Henley Festival
Henley Festival

Our RISE Event

On the 3rd November we hosted an evening reception to celebrate and promote our RISE initiative and showcase some of our individuals who participated in the 2022 programme. We launched our RISE programme in 2022 to inspire the next generation of talented performers and technicians hoping to work in the creative arts industry. RISE provides paid opportunities for emerging talent both in front of and behind the spotlight. We have programmed slots available for musicians and comedians, a gallery space for RISE artists and also various back of house work placement opportunities for individuals seeking a career in lighting, sound, marketing and PR disciplines.


Jo Bausor, our CEO, spoke passionately about the importance of providing emerging talent with opportunities to be able to break into an industry that is notoriously difficult to get into. Talent is everywhere opportunities are not, she expressed how it is Henley Festivals mission to nurture the talent of the future through the RISE programme and explained how Henley Festival can provide not only the stage but also the contacts and expertise for these individuals to launch their career in the Music and Arts.


The RISE programme offers a number of opportunities for both front and back of house individuals. We have programmed slots in The Salon Comedy Club and a dedicated venue for musical RISE performers as well as a dedicated gallery space for up-and-coming visual artists. Lizzie Wheeler, our 2022 RISE Visual Artist expresses ‘ I am so grateful to Henley Festival for giving me this opportunity, it’s been such a fantastic experience. I have gained so much exposure that I know will do all sorts of good for my career.’ Lizzie was exhibiting next to the Jenna Burlingham Gallery and as a result of Henley Festival has now been signed up to join the Jenna Burlingham name.

We’re also offering various work experience programmes for those looking to pursue a career in the behind the scenes of live events. Both our sound and lighting contractors are supporting the RISE programme and taking on board some work experience individuals to assist from the load in to the load out. Having just 60 hours to turn the site around RG Jones (our sound contractor) and PRG (our lighting contractor) have a whole crew ensuring all venues are set up with the best sound and lighting equipment for Festival week. Last year RG Jones took on Sheridan Burns our RISE sound engineer who worked for the full Festival week, where she gained experience in rigging the floating stage, setting up microphones in the Bedouin, sound checking with various artists across the site and so much more. Sheridan has since worked on multiple other RG Jones events and has now been offered a role once she has completed her studies at LIPA. Click here to hear Sheridan and Lizzie’s 2022 RISE experiences first hand.


Emma Ellis, who will be managing the RISE Programme, also spoke about how we are finding the new RISE 2023 cohort and the future plans for RISE. We are actively working with local and national colleges, universities and performing arts academies such as LIPA, BIMM, The Brit School, The Backstage Academy, Reading University as well as industry experts to find talented individuals or groups who are genuinely looking to pursue a career in the Music and Arts industry. In the future we plan to extend our RISE programme to offer more opportunities for young up-and coming talent, we seek to be able to offer year-round support through advice, marketing assistance and even contacts with agents to be able to give our RISE participants the best support, experience and guidance we can.


To round off the evening Henjila, one of our RISE x BBC Music Introducing Artists, performed for us. She performed a number of songs for our guests and said ‘‘it was a wonderful experience to perform at such a unique festival. I made a lot of connections that day with other artists, staff and made genuine new listeners. Thank you for the opportunity’.


As a charity and not-for-profit organisation, Henley Festival is looking to raise the funds required to give next year’s RISE individuals their chance to break through at Henley Festival.

If you would like to donate to RISE, please do so here.

We are immensely grateful for your generous offer to make any donations to RISE. With your support we will be able to offer more opportunities for emerging talent to learn, perform and flourish.



There’s so much to experience at the Festival it’s worth being ready to go when the gates open at 5pm.


You can never be overdressed at Henley!



Head to the Moet Champagne lawn for a glass of fizz and an amazing view of the river.


All our non-bookable restaurants are open throughout the evening and are less busy during the floating stage concert.



The Festival has a black tie dress code.


The car park opens at 4pm, Festival gates open at 5pm.


Wristbands will be given out at the Festival gates upon presentation of a valid ticket.