LIVING ADVENT WINDOWS FOR 2015 REVEALED, BUT WHAT WILL BE BEHIND THEM?
The 5th instalment of the award winning Henley Living Advent Calendar is little more than 6 weeks away, and the venues for this year’s event have now been revealed.
A winner of a Towns Alive award and one of Downing Street’s ‘Big Society’ awards in 2013, and included in a list of ’10 of the best UK Christmas attractions’ last year, the event has already firmly established itself on the very full calendar of events in Henley on Thames, so much so that this year for the first time the Living Advent Calendar joins forces with one of Henley’s biggest festivals, the Literary Festival, to provide what is promised to be a very special and festive occasion at the Hotel du Vin on 13th December
Each night at 6.15pm, at a different iconic venue in Henley, will be a surprise free 30 minute public performance over some festive nibbles. Performers in 2014 included a Robbie Williams tribute act, string ensemble, jazz band, rap group, choirs of different sizes and styles, cabaret, acoustic performers and bands, dramatic performances, film, dance troupes, variety and more.
A real coming together of hundreds of local business, community groups and individuals to create some fantastic festive spirit, the event is also a vehicle for fundraising for local charities. This year, the event promises to raise more money, for more causes than ever before. “We are planning to showcase and fundraise for a different charity every night” explained event organiser Richard Rodway. “In the same way that each night there will be a different venue, partner and performer, there will be a different charity. This will enable us to involve more causes, which is fantastic since there is so much great work being done in and around Henley that the event gives another platform too, and which will hopefully make it at even more engaging experience for the audience and serve to encourage them to dig deeper and more often”. Causes set to benefit from the event this year include Bishopwood School, Regatta for the Disabled, Nomad, Riverside Counselling, Chiltern Centre, Henley Music School, Sue Ryder, Henley Festival Trust and the Rowing Museum Charity.
“The venues and performers are all in place, as are the majority of our nightly partners, sponsors, charities and other contributors, but we are always delighted to hear from anyone keen to get involved and we will always endeavour to involve their contribution. The event is only as good as the sum of its component parts after all” said Mr Rodway.
Main sponsors Higgs Group, The Head Partnership Solicitors and CTC Aspire, are joined by new sponsors this year Courtiers and Philip Booth Esq, and the event is also supported by the Henley Business Partnership and Henley Town Council. Look out for this year’s event programme which will be out in November 2015, kindly produced by Breathe Creative.
THE LIVING ADVENT CALENDAR IS BACK FOR 2015, PROMISING TO RAISE MORE MONEY FOR MORE CHARITIES THAN EVER BEFORE!
Whilst the iconic summer festivities are on the horizon in Henley with the Regatta site taking shape, preparations for this year’s Henley Living Advent Calendar are also very much underway, and this year the Big Society and Towns Alive award winner is hoping to help raise more money for more charities than ever before.
“The audience is accustomed to a surprise performer at a different venue, with a different partner, every night”, explained event organiser Richard Rodway. “This year, each night will also be dedicated to raising funds for a different deserving local cause. It will enable us to showcase more of the immense good work that is done locally, and raise some much needed funds, whilst of course having a fabulous time with an entertaining performance!”
“We would therefore love to hear from local charities who would like to get involved and fundraise on their night(s).”
Performances last year ranged from a Robbie Williams tribute act ‘Robbing Williams’ on the opening night in Falaise Square, to the choir of Saint Mary's Church on Christmas Eve, visiting venues such as the Leander Club, Phyllis Court, the Kenton Theatre, the Regal Picturehouse, Henley College, and d:two to name but a few in between. “As was the case last year, we will be inviting back some familiar faces who have performed before and who have been well received, and also introducing some fantastic new acts to the Living Advent”.
Whether as a venue, performer, charity, sponsor, marshall, there a lots of ways in which people can contribute to and help put on the event. “It is only as good as the sum of its component parts, and it would be great to hear from anyone who would like to get involved”.