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Have a spectacular summer picnic at Battle Proms

Battle Proms at Burghley House. EMN-150906-165933001
Battle Proms at Burghley House. EMN-150906-165933001

The man behind one of Stamford’s biggest summer events has urged people to book their spot at the most exciting picnic around.

Battle Proms returns to Burghley House on Saturday, July 4, and this year will coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Battle Proms concert director Adam Slough. EMN-150806-142741001
Battle Proms concert director Adam Slough. EMN-150806-142741001

Concert director Adam Slough, 40, has been at the head of the event since its inception in 1997. This year’s Battle Proms will be extra special, and Adam hopes to see bumper crowds enjoying the music, fireworks and re-enactments.

“The site is a blank canvas,” he said. “We are trying to create as much as possible in terms of spectacle.

“It’s an evening which is catered around family and friends, and having your own private party within a huge party. Make sure you don’t just take a small bag of soggy sandwiches. Go for it on the picnic front. That’s the fun of it.

“People really go to town and make a big thing of it. They make it a real feast.

“We will then give it the backdrop that you will never forget.”

Preparations for this year’s Battle Proms, which will also take place at Blenheim Palace, Hatfield House, Highclere Castle and Ragley Hall through the summer, began almost immediately after the conclusion of last year’s events. For Adam and his team there is plenty to do before the stage goes up.

“We have to speak to the venue and debrief; talk about how we are going to make it better. Then we start looking at what we are going to add and change.

“We are talking to suppliers to get the best deals. We are basically building a concert from scratch in a field.

“There are only a few of us employed for most of the year. Then during the summer when we work with contractors there are up to 60 people involved each week.

“We’re really looking forward to it. We’ve now got to turn it into something real.”

The Battle Proms events focus on the Napoleonic Wars, which started in the early 1790s and came to their dramatic conclusion at Waterloo in 1815.

Adam said: “Our concerts have mirrored this since their conception in 1997. Our whole event centres around that era.

“Our signature piece is Wellington’s Victory by Beethoven, which was about a battle in Vitoria in Spain in 1713. Wellington beat Napoleon’s brother Joseph, the King of Spain.

“The music was sold to the Prussian army celebrating defeat of a common enemy. This is what we fire 193 cannons to. Our Napoleonic actors are adding to that great spectacle.

“This year is a big deal for us. We are making a big thing of it. There will be more re-enactors than ever before. We’re going to be adding to the battle symphony. It’s already a key thing. We’ve got the cavalry in full Napoleonic uniforms. The only thing we haven’t got is a boat.

“We’re also known for having the Spitfire and that’s a pivotal anniversary. It’s 75 years since the Battle of Britain and 70 since the end of the Second World War.”

Standard tickets for Battle Proms at Burghley start at £36. Visit www.battleproms.com to book.


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