The Battle Proms picnic concert takes place in the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field in the leafy parkland at Hatfield House. Legend has it that it was beneath one of the ancient oaks in this field that the young Queen Elizabeth I heard that she was to be Queen of England.
The Old Palace at Hatfield House is where Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood and later held her first Council of State in November 1558. The celebrated Jacobean House has been the family home to the Cecils since it was built in 1611. A place so steeped in history makes the perfect setting for a summer celebration with the Battle Proms.
Hatfield House official website: www.hatfield-house.co.uk.
Pick your spot in the auditorium, unpack the picnic, pop the champagne cork and settle in for a fabulous afternoon and evening of spectacular entertainment!
There's plenty of time to check out the stalls giving away free samples or running prize draws, win a prize at the traditional fairground stalls, visit the Napoleonic re-enactors at their encampment and admire the horses and riders as Crown and Empire parade. The fun has only just begun!
Take a short walk to the side of the stage to enjoy a thrilling mounted skill-at-arms display by our expert cavalry troop up close, or relax and enjoy the informative stage commentary and watch the display on the big screen.
Get ready to revel in the sound and style of the roaring Twenties. It's time to get the party started as we introduce the hottest band on the British Boardwalk… The Jazz Spivs!
The Jazz Spivs have been charming audiences far and wide, performing their lively 1920s music for hundreds of top-notch events across the country including prohibition nights, speakeasies and vintage gatherings. The fabulous four are sure to impress at the Battle Proms with their unique vintage style and classic songs including Five Foot Two, Yes Sir That’s My Baby and a bit of cheeky Charleston. The Jazz Spivs will have you Putting on the Ritz in no time!
The English Field Artillery Company herald the arrival of the Grace Spitfire with a volley of shots from a vintage 13 pounder field gun.
The evening continues with an uplifting and inspiring celebration of soul-stirring classical favourites, performed by the New English Concert Orchestra, conducted by Douglas Coombes MBE and hosted by popular BBC presenter Pam Rhodes.
The historic and unmistakable sound of the Spitfire engine rumbles overhead in accompaniment to the concert’s opening pieces. This meticulously choreographed and highly emotive aerial display is performed in the skies above the arena by Carolyn Grace in the legendary Grace Spitfire.
The Battle Proms orchestral performance includes the ground-shaking drama of more than 200 replica Napoleonic cannons set to music of the era.
Our ‘first half’ finale is the rousing 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, performed in true Battle Proms style with a thunderous percussion of cannon fire, serving as a pyrotechnical warm up to our signature piece: Beethoven’s ‘Battle Symphony’.
The Battle Proms is proud to still be the only place in the world where you can hear this dramatic piece performed as Beethoven intended, with the full complement of 193 cannons, plus musket fire and fireworks, providing a unique and breathtaking musical spectacular.
The perfect summer evening closes with the traditional sing-along, flag-waving proms finale, including favourites Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, culminating in a dazzling firework spectacular!
Widely regarded as the most exciting summer proms concert in the country, the Battle Proms is a firmly established favourite that thousands of fans return to year after year. Pack up a picnic, stock up on fizz and join the party; whether you’re planning a romantic evening as a couple, a celebration as a group, or want to enjoy an informal concert as a family then this could be the unique experience you have been looking for.
2017 Ticket Prices
£31.00 if booked before 31 January 2017 (Online purchase only)
£35.00 if booked between 1 February 2017 and 30 April 2017
£38.00 if booked from 1 May 2017 until the day before the concert
£43.00 on the day (until 4.30pm online, or with cash on the gate. Subject to availability)
Child aged 5 to 15:
£18.00 (children aged 4 and under are free, and do not require a ticket). All under 16s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is over 18 years old.
Advance group bookings of 10 or more tickets (adults and/or children) can be booked online and qualify for a £2 per ticket discount.
Battle Proms & Bubbly: Tickets for two plus a bottle of sparkling Rosé and delicious chocolates, chilled and awaiting collection on arrival.
Disabled / Carers: Please see our Disabled Access Information Page.
Concert entry plus a reserved table and chairs in a marquee at the back of the auditorium. For further information please visit the Concert Pavilion webpage
£250.00 for a table of 4
£350.00 for a table of 6
Delivery Info: Secure barcoded e-tickets are delivered immediately by e-mail for you to print at home. Alternatively you may download them to your smartphone / tablet to be scanned on screen. Please enter your e-mail address carefully when booking.
Any Extra Charges?: You'll be pleased to know there is no booking fee!
Position: Tickets are general admission. Seating is not provided and positions are not assigned / reserved (apart from Concert Pavilion bookings.)
Booking terms and conditions available here
Official Outlets: Alternative local official outlets will be announced here as they become available.
Hatfield House, Hatfield Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 5NQ
Finding us: The concert parking and entrance is clearly signposted from all major routes into Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Please use postcode AL9 5NQ for Sat Navs then look out for temporary yellow event signage as you approach the venue.
Parking: Free parking provided on site (available from 2.00pm). Distance from car park to concert entrance varies but is usually between 50 – 350 metres. No overnight parking. Disabled parking is available.
Taxis: All vehicles dropping off or picking up should follow taxi signage to the designated taxi drop-off / pick-up route. Detailled taxi instructions will be published here shortly before the concert.
Coaches: Please note that parking for coaches is strictly limited - please call 01432 355 416 to discuss your requirements.
Pedestrians: As well as coming by car, concert-goers may access the concert site on foot via the pedestrian entrance of Hatfield House opposite Hatfield Train Station.
Local Accommodation: For a list of places to stay in the area, please click here
Order here online and collect on arrival at the concert.
You can also hire chairs, tables and pre-erected gazebos from The Concert Shop to help make your Battle Proms evening extra special.
(NOTE - Strictly limited availability on gazebos - please book early to avoid disappointment)
Q. What time do the concert gates and the car park open?
A. Access to the concert arena is either at 4.00pm or 4.30pm depending on the venue; please check the programme details for your chosen venue. The concert car park will be available from 2.00pm at all concerts.
Q. Is parking included in the ticket price?
A. Yes, there is plenty of free parking provided on site. Distance from car park to concert entrance varies but is usually between 50 – 350 metres. No overnight parking.
Q. Can I bring a gazebo and is there a charge?
A. Yes you can bring a gazebo and there is no charge. However, gazebos can only be set up at the back of the auditorium and space is strictly limited. Spaces are allocated on a first come first served basis at the discretion of the stewards, and you may be positioned behind other gazebos. It is not permitted to fit the sides to your gazebo. Please note that the gazebo zone is outside of the best sound area.
Q. Is there disabled car parking available?
A. We designate the area of the car park nearest to the concert site for blue badge holders. There is no need to pre-book. Please follow the disabled parking signs on the day and ensure your blue badge is clearly displayed in your windscreen.
There will also be some forward parking available in the main car park for people who are temporarily disabled, pregnant, elderly or frail. If you require further information please contact us to discuss.
View our Access Information Page for more details on disabled access.
Q. I'm booking my tickets last minute - will they get to me in time?
A. Yes, but purchasing last minute is strictly subject to availability. We issue e-tickets immediately to your inbox, so you can book on the phone until 5pm the day before the concert, and online until 4.30pm on the concert day, providing you have access to your e-mails and are able to print your tickets and bring them with you (note price increase to £43 per ticket on day of concert).
Q. Can I show my ticket on my smart phone / tablet rather than printing it out?
A.Yes, as long as you are able to fully download the ticket PDF, and open it on the screen of your device, the scanners will be able to verify it.
Q. What time is the Spitfire display?
A. The Spitfire display accompanies the opening piece/s of the classical programme (subject to weather conditions). Please see the 'Programme' section of individual venue pages for exact timings.
Q. Is there a good meeting point onsite?
A. The two main meeting points where you can also access concert information are the Ticket Tent at the very entrance to the concert site or the Flags and Programmes Tent. Both are at the back of the arena and are well signed.
Q. Can I come by taxi?
A. You are very welcome to arrive and depart by taxi and there are clearly marked drop-off and pick-up points for taxis onsite. The car parking stewards will direct taxis to these demarcated areas. Please request that your driver returns to the taxi pick-up point by 10 minutes prior to the concert's scheduled finish time in order to prevent them being held up by exiting traffic. Detailled taxi instructions will be published on the website shortly before each concert.
Q. Can I arrive on foot?
A. Only the Hatfield House concert has designated pedestrian access (via the entrance opposite Hatfield Railway Station).
At Highclere and Ragley, entry and exit is strictly by vehicle ONLY. Please do not attempt to come on foot, however well you know the estate.
We strongly advise against accessing Burghley and Blenheim on foot due to the distance and terrain involved. This is done at your own risk.
Q. I'm looking to bring a large party; can we arrive by coach?
A. Coach parking is strictly limited at several of our venues. If you are thinking about bringing a coach please call the office on 01432 355 416 to discuss your requirements.
Q. Where is the best position to see everything on-site?
A. All members of the audience will be able to see the stage from any position onsite, and there is also a big screen next to the stage showing the entertainments. Although you will be able to hear the concert clearly within the audience arena, for the best sound please stay inside the area marked by white flags. To get a closer view of the cavalry and cannons it may be necessary to walk over to their display areas.
Q. What time are the fireworks?
A. There will be a flurry of fireworks at the end of the first half. During the second half, fireworks and cannons form part of the Battle Symphony and then a spectacular firework display will accompany the proms finale.
Q. Where do I eat my picnic and at what time?
A. Feel free to make a picnic area for yourselves onsite where you can make a base for your group. People eat their picnic at any time throughout the evening.
Q. Is there food and drink available onsite?
A. Some refreshments will be available to purchase (bar, tea/coffee, hog roast).
Q. Can I bring my own BBQ or camping stove?
A. Unfortunately due to fire and safety regulations we do not allow this, or any naked flames onsite.
Q. Can I go back and forth to the car park throughout the evening?
A. Yes. You will be given a pass when you leave the auditorium to enable you to get back in. Some people choose the interval as a time to take their picnic paraphernalia back to their vehicles.
Q. Are the house and grounds open to visitors during the day?
A. Entrance to the house and grounds is not included in the price. For information on the house and grounds opening times please contact the individual venues.
Q. Is there a dress code?
A. There is no prescribed dress code. Most people choose to dress in practical clothing but some take the opportunity to go a bit more glamorous!
Q. Can I smoke at the concert?
A. As the event is completely open air, there are no legal restrictions on smoking, with the exception of marquee structures such as the Concert Shop and Concert Pavilion. However, we would encourage you to consider your fellow picnickers before lighting up, and dispose of cigarette ends with care.
Q. Is the concert dependent on good weather?
A. No, the concert will go ahead in inclement weather. However, in certain conditions, the air display will unfortunately not be possible due to safety reasons.
Q. What would you recommend bringing, and are there any prohibited items?
A. We recommend bringing appropriate clothing for the weather, and warm clothes even in good weather as it often drops cold after dark. The concert area and car parks are well lit, but it can be useful to bring a torch to help pack up your things and find your car. You are welcome to bring alcohol, glasses, cutlery etc, but the following are not permitted on site: flame torches, sky lanterns, bbqs, stoves, any naked flames, sound recording equipment. Dogs are NOT permitted (with the exception of assistance dogs). Please do not leave your dog/s in your car.
Q. I am buying tickets under my details but intend to give them to somebody as a gift - will this be ok?
A. Yes! This is no problem, but please note that your name will appear on the tickets.