December 10 2013 Latest news:
by Tom Marshall
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Thousands descended on Hampstead Heath over the weekend as live music returned to Kenwood House for the first time in two years.
Some 14,000 people attended over the bank holiday weekend, with rock band Keane proving the biggest hit attracting a crowd of about 6,500 on Sunday, alongside support acts Laura Mvula and Jessica Sweetman.
Britpop legends Suede drew about 5,000 people for the launch night of this year’s concert season on Friday, which also saw rockers British Sea Power and Teleman take the stage.
Hampstead comedian Ricky Gervais, a former manager of Suede, was one celebrity guest spotted in the crowd for the opening night as the band headlined the first of six concerts over two weekends.
On Saturday, a hardy bunch of nearly 2,500 music fans braved downpours to enjoy an evening of classical music, performed by the Royal Choral Society and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and a spectacular fireworks finale.
Organisers Rouge Events said only 150 ticket-holders chose to stay away due to the dire forecasts on Saturday – as they hailed the opening weekend of the Live By The Lake season as a roaring success.
Nathan Homan, creative director at Rouge Events, who was also one of the singers on Saturday as a member of The Royal Choral Society, said: “It was a great weekend and we had a really good turnout.
“We’re really chuffed because it was our first time ever promoting the concerts, so we had to build our customer base from the bottom up.”
He added: “There was no question of cancelling on Saturday, we were fully geared up to cope with whatever the weather would throw at us.
“And the fireworks were amazing – they were like a beacon to say that Kenwood House concerts are most definitely back.”
Mr Homan revealed that Patricia Kelly, the widow of Singin’ In The Rain star Gene Kelly, will fly into the UK to attend the outdoor screening of the movie at Kenwood this Friday, opening the second weekend of concerts.
She will share anecdotes with the crowd about what it was like for her husband on the film’s set.
This Saturday’s line-up will see an evening of opera with Ana Maria Martinez, while West End musical star Michael Ball will close the season out with an evening of music from George Gershwin on Sunday.