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DJ Paul Oakenfold Plays Stonehenge Debut

WILTSHIRE: Stonehenge has hosted a world first with Paul Oakenfold's sunset set. Chris Page

chris@redcarpetmagazine.co.uk

 

Stonehenge, one of the world’s most famous and spectacular monuments played host to a unique world first experience when Paul Oakenfold performed a full sunset set besides the stone circle.

The world famous DJ, recording artist, producer and UK house music pioneer was invited to perform by Alon Shulman, MD at Universe, and given the honour of being the first ever DJ to play at the sacred site in Wiltshire.

Having the opportunity to play at the site, built 5,000 years ago, has been a “privilege” said Oakenfold for the experience. “I am so lucky to be able to share my music from such an iconic site.  The energy here is like nowhere else on earth, and this is reflected in my music. Despite having performed at incredible events and locations all across the globe, sunset at Stonehenge is by far THE most magical moment to have the privilege to experience.”

Oakenfold and Universe recorded their new album ‘Live at Stonehenge’ creating a ‘first of its kind experience’ for those 50 guests lucky enough to be a part of this moment in music history.

The event, conceived and produced by Alon Shulman, is part of his new ‘Origins’ concept that incorporates music, film and performance alongside incredible production. Shulman, commenting on the event, “Together, Paul and I wanted to create something completely unique.  Being known for our ground-breaking performances and collaborations it is fitting that our first special moment takes place at Stonehenge”.

 

Paul Oakenfold  (Pic: Alon Shulman)

“Alon makes the impossible possible” says Oakenfold “and his understanding and respect for the site is what has made this show so perfect”. The guests were treated to a surprise celebration of Paul’s world’s first when Paul was then joined in front of the stones for a full back to back set with the legendary Carl Cox.

As the custodians of Stonehenge, English Heritage cares for many of England’s most important landmarks. “We’ve been working very closely with Alon Shulman and the team at Universe on a number of innovative projects in support of English Heritage and the incredible collection of sites in our care” says English Heritage’s Director of Development Luke Purser. “We’re delighted with Paul’s enthusiasm for our work and that he has embraced the uniqueness of this site where he will be recorded his new album, and that proceeds from which will go towards the charity".

It bolsters  the list of unusual locations that the DJ has played at including the Great Wall of China and Base Camp on Mount Everest.

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Sounds of Success At BCU

A-Level results dayis a pretty torrid time but students in Birmingham saw off the tension with the help of R&B sensation Raye at a special music festival. Lucy Reid  lucy@redcarpetmagazine.co.uk

 

Birmingham City University (BCU) hosted the festival where DJ Roman Kemp and Birmingham’s Lotto Boyzz helped Raye raise the tempo at BCU Fest.

The performances sealed the success of BCU students who were offered a university place for the 2018/19 academic year and was staged in Birmingham’s Eastside City Park. 

Raye (below) said: “It was so much fun performing at the first BCU Fest and getting to meet all the new students who will be starting at Birmingham City University from September.

“Remember to be yourself and work hard. You are your best self when you’re not trying to be somebody else. Being different is good!”

The event kicked-off with a performance by the Birmingham City University’s Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Samba band at 11am. 

DJ, Gemma Whitfield, a Birmingham-based music producer and Masters student at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire supervised the decks.  In her stage guise as DJ Roman Candles she told us: "The festival was amazing and there was such a good atmosphere - everyone was celebrating in the sun and the food was delicious. I had a great time DJ'ing and catching Raye after my set. Everyone went wild when she sang 'You Don't Know Me'. So good to have something like this at BCU!"

BCU Fest also offered hundreds of ticket holders complimentary food, provided by local independent traders, while the SU organised the bar.

BCU’s innovative approaches have encouraged candidate application via the clearing process by sending pictures of exam results and direct messaging to the institution. It is also be the first time that it has used Instagram to review clearing applications.

See: www.bcu.ac.uk/clearing

 

Related post:

We catch Raye's  breakthrough debut at Isle of MTV in Malta in 2017:

 

 

 

 

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MTV Presents Plymouth Headliners

 

Day Two headliners of MTV Presents: Ocean City Sounds have now been announced. Take a bow, Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra…

The Heritage Orchestra will be conducted by Jules Buckley to present a two-hour set that will see their ‘Ibiza Classics’ show entertain both dance and classics fans. The successful blend has sold out venues across the UK including the O2 Arena in London.  

Day Two of MTV Presents takes place on Friday 27 July and is the only South West performance of the year.

Pete Tong is well known to the MTV audience, a veteran BBC Radio 1 DJ for over 25 years and leading ambassador for electronic music. He started working with the 65-piece Heritage Orchestra and conductor Jules Buckley in 2015. They’ve since released two albums – ‘Classic House’ and ‘Ibiza Classics’ and taken the show on a global road. 

Fans can look forward to the 90s with Plymouth Hoe’s sea as backdrop to a full festival light show.  

Pete Tong said: “I’m looking forward to bringing the Ibiza Classics show to Plymouth with Jules Buckley and the Heritage Orchestra. It’s our only South West tour date and we’re going to make it a night to remember.”

The show will also feature guest vocalists, TBA. MTV Presents continues brand’s tradition of partnering with tourism and councils to promote host cities to music fans.  

Amanda Lee, marketing manager at Plymouth City Council, said: “This show is going to be truly spectacular and we’re thrilled to be able to give music fans in the South West the opportunity to see such a unique, world-class act. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like Plymouth Hoe, so the views combined with the music mean this is going to be an unmissable event!”

Day One of Ocean City Sounds on Thursday 26 July will see indie titans Bastille perform a full 90-minute set, supported by Ella Eyre, Professor Green and R3WIRE & VARSKI. Day One will be part of the ‘MTV Presents’ series – which will also include Gibraltar Calling and Varna Beach in Bulgaria. A highlights show ‘MTV Presents: Ocean City Sounds’ will be broadcast on MTV in August.

 

Tickets are on sale now for £25 per day and there is an event pass offering access to both days for just £45. VIP tickets are also available, offering an exclusive viewing area, food and drink and VIP toilets. All tickets are subject to a £2.50 booking fee.

 Online now at: www.oceancitysounds.co.uk

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Classic Ibiza At Ragley Hall Set To Sell Out

Organisers of the Classic Ibiza musical picnic at Ragley Hall claim that overwhelming demand for tickets signals a sell-out ahead of the event’s 7th July date. Lucy Reid

Ragley Hall (see link below) is the home of the Marquess of Hertford and has been the Hertford ancestral home for over 300 years. The estate is set in thousands of acres in the lush grounds of Warwickshire where Ragley makes its debut this summer as host venue to Classic Ibiza.

The Urban Soul Orchestra, DJ Goldierocks and a host of live vocalists will perform some of the biggest dance tracks from the last 20 years at Ragley Hall. Its sprawling grounds are to start a sun-down set encouraging revellers to picnic or dance, before DJ Goldierocks warms up the crowd ready for the USO and vocalists.

Classic dance tracks, huge screens and lasers will enhance the magic and visitors will be able to suggest their favourite dance anthems in advance, to be included in the programme on social media.

The emphasis at Classic Ibiza is on its billing as a concert for all the family. Visitors can bring their own food and drink, or take advantage of numerous stalls selling high-quality street-food and refreshments. Car and coach parking is free. 

Lisa Ward of Revival Productions said: “We’ve worked with the fantastic Urban Soul Orchestra for a number of years and can guarantee that they will put on an amazing show. My team’s job is to enhance people’s experience so that they want to come back for more. This includes selecting a beautiful venue that has the best transport links, ensuring that people can get on and off the site easily, all the way through to making sure that everyone enjoys themselves in a safe environment and doesn’t have to queue for ages to use the toilet! We’ve been overwhelmed by ticket sales at Ragley and I am confident that the concert will sell out long in advance.”

Classic Ibiza is also performing at five other venues this summer: Capesthorne Hall (30 June), Harewood House, Yorkshire (28 July), Bowood House, Wiltshire (4 August) and Blickling Estate, Norfolk (10 August), Hatfield House, Hertfordshire (1 September).

 

Tickets: Adults: £39.50. Children: (aged 5 –16) £17.50. Under 5's free.

Programme: 6 pm: car parks and gates open. 8 pm: chill-out set. 9 pm: interval with live DJ. 9:30 pm: dance set and laser light show. 10:45 pm: concert finishes.

See: www.classicibiza.co.uk 

 

Ragley Hall, click...

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Welcome to Arena Birmingham

The Barclaycard Arena heralds in September with the name  ‘Arena Birmingham’ in a move to reflect the venue's location.

The Nooran Sisters (9 Sept), John Legend (20 Sept) and The Australian Pink Floyd Show (30 Sept) are scheduled to be among the first acts  to perform under the new brand name.

Barclaycard announced in 2016 that as part of a review of their sponsorship strategy across both Barclaycard and the broader Barclays Group, it planned to move away from long-term naming rights with the venue.

Managing director for the NEC Group Arenas, Phil Mead said: “Much of what we have achieved is down to the support of Barclaycard who have been an excellent partner since 2012, but we are now entering another exciting era with Arena Birmingham, as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city.  The construction of the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Birmingham is already underway, we are a principle venue of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid, and will be hosting a roster of great events throughout the rest of 2017/18.”  

The Arena has become one of the busiest large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe, staging everything from sports events to concerts, entertainment spectaculars, business conferences and exhibitions, benefiting from its position at the heart of the UK.  Alongside its sister venue, Genting Arena, the NEC Group Arenas provide the ultimate arena customer experience, attracting over 1.5 million visitors annually.

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Tom's Kitchen Birmingham

 

 

Tom’s Kitchen has paused from its rapid colonisation of London to make its debut in Birmingham. Sat Bal dropped into the new location at The Mailbox.

 

The Layout

Glass lift doors open to reveal an airy reception space with the restaurant edging out into The Mailbox as if to remind itself that it’s part of the complex. First impressions are that the design appears relatively spartan amid the high-gloss glam of its Mailbox neighbour Harvey Nichols, although both venues can safely lay claim to the ‘reassuringly expensive’ tag.

 

This conflation of traditional and contemporary is something of a hallmark at Tom’s Kitchen where familiar British food favourites are treated with Tom’s twist. Settling into our places, the quality of the venue’s fit-out is obvious, even if the close spacing of neighbouring tables threatens diner privacy. Like its sibling restaurants Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham is unashamedly meat-driven as depicted by olde butcher’s shop wall tiling and an earthy colour palette of brass pendant lighting, oaken tables and caramel Chesterfields.  

On this Wednesday night business looks reasonable with alternate tables across the restaurant populated by predominantly middle-aged diners with, predominantly, Wolverhampton twangs. Elsewhere, corporate types drop in for some after work tie-loosening at the cosy bar which serves craft beers, classic cocktails, champagne and alongside fine wines from around the world.

 

The Menu

 

Toms-Kitchen-April-2014_David-Griffen-Photography-402

 

The meat dishes feature an array of steaks, burgers and lamb variants. Fish options include poached monkfish and traditional fish and chips. We decide on a starter of seasonal parsnip and honey soup which nicely whets the appetite for the meaty prospects ahead.

When we do get to the main course, a disappointment awaits. There’s no Daylesford seven-hour confit of lamb! We wonder whether this is a mid-week omission.

This epic dish which, by definition, takes most of the day to cook had wowed us at the opening of Tom’s Kitchen, Somerset House many moons ago. Back then, the seven-hour lamb was the star of the media launch party. Even Michelin-starred Tom was present to explain his concept but tonight, in the absence of Tom Aikens or his confit, we opt for the lamb cutlets. We soon get past our bias with the help of a bottle or so of cabernet franc.

The real food success story of the night was the steak. The steak fans in our party positively cooed over the chunky cooked-to-order Cumbrian rib eye with peppercorn sauce.

Dessert raised more cooing. Dark treacle sponge arrived with ice cream was kindly presented with requested off-menu custard. The chocolate and peanut butter fondant all but silenced the table.  New dishes have been added to the Birmingham menus include spiced pumpkin with burrata, savoury granola and hazelnut dressing.

For less indulgent, healthier fare the restaurant serves weekend brunch, with dishes such as superfood granola served with honey and Greek yoghurt and Bircher muesli.

The bill weighed in at around £60 per head including drinks.

 

The Facilities

 

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The restaurant features two private dining rooms, one accommodating 12 guests and the other, 16. There’s also the Veranda, a semi-exclusive area that has capacity for 36-40 people and is useful for networking events. Then there’s the deli area in the Urban room that’s available for a networking event of 50-200 guests.

Diners might be surprised that the restaurant features only one unisex toilet but there is a more adequate set a few steps away from the restaurant.

 

Stop press…

Atul Kochhar, the two-Michelin-starred chef and TV personality is also about to open a new restaurant at The Mailbox.  

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MTV Crashes Coventry

Ricoh

This was the weekend that MTV was sent to Coventry, bringing with it a host of stars for two days of fun and frolics. (29 May’16)   

 

The city’s Ricoh Arena welcomed stars including Kaiser Chiefs, John Newman and Chase & Status to its stages – and thousands of fans through its doors, for the weekend party.

Basking in sunshine the crowds warmed nicely to DJ Sigala (below) and guest John Newman spurred on by hostess and girl-about-MTV Laura Whitmore.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Sigala performs during 'MTV Crashes Coventry' at Ricoh Arena on May 27, 2016 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV) *** Local Caption *** Sigala

Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV

 

X Factor star Fleur East wasted no time transforming from backstage…

Fleur 5

 

 

...to on stage, pumping out hits including Sax.

 

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Fleur East performs during 'MTV Crashes Coventry' at Ricoh Arena on May 27, 2016 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV) *** Local Caption *** Fleur East

Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV

 

It then fell to Tom Odell to soothe the pace with his grand piano renditions of Wrong Crowd.

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Who better on this roster than Kaiser Chiefs to up the tempo with I Predict a Riot and Ruby??

 

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs performs live  during 'MTV Crashes Coventry' at Ricoh Arena on May 27, 2016 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV) *** Local Caption *** Ricky Wilson

Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV

 

Chase & Status aptly ended the day with End Credits plus more from the hotly received DJs.

Thus ended day 1 with the baton handed over to artists including Basement Jaxx, Kano, Pete Tong and The Chainsmokers for day 2.

Hot on the heels of MTV Crashes, there’s no let-up for the Ricoh Arena as it welcomes Rihanna and Bruce Springsteen to its ever-busy stages.

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Ragley Hall Invests In The New Season

Ragley West Wing

Ragley Hall prepares for seasonal change by flinging its stately doors open to a heightened visitor experience. Abigail Parkin

The Palladian mansion, designed by Robert Hooke in 1680, is the Warwickshire home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford and the family will be welcoming visitors anew on Saturday 19 March.

Initiatives include the appointment of a house manager and head gardener to lead guided walks in the gardens, linked to veteran landscape designer, Capability Brown. Elsewhere the children’s playground  is sure to continue its popularity and a myriad of events bring Game Fair, Classic Car & Motor Show, Battle Proms Concert and Great British Food Festival to enthusiasts. Brand new is Camper Calling, a family festival held over the August bank holiday.

In addition there will be regular garden open days and tours of the stately home plus sporting events such as the avenger triathlon, open water swimming and extreme cross country running as well as boat hire on the lake during the summer.

This year celebrates the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown and his work in Warwickshire. The gardens will help mark this tercentenary with colourful bloom of tulips and daffodils in the spring and a Rose Garden and Prairie Garden throughout the summer.

Ragley Hall Stairwell

Government higher level stewardship input and a partnership with Natural England means that Ragley has embarked upon a £250,000 scheme to improve the parkland this year. Tree replanting and the restoration of the lake cascade, the Victorian Pump House and original bathing hut plus the Victorian decoy pond, comprise some of the improvement measures.

 The importance of dining at Ragley Hall is highlighted by the appointment of a new head chef so that visitors can enjoy  home-cooked dishes in the Terrace Café. These feature light lunches, afternoon teas, cakes, and ice-cream. Corporate lunches and wedding breakfasts in the Hall add to the events dimension.

Visitor tours take in the Great Hall, Red Saloon, State Dining Room, Prince Regent’s Bedroom, the Mauve Siting Room, Music Room, Breakfast Room and Green Drawing Room as well as the South Staircase Hall and its imposing mural, ‘The Temptation’ by Graham Rust.   

Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens entrance : - Adult day ticket £10.50, Child aged 5-16 £6.50, Child under 5 – Free.

See more at www.ragley.co.uk.

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Wickham House Opens For Business

 

 

Grade II listed Georgian manor Wickham House has just opened for business events for companies who like their meetings discrete and in exclusive surroundings. Sat Bal (13 Oct ‘15)

Set in 52 acres of picturesque countryside in West Berkshire the estate will only be available for exclusive hire and comprises The Barn, The Pavilion and part of the Main House, located amid the acres of greenery. 

Wickham House is owned by the D'Arcy family and the recently added Barn and Pavilion have been built to encompass high-spec business technology and stylish interiors. 

Service is discreet and professional yet personable, and the menus are healthy and sophisticated, built around fresh local produce. 

Privacy is the order of the day at Wickham; guests will have exclusive access to the estate and its extensive grounds, including the Robin Templar-Williams designed walled garden. Wickham is just an hour from London via the M4 and local rail links from Paddington are located five minutes away from the venue. 

The Barn consists of a boardroom style meeting room designed for gatherings of up to 24 guests, while the Pavilion seats 12 and provides an al-fresco alternative in the confines of The Walled Garden. Finally, the main house offers an elegant dining room for formal events for up to 16 guests, with an adjoining drawing room for pre and post meal cocktails. 

Philippa D'Arcy, owner says, “Wickham is a very different proposition to the plethora of hotels and venues that are available for meetings. Our intention is to be the ‘go to’ place for high level business meetings. We are all about discretion and intent on establishing an outpost where The City's influencers can take stock, brainstorm, structure deals and take decisions in privacy and comfort. We look forward to inviting businesses to experience Wickham House in 2016.”

 Wickham House is privately owned by James and Philippa D'Arcy. Philippa (née Rose), rose from City eminence and retired from The Rose Partnership in June 2013.

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Private Dining at The Brighton Grand

Brighton Grand Low jpg

Exclusivity comes to the The Grand Brighton with the launch of two newly refurbished meeting spaces at this iconic hotel on Brighton’s seafront. Hannah Charlesworth (17 Sep’15)

 

Executive chef, Alan White has introduced four and five course tasting menus for a high-end dining experience. Some 90% of the seafood is being sourced from within an eight- mile radius of the hotel.Private dining menus will feature dishes such as duck consommé followed by Sussex scallops with a pea purée and bacon or squid with a black risotto. For mains, guests can choose from wild seabass with crab ravioli, to a fillet of beef with lobster hollandaise. The desserts include palate of chocolate and the trio of lemon along with local cheeses Brighton Blue, Sussex Tremains cheddar and Sussex camembert with a selection of petit fours including raspberry macaroons and fruit pastilles.

The two refurbished rooms, designed by Hove-based boutique interiors company, Park Grove are part of the independent hotel’s five-year renovation plan which incorporates 13 recently restored meeting spaces with capacity for up to 900 delegates.  The new rooms offer versatility from company dinners, client entertainment and special occasion dining. Décor and furnishings are distinctly British furnishings and bespoke features, such as the striking art mural of Brighton seafront.

Both rooms also benefit from state-of-the-art Crestron Air Media Technology, a sophisticated audio visual gateway, which enables customers to seamlessly, present, play, collaborate and share content wirelessly.

General Manager Andrew Mosley said: “As a business we’re always looking to exceed our guest’s expectation and, due to having the expertise and demand, the new tasting menus are an exciting addition which helps us showcase the talent we have amongst our teams. After maintaining our Meetings Industry Association (mia) AIM Gold accreditation in February, it’s great to be able to further invest in our offering and we look forward to updating our customers on further exciting developments in the near future.” 

Designed and built in 1864, the historic hotel is only a 10-minute walk away from the city’s main rail station, with regular services in to London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.

Contact  conference@grandbrighton.co.uk

 

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