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, in full Napoleonic regalia, by our expert cavalry troop up close, or relax and enjoy the informative stage commentary and watch the display on the big screen.
The Red Devils, The Parachute Regiment and British Army's official display team, perform their spectacular freefall demonstration in the skies above the concert.
Pippa and Lizzie, a sparkling duo, appear by very popular demand with their brand new show 'The Vignettes'! These top class singers will be joined by their live backing band; perfect for getting the toes tapping and the champagne corks popping. Expect a wealth of vintage favourites to get you in the Battle Proms mood, plus optional singing, dancing and clapping along!
To commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI, our gunners herald the commencement of the musical programme and the arrival of the Spitfire with a volley of shots from a vintage 13 pounder field gun, accompanied by piper Mark Bisset.
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 tear-jerking aerial display is performed by the legendary Grace Spitfire in the skies above the arena.
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.
2019 Ticket Prices
£32.50 if booked before 31 January 2019 (Online purchase only)
£37.00 if booked between 1 February 2019 and 30 April 2019
£39.95 if booked from 1 May 2019 until the day before the concert
£45.00 on the day (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 12 or more tickets (Adult and/or Child tickets) can be booked online and qualify for a 10% per ticket discount.
Battle Proms & Bubbly: Tickets for two plus a bottle of Sentio Brut Prosecco and handmade chocolate truffle selection, chilled and awaiting collection on arrival.
Disabled / Carers: Please see our Disabled Access Information Page.
Military Discount: A £3 per ticket discount is available via Defence Discount Service.
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
£260.00 for a table of 4
£360.00 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 and save 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 official ticket outlets as follows:
Bishop's Stortford TIC
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, see Disabled Access Info page for further info.
Taxis: All vehicles dropping off or picking up should follow taxi signage to the designated taxi drop-off / pick-up route. Taxis and other vehicles making pick-ups must be back on site by 10.15pm. For further information please see the detailed taxi instructions.
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.
Budget accommodation is also available at the University of Hertfordshire, 10 minutes via regular bus service, and 8 minutes by taxi from Hatfield Train Station: www.conferencehertfordshire.co.uk
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. Yes, the car park / area of the car park nearest to the concert site is reserved for disabled parking. If you have a Blue Badge then there is no need to pre-book. Please simply follow the disabled parking signs on the day and ensure that your Blue Badge is clearly displayed in your windscreen.
If you do not have a Blue Badge but you need to use the disabled car park because you or a party member in your vehicle has a temporary impairment or is pregnant, elderly, frail etc, then it is possible to arrange a disabled parking permit for the concert. This must be organised in advance by contacting us at email@example.com or calling 01432 355 416.
View our Disabled 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 please note that purchasing last minute is strictly subject to availability. E-tickets are sent immediately to your inbox upon purchase, so you can book on the phone until 4.30pm the day before the concert, and online at any time until the concert starts. You must have access to your e-mails and be able to print your tickets and bring them with you, or download them to a mobile device for on-screen verification (please note price increase to £45 per adult 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 and save the ticket PDF to the device, and open it on the screen, the scanners will be able to verify it. Please ensure that you have donwloaded the document before you arrive on site as we cannot guarantee enough coverage to do so once you arrive.
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 an Info Point / Enquiries desk on site?
A. Yes, the Info Point is located at the main Box Office at the rear of the site. Please see staff there if you have any issues or queries on the day.
Q. Is there a good meeting point on site?
A. We would recommend the Flags and Programmes stall which is located at the rear of the concert arena and is clearly signed.
Q. Is the event suitable for children?
A. Yes, the Battle Proms is the perfect way to introduce children to live orchestral music in a fun, informal setting. Children love the picnic style of the event, plus all the excitement of the peripheral entertainments such as the traditional fairground stalls, cavalry, infantry, aerial displays, cannons and fireworks. Very young children may benefit from a pair of junior ear defenders if they are sensitive to fireworks. As a guideline, we would advise a ratio of one supervising adult to three children under 16, and children must be supervised by an adult at all times. Blank wristbands are available at the Box Office, Info point, Concert Shop, and Programmes & Flags stall – please feel free to take one, write your mobile phone number on it (no names) and secure it to your child’s wrist. In the event that your child is lost, this assists us in reuniting you.
Q. Can I come by taxi, or arrange for someone to drop me off and pick me up?
A. You are very welcome to arrive and depart by taxi and there are clearly signposted drop-off and pick-up points for taxis on site at each venue. The car parking stewards will direct taxis to these demarcated areas. Please request that your driver returns to the taxi pick-up point by 15 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. These instructions should be followed by anyone who is dropping off or picking up (not just registered taxis.)
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 cannons and fireworks?
A. The concert opens with a gun salute just before the musical programme begins. There will be cannon fire and a flurry of fireworks at the end of the first half during Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. 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, hot food stall). Due to the picnic nature of the event, there is not a large selection of catering outlets. If you are not able to pack a picnic to bring with you why not pre-order a delicious fresh picnic to collect on arrival?
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-out stamp when you leave the auditorium to enable you to get back in. Some people choose the interval as a good 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 and prices 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! Most of all, come prepared for the unpredictable British weather!
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 displays will unfortunately not be possible due to safety reasons.
Q. What would you recommend bringing, and are there any prohibited items?
A. Please do bring your own seating and picnic and drinks. We recommend bringing appropriate clothing for the weather, and warm clothes even in good weather as it is noticeably cooler 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. Knives permitted on site will be limited to domestic knives 5 inches or under and folding knifes with a 3 inch blade or under.
Please note there are no cash points on site, and most vendors are unable to take card payments.
The following are not permitted on site: flame torches, sky lanterns, bbqs, stoves, any naked flames, drones, 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.
Q. I have pre-ordered a picnic or Prosecco, where do I pick them up?
A. To collect your picnic / Prosecco please give your name and present your e-tickets at the blue ‘Picnic Collection Point’ gazebo (adjacent to the main Box Office) within 2 hours of the gates opening.