The British social season is gearing up for a summer full of spectacular sport, elegant arts, top hats, fancy frocks and impractically high heels.
For those with deep pockets or good contacts with the sponsoring companies, the Season is an endless flow of social events full of excitement, elegance – and excellent entertainment. After all, what would a champagne reception be without the gentle strains of live music, or a black tie evening dinner without a live band and music to dance to?
The Season has expanded in recent years, according to Tatler and they should know. New events have become firm favourites, and almost every event offers those who don’t have a set of tails to their name a no-frills ticket to join in the fun.
Tapping into the Season’s creative planning
Organising the myriad of sporting, equine, cultural and horticultural events that make the Season so iconic takes a lot of planning and thought. So, why not tap into that (well paid) creativity and get inspired for your own events, to give them that special sparkle and fizz? Here’s some ideas to get your started!
Sometimes squashed out of the media spotlight by the thrills and fashions of of sporting events, cultural excellent is still at the heart of the 2018 Season calendar.
Glyndebourne Festival (9 May-26 August) is home to some of the best opera in the UK. On paper it really shouldn’t work: a private country house in the middle of the Sussex countryside housing a relatively small opera house, and people munching goodies from hampers on the lawn in the interval, but it does. What’s more, it’s inspired countless other country piles to stage opera during the summer months, including Season favourites Nevill Holt Opera (14- 30 June), Garsington Opera (16 June-22 July) and Grange Park Opera (7 June – 12 July).
Hay Festival is so much more than just a book festival. It’s a family event, a musical treat, a comedy fest, a chance to get creative, messy and more. Just take a look at what their Haydays programme include – circus skills, storytelling, open fire cookery, African drumming, and Ethiopian dance. The Haynights events include comedians, a fusion brass band, silent disco, harp and Senegalese kora player, choirs and more. This imaginative mix has spawned no less than five other Hay Festivals worldwide, from Peru to Denmark.
Horses are at the heart of the Social Season calendar, whether racing around Ascot, darting around iconic polo fields, or being put through their paces at the Badminton Horse Trials. What’s interesting is how these race meetings and horse shows are now more like mini festivals, with shopping, food and of course entertainment.
Royal Ascot has expanded over the last decade into a major festival in its own right. For example Village Enclosure at Royal Ascot features:
“Boutique restaurants, pop-up and al-fresco dining, champagne and cocktail bars backed by an eclectic mix of music throughout the day… And as the sun sets, the celebration in the Village continues – with live DJs and bands until 9 pm. Vibrant, yet refined.”
And that just one of four separate enclosures. So, think out of the (horse) box for your next event, and give all your visitors something to enjoy.
Not one to be left out, the Derby turns Epsom Downs into a mini festival, complete with a Family Zone, Market, Music Stage, kids Horseplay tent and a funfair. Oh, and some horse racing too!
From classic cars to the exhilarating sight of sails on the Solent, there’s plenty of events to quicken the pulse.
This iconic event describes itself as “the world’s largest automotive garden party” and “the largest car culture event in the world”. So, apart from the thrill of classic racing cars roaring up the Hillclimb, there are family areas, events, and special guest appearances.
The celebration of sailing excellence takes over the whole of the town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight. There’s plenty to enjoy for landlubbers too, with live entertainment alongside breakfast and beer at the Cowes Yacht Haven, Cowes Parades and Shephards Wharf, including the Sugar Store Nightclub. It’s a great way to extend the festival way beyond the water, and extend its reach too.
Outside entertainment with a smile:
Are they listed as part of the Tatler Season diary? Oh yes they are!
Back at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, this self-styled Festival of the Great British Countryside celebrates its 60th Anniversary with an evening of live music presented by iconic London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. The light supper included in the events has been created by celebrity chef James Martin, including dishes such as Pheasant Curry and Kentucky Fried Rabbit.
The ultimate street party, an assault on the senses from start to finish and a feast of music, feather, sequins and goat curry. From the World Music Stage at Powis Square to the parades that flow around the streets of Notting Hill, this is an event that lifts the spirit.
Want some help with entertainment for your event?
No problem. Whatever kind of event you’re organising, and even if your budget is more prosecco than champers, we’ve got the musicians and acts to entertain your crowds or special guests.
So give us a call with your ideas, and maybe we’ll help turn your event from startup to Season favourite!