The AIG Women’s Open is to host live music for the first time, along with a new look festival fan village, event organisers the R&A has announced.

The R&A said the live music performance by singer Ellie Goulding (pictured) has been introduced as part of a new fan experience that aims to attract new and diverse audiences to the Championship, which takes place at Walton Heath Golf Club from 9-13 August.

The R&A said it commissioned research into the UK golf audience that found that two-thirds of fans are interested in live music and entertainment at women’s golf championships.

Along with Goulding’s performance on 12 August, the festival village, designed in partnership with architecture firm Populous, will include a village stage that will host panel discussions.

It will also feature interactive golf experiences including VR and e-sports, big screens to watch golf and other women’s sport including the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and a new food and beverage offering. 

The R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said, “We have made important strides in recent years to enhance prize money, Championship venues and facilities for the benefit of the world’s best women’s golfers, but we also see the spectator experience as crucial to increasing the appeal of the Championship and encouraging more fans to attend.

“Our research shows that fans would like to see live music and entertainment feature as part of their event experience and so we have developed an enhanced offering that aims to attract new and diverse audiences into attending the Championship and supporting women’s golf at the very highest level.”