Search

‘Kenwood should drop rockers like Suede and Keane’ after summer concerts axed this year

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 March 2014

Live By The Lake 2013 concerts at Kenwood House, Hampstead. Kenwood concerts 2013. Picture: Dieter Perry 
Pictured performing are Suede.

Live By The Lake 2013 concerts at Kenwood House, Hampstead. Kenwood concerts 2013. Picture: Dieter Perry Pictured performing are Suede.

Dieter Perry

Organisers have been urged not to book rock bands like Suede and Keane for Kenwood’s summer concerts – after this year’s programme was unexpectedly axed following poor ticket sales last year.

English Heritage, which manages Kenwood House and the surrounding grounds, has been encouraged to take the famous concerts back to their classical roots when they return in the future by the chairman of a prominent society.

Kirsten de Keyser, chairman of the Highgate Society, believes the concerts failed last year because they had become too much like a rock festival.

Her comments come after promoter Rouge Events pulled out of running the events, after suffering “major losses” due to low ticket sales last year, meaning they will not return until 2015 at the earliest.

Ms de Keyser said: “They’ve tried to revamp the concerts and I think that’s probably where the mistake is. Suddenly everybody fell in love with the idea of having a concert and they made it more like a rock festival, but it’s not that kind of venue.”

“It’s a serene, tranquil, classy and sophisticated setting. Let’s not try to make it something which it is not.”

Her statements were echoed by John Plews, artistic director of Highgate playhouse Upstairs at the Gatehouse theatre, who said: “I have a feeling that many local people would like to see the concerts return as a classical music series, similar to the summers of several years ago.”

Rouge had laid on a mixed musical programme led by major acts like Suede and Keane, along with West End star Michael Ball and light classical performances.

English Heritage said this week that the concerts were an “important source of income” for Kenwood, but that it has been protected from making significant losses by using an external contractor.

A spokesman added that Kenwood is now set to host a food festival this summer, which will “help to address the shortfall” created by the cancellation.

Alex Sydney, English Heritage’s head of historic properties in London, said: “There are more and more outdoor concerts in London and the Kenwood concerts suffered as a result of this competition. Last year made it very clear to us that in the future, the concerts at Kenwood will need to distinguish themselves from these similar offerings. We will be exploring what potential partners might be able to offer us over the coming months.”

The concerts were spread over three weekends last year and Rouge Events had initially been positive about the season, particularly after the first weekend which attracted some 14,000 visitors.

But the company received some criticism over noise levels, for banning picnics from the pop gigs and erecting large fencing to cordon off the site throughout the season.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

14 minutes ago

Campaigners against the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel lorries through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Yesterday, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Yesterday, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Yesterday, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

Yesterday, 11:55

Passengers on the Barking to Gospel Oak line have become used to delays and disruption in recent times.

Wed, 17:58

A man has been convicted over the “senseless” stabbing of a Dutch man in Camden Lock in 2016.

Wed, 17:04

Camden Council will correct a sign that says a park will be closed every day at dusk, despite it having no way to shut it.

Wed, 13:01

A Cumbrian couple have been left scared for their property after receiving a bailiff’s letter demanding council tax for a Maida Vale property they have no connection to.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now