Not-for-profit organisation Enable is to launch a new open-air concert series at London’s Battersea Park this summer, featuring classical, West End, soul and jazz music.

Battersea Park In Concert will take place over three days on August Bank Holiday weekend (26-28), with a lineup including the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Gabrielle, YolanDa Brown and The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.

Enable head of events Gemma Berchervaise tells Access about the new series. 

What was the inspiration behind the concert series?

Our mission at Enable is about connecting communities and my role is to find ways to do that through events, culture and entertainment. We saw a really strong and positive response to our various small musical concerts during the pandemic, especially the Chamber Festival event we put on in 2020, even when it had to be done socially distanced. We felt we needed to bring more culture and music into our green spaces and so the idea was born.

We always knew that we wanted to do our own version of Proms, and I had a romantic notion of what an afternoon of jazz would feel like in the park with the sun-setting. The musicals element followed naturally as we wanted to make the most of working with a 60-piece orchestra and keep a bit of theatricality. The creation of any event is a truly collaborative process and I am blessed to be surrounded by some phenomenally talented colleagues who love a good brainstorm.

Why Battersea Park?

The event was created from scratch with Battersea Park and its local residents in mind. It is such a beautiful green space and there are so many gorgeous areas that we wanted to highlight. But ultimately there are practicalities in choosing the right venue. We needed to find a place in the park where we could fit the number of people we felt would want to attend and that gave enough space for people to picnic and enjoy their surroundings. It was important to find an area where we could tap into the park’s power to reduce our carbon footprint, which is incredibly important to Enable. I also loved the idea of using our beautiful London Plane trees as a backdrop to the event.

What will the production be like?

We will have a saddlespan stage which will look very elegant against the mature treeline in the background. As the sun sets, we will be lighting the plane trees which will add a bit of sparkle to the night. There will be a golden circle seated area on the Saturday and Sunday, but free picnicking area all around that. There is a wheelchair user platform to aid accessibility and sightlines for those who require it. We have bars and streetfood traders for those who don’t want to buy or bring a picnic. We still have a few more artists to announce on the line-up and are working with local community groups and local schools as part of an education programme running alongside the event. All three days will be jam packed with beautiful music in a gorgeous setting.