Press Release - For Immediate Release
Secret Garden Concerts is an entirely outdoor and Covid-safe festival based in Streatham, South-west London, which returns this summer with a fabulous array of international stars in an intimate, magical setting, with sensational food to match.
Borne out of the desperate situation for the arts brought on by the pandemic, cellist Chris Grist, (founder and artistic director of London Concertante and Secret Garden Concerts), was faced with all the doors of his regular venues being shut, so he literally opened his own doors to his beautiful and magical garden to bring an amazing offering of arts to the local community.
Grist comments: “When the Government announced that outdoor performances could take place in July last year, my fellow musicians and I had not had the opportunity to perform to a live audience for many months. The music industry had been enormously hit by Covid, and all around me freelance musicians were having to turn to other professions, which was tragic to see. We started Secret Garden Concerts to give musicians crucial work and audiences an opportunity to watch performances without compromising their safety.”
A huge success last year, 5 concerts quickly became 9, all of which sold out. Most were performed by Grist’s ensemble, London Concertante, but also featured the David Gordon Trio (jazz trio), the Camarilla wind quintet and Austentatious improv comedy troupe. As well as performances, there was a bar and a bespoke 5-course tasting menu created by Sven Hanson-Britt (Masterchef The Professionals: The Rematch winner), offering audiences an utterly unique experience of wonderful music, great wine and a stunning menu in a truly exceptional setting. With audience scattered around the beautiful garden, overlooking the lily pond across to the performance area, a real sense of magic descended on the garden as dusk came, one audience member summed it up as “like wonderland.”
Since last year’s inaugural festival, it has expanded from purely classical music to include theatre, comedy, jazz and, of course, classical music. This years’ season, comprising 15 events, feature a broad array of outstanding artists, including pop star Nerina Pallot, food critic and jazz pianist Jay Rayner, comedians Sara Pascoe and Angela Barnes, the Brodsky Quartet, jazz musicians Jason Rebello, Tim Garland and the Sam Leak Trio, the Pip Utton Theatre Company, and, of course, London Concertante.
This year, we are enormously excited to be working with the wonderfully innovative Cue Point BBQ, who have wowed their customers with their inclusive Afghan-fusion BBQ offering since they launched in 2018. Expect to fall in love with their pulled beef nacos (a cross between a naan and a taco) and their fabulous lamb barbacoa, as well as fabulous stewed aubergine – here served with vegan yoghurt on nacos with an array of toppings.
If attending the Brodsky Quartet on the 6th August, the Sam Leak Trio on the 7th or Sara Pascoe and Angela Barnes on the 8th, we are delighted that these events will be catered for Nisha Parmar 2018 MasterChef UK Semi-Finalist, accompanied by award-winning Executive Chef Jamie Higgs. Their delicious five-plate tasting menu includes Thai Green Curry Arancini, Asian Watermelon Salad, Tiger Prawn Coconut Daal, Korean Chicken Bao Bun and a Tropical Eton Mess. Both Nisha and Jamie have catered for very high profile clients; Nisha’s credits include Joe Wicks, Ellie Goulding and John Terry; whilst Jamie has catered for Prince Charles, Tom Cruise and Ed Miliband.
Grist says “It was an extraordinary experience performing last year, having not performed for so many months – the events were actually extremely emotional for both performers and audience alike. However, one of the greatest legacies of the series was the outstanding sense of community that was engendered by the events. I am so excited that so many exceptional artists have come on board to perform at this year’s series – we couldn’t be more excited to welcome these amazing performers, and of course audience, back into our wonderful garden.”
The festival runs from Friday 30th July to Sunday 12th September and is officially sponsored by Hamptons: https://www.hamptons.co.uk/
Official website: www.secretgardenconcerts.com
Promotional Video: https://youtu.be/kFVRsqoisKA