Organisers say new ‘cool and credible’ Kenwood concerts will attract top artists next year

Organisers say new life has been breathed into the Kenwood House concert season – after 23,500 people flocked to see live music at the English Heritage site this year.

As the re-branded Live By The Lake season came to a close on Sunday evening, organisers Rouge Events praised the new format as a “cool and credible” one for the future.

Some 9,500 people were at this weekend’s concerts, where programming had a classical flavour after the rock renaissance of last weekend.

Nathan Homan, creative director of Rouge Events, said: “For us to come as the newbies to Kenwood and build up a customer base of just over 20,000 from scratch feels like a great platform to move the concerts forward.”

A crowd of 4,000 watched West End star Michael Ball perform Gershwin Greats on Sunday, while 3,000 saw the atmospheric outdoor screening of Singin’ In The Rain on Friday.

Another 2,500 were at Opera Al Fresco to hear Grammy award–winning soprano Ana María Martínez sing with the English National Opera on Saturday.

But by far the biggest crowd-pullers of this year’s season were the rock gigs of the opening weekend, when Keane and Brit-nominated singer Laura Mvula played to 6,500 people and Britpop legends Suede attracted an audience of 5,000.

Most Read

The success will help to attract chart-topping artists in the future, according to Mr Homan.

“We really wanted to create a platform which means we can attract bigger artists next year,” he said.

“Agents look and maybe think it’s not cool enough or credible enough, so we were really determined to make something of it. Kenwood concerts this year were not cheesy, they were credible.

“Next year will be bigger and better. Basically bands that wouldn’t have looked at Kenwood before, massive house-hold names, now might.”

For the first time this year the concerts were held over two weekends rather than the traditional eight beginning in early July.

It has not yet been decided whether the scheduling will alter next year.

“I definitely think that’s something we would like to consult about with our partners at English Heritage,” said Mr Homan.

“That’s how we approached it this year to contain the impact on Kenwood House.

“Early July is an extremely busy time for festivals and from mid July onwards a lot of the local audience will be going away.

“That final week of the summer holidays people are back, so we’re going to evaluate that.”

Rouge Events won the deal to run the concerts for three years when former promoters IMG failed to renew contracts last year.