English Heritage is thrilled to announce that the much-loved Summer Picnic Concerts at Audley End House and Gardens will go ahead as usual this summer. English Heritage has teamed up with independent concert producers, Portal Events Ltd to deliver a fantastic line-up of musical stars and the concerts will take place from Friday 3rd August to Sunday 5th August 2012. 

The weekend festivities will begin on Friday 3rd August with the fantastic Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, who will make a triumphant return with Gilson Lavis, special guest Chris Difford from Squeeze and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall.

On Saturday 4th August it’s time to relive your youth with The Best 80’s Party…Ever! Hit 80s artists Rick Astley, Jimmy Somerville, Midge Ure, Nick Kershaw, T'pau, Toyah, Whang Chung and Dr and the Medics will wow the crowd into a party frenzy with their famous hit songs including “Never gonna give you up”, “China in your hand” and “Spirit in the Sky”.

The concert series will then culminate in the Last Night of the Audley End Proms, compered by Aled Jones and starring Natasha Marsh and vocal quartet Amore with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Tim Redmond. The evening will include a dramatic Spitfire display and spectacular fireworks, rounding off a perfect summer’s evening.

Lynsey Coombs, English Heritage’s General Manager at Audley End House, said: “We are delighted that we can go ahead with this year’s Picnic Concerts. It’s such a popular event in a beautiful setting and a wonderful way to spend a British summer’s evening.”

Portal Events Ltd, who will promote and manage the concerts said: “When we heard that there might be a slight question mark over the Audley End Picnic Concerts, we were very surprised and thought that we must do what we can to make this happen. Audley End is an iconic location and we want to make sure that the tradition of Summer concerts continues. What better way to celebrate the British summer, watching great bands, with your friends whilst having a picnic and a glass of Pimms!”

Jools Holland who last played at Audley End in 2010, said: “I’m so thrilled that the Audley End picnic concerts are going ahead this year. It’s an amazing sight to see 10,000 people dance in the dramatic setting of Audley End – a British Summer evening doesn’t get any better than this!

Doors will open early for concert goers to enjoy the East Park and picnic. There will be ample food and drink stalls as well as a bar and a concert shop.