In part four of our annual festival guide, we pick eight of the classiest fests in London and beyond
Hampton Court Palace Festival, 5-23 June, Richmond-upon-Thames
In a nutshell Henry VIII’s old gaff sees guests take over the Palace Gardens and Courtyard for 13 nights of big names, meaning you can treat your clients to a royal knees-up against the iconic backdrop of the Tudor Palace. Soak up the pre-gig atmosphere with a picnic in the East Front Gardens before taking your seat in the intimate Palace Courtyard for the main event.
VIP offering VIP tickets (from £275pp) include a champagne reception, three-course dinner in the regal State Apartments and premium concert seats. Private dining apartments can be arranged for a minimum of 20 guests. Pre-gig waterside gazebos are also available for hire (£220 for six-10 guests).
Headliners Lionel Richie, Paloma Faith, Joe Bonamassa, Jools Holland, The Beach Boys, Gary Barlow, Tom Jones, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
Live at Chelsea, 14-17 June, Royal Hospital Chelsea
In a nutshell Another worthy summer concert series set in a historic London venue. What’s more, a portion of the proceeds go towards the care of the Chelsea Pensioners, as well as the upkeep of the Grade I-listed, Sir Christopher Wren-designed site, making attending a gig here extra special.
VIP offering Choose from three packages, which all include premium concert seats: ‘The Quartermaster’s BBQ’ (from £165pp) for casual dining on the lawn, ‘State Apartments Dinner’ (from £269.50pp) for haute cuisine in fine surrounds, or ‘Bespoke Private Gazebo’ (£225 for six guests) for intimate dining on the lawn.
Headliners Kaiser Chiefs, Jeff Beck, James Blunt, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
Nocturne Live, 14-17 June, Blenheim Palace
In a nutshell If you’d rather escape London, Nocturne Live sees The Great Court at Sir Winston Churchill’s birthplace turned into a grand arena seating up to 7,000 guests. Take a stroll in the palace’s grounds, enjoy a waterside picnic or dinner in the elegant State Rooms, and watch world-class acts perform in a historic space.
VIP offering ‘The State Room Dining Package’ (from £270pp) includes top-price seats, a three-course dinner in the States Rooms, drinks throughout the evening and VIP parking.
Headliners Nile Rodgers & Chic, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Elvis Costello, Gary Barlow
Greenwich Music Time, 3-8 July, Old Royal Naval College
In a nutshell Set in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, overlooking the Thames, this eclectic music fest draws a mixed crowd of all ages. It’s kinder on the company card too, with rather affordable gig prices (from £32.50pp) and street food or canapés for dinner.
VIP offering Hospitality packages include prosecco and canapés served around a one-off guided ‘Scaffold Tour’ of the famous Painted Hall ceiling (£79pp excluding gig tickets).
Headliners Emeli Sandé, Tom Jones, Steps, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Il Divo
British Summer Time, 6-8 July and 13-15 July, Hyde Park
In a nutshell The big dog. The highly popular, highly revered BST is a six-show fest split over two weekends smack bang in the middle of London. Huge acts take to the Hyde Park stage every summer to entertain 65,000-strong crowds of musos. Crowd-surfing, anyone?
VIP offering The Great Oak Premium VIP Hospitality package (£550pp) offers pre-gig drinks and canapés, premium terrace tickets (on a raised covered platform with great views of the main stage) and access to proper loos. Other top packages include The Ultimate Bar Experience (from £375pp) and VIP Summer Garden (from £180pp).
Headliners Roger Waters, The Cure, Eric Clapton, Michael Bublé, Bruno Mars, Paul Simon
Kew the Music, 10-15 July, Kew Gardens
In a nutshell A more intimate musical escape which doesn’t involve leaving town and draws big names. With its original setting within Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens and a string of big names, this week-long festival knows how to throw a summer evening party. A great place for a picnic too.
VIP offering There are four cracking hospitality packages to choose from, including our top pick, ‘The Complete Package’ (from £215pp): champagne and canapés served in the Hive, barbecue in the Grade I-listed Orangery and VIP concert tickets. Picnic hampers (£75pp excluding gig tickets) are also available.
Headliners Steps, The Gipsy Kings, 2CELLOS, The Human League, Boyzone, Jools Holland
Henley Festival, 11-15 July, Henley-on-Thames
In a nutshell An exclusive boutique festival feel without the madness and the mud, festivalgoers dressed to the nines, and Michelin-starred nosh: if you’re keen to impress big clients who have excellent food and musical tastes, Henley Festival offers style and entertainment in spades.
VIP offering Choose from a variety of hospitality packages to entertain anything from 10 to 200 guests. Prices (from £250pp) include premium gig tickets, a champagne reception plus dining at either The Riverside Restaurant, The Terrace Restaurant, The Pontoon Suite or the exclusive private BARCO area for large corporate groups.
Headliners Rita Ora, Grace Jones, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Curtis Stigers & The Ronnie Scott’s Big Band, English National Opera
The Big Feastival, 24-26 August, Kingham
In a nutshell Three days of delightful food, music and entertainment on Blur bassist-turned-cheesemaker Alex James’ farm in Oxfordshire. Celebrity chef stations, all the street food you can dream of, cookery classes, supper clubs, pop-up restaurants: you name it, it’s there.
VIP offering VIP passes (from £60pp excluding festival entry) include access to a VIP lounge with private bar, premium toilet facilities, cov ered seating area and views of the main stage. Boutique camping (from £650 for two) is also on offer, with options ranging from bell tents to luxury yurts, plus access to a spa, cocktail bar, chill-out area, showers and posh loos.
Headliners Basement Jaxx, Craig David, Paloma Faith