“We’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary this year,” says Jamie Wells, the proud director of the Hampton Court Festival, a series of standalone concerts which take place over 10 nights in the garden of Henry VIII’s favourite palace.
Says Wells: “Festival-goers arrive early to enjoy a picnic – either their own or courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts – and glass of fizz in the before the concert begins.”
This year’s bill includes Van Morrison, Katie Melua Squeeze and Liza Minnelli.
Hampton Court is definitely about doing things in style. “We introduced luxury gazebos for the first time last year, which were a huge success,” says Wells. “So we have many more available for hire. It’s a great way to dine before the concert and you even get your own waiting staff, so there’s no need to queue at the bar.”
Wells gallantly reveals that his favourite London festival is one of his competitors. “2012 Summer Series at Somerset House is a great mix of up-and-coming artists playing in another spectacular setting. If Hampton Court Palace Festival is the mother of heritage music festivals,” he laughs, “then Somerset House is the rebellious child.”