CASTLE Howard’s 30th Proms concert, which took place last night (Saturday 21) may have got off to a wet start, but it seems that nothing could dampen the spirits of the nearly 7,000 attendees.

They cheered and waved their flags throughout the evening for the welcome return of the open air concert to the North Yorkshire historic house.

The Northern Echo:

With heavy showers arriving just ahead of the gates opening at 5pm, the crowd arrived well prepared for a traditional British summer with waterproofs and brollies, eventually creating a sea of umbrellas covering the whole North Front of Castle Howard’s grounds.

Compère James Watt and opening act, Yorkshire’s own Forever Tenors, received an incredibly warm welcome as the rain turned to drizzle.

The weather did mean that the planned Spitfire flyover could not take place, but the London Gala Orchestra, under Stephen Bell’s conductor’s baton, opened with Pomp and Circumstance No. 4 at 7.30pm, the RAF March and Dambusters as the crowd waved their Union flags.

Tenor Wynne Evans – perhaps best known for his Go Compare ads – and soprano Victoria Joyce sparkled with energy and life on the stage, including Evans singing the Go Compare song to rapturous cheers from the audience, whilst the duet Time to Say Goodbye drew tears from the audience.

The Northern Echo:

“This is my first concert with an orchestra in over a year, and actually 21 years since I first performed at Castle Howard Proms, and it feels fantastic to be back. It is a real testament to the Great British public that so many people braved the summer showers to join us, and a real pleasure to be performing to such a warm, Yorkshire audience once again,” said Wynne Evans.

“This really was a superb evening. We had moments of worry when the forecast was particularly bad, but the reaction from those attending – our largest audience for several years - was better than we could have hoped, the classic British stoicism as they were determined to enjoy this key social event in Yorkshire’s calendar no matter what,” said event organiser, Mark Harrison.

As usual, the audience took the union flag theme to heart, with hundreds making the effort of incorporating it into their outfits for the event.

Hats, jackets, waistcoats, dresses and suits with the distinctive red, white and blue flooded into the site, whilst some opted for a different interpretation of British outfits, with one couple arriving dressed as the White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland!

The Northern Echo:

Castle Howard’s Proms followed the sell-out Café Mambo dance music event the previous evening. Sold out ahead of the event, the non-stop dancing audience enjoyed sets from classic Ibiza DJs including Judge Jules, Todd Terry and Roger Sanches, with live performances from Sonique and Julie McKnight.

Tonight (Sunday) will mark the final weekend of Castle Howard’s Big Music Weekend, with memories of Freddie Mercury as Queen Symphonic take to the stage, featuring vocalists from the West-End musical We Will Rock You taking on the songs of one of England’s greatest bands.

A few tickets remain available at

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