Event claims to be world's first classical music festival
LONDON — Britain’s vibrant music festival scene is set for a brand new debutant this year as an event already being nicknamed “Posh-stock” claims the title of the world’s first classical music festival.The Serenata Festival will take place over the weekend of Aug. 26-28, putting it up against such music stalwarts as the twinned Leeds and Reading festivals. However, unlike those rock rivals, Serenata is offering a uniquely upscale experience, including fully furnished luxury tents, complete with their very own butler. Despite the global recession, the promoters of the event (The Classical Festival Company) appear to have captured the imagination of corporate sponsors with the likes of prestige vehicle-maker Land Rover and luxury yacht company Sunseeker already aboard as partners. The event will be hosted by The Skedmore Estate on the Isle of Purbeck, overlooking the sea on England’s south coast, where a capacity limit of just 5,000 is being enforced to ensure that the weekend remains an intimate affair. Already confirmed to perform at Serenata are such stars as classical crossover singers Katherine Jenkins and Russell Watson, quartet Blake, mezzo-soprano Faryl Smith, violinist Ruth Palmer, teenage piano sensation Benjamin Grosvenor and clarinettist Emma Johnson. The idea behind the concept is to combine the format of a pop music festival with world class classical musicians. But some of the accommodation on site will be spectacularly different to anything seen at muddy rock festivals, with guests paying up to £1,400 ($2,155) for a four-day package at the elite Serenata Boutique Camp, where each tent has its own personal butler. Parents will be able to make use of on-site child care and as well as the musical offering, organizers are setting aside space for an art fair. And in keeping with other summer festivals, Serenata even has an unsigned artist competition, where the winning vocalist and instumentalist will share a £10,000 ($15,390) prize to help toward their future careers.