would show up. The two are filming their new movie in the house
SPEECHES: Nick, Mark and Hamish Shephard all spoke, along with a representative from MSF
SUPPLIERS: catering, Delhicious Foods; drink, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Bordeaux Wine Investments, Westons Cider; bars, InTheSpirit; lighting, ClassAct Productions, music LyrixOrganix
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events, Autumn 2011.