Sir Elton and Jools back in Norfolk

Simon Parkin Elton John has announced he will be playing a special afternoon summer show at Holkham Hall in June. While Jools Holland will also return for an outdoor show.

Simon Parkin

Elton John has announced he will be playing a special outdoor afternoon summer show in the grounds of historic Holkham Hall in June.

Concert-goers are invited to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy an al fresco concert on Sunday, June 14, as the singer and his band perform on the historic cricket ground adjacent to the hall.

In a departure from his normal touring schedule of seated arenas and sports stadia, Sir Elton will play in a picnic-style setting with an early show which will finish by 9pm, allowing his audience plenty of time to get home.

The venue has previously hosted concerts with artists such as Jools Holland, Girls Aloud and Jose Carreras, but with global record sales of over 250 million, and a career spanning over four decades, the flamboyant performer is by far the biggest name to ever perform at Holkham.

This will be Sir Elton's first Norfolk appearance since his sell out concert at Carrow Road in 2005, which saw over 22,000 fans enjoy an incredible night, and is one of only two scheduled concerts in the UK for 2009.

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Sir Elton said: “There's something very special about playing at such a historic site. One feels very grand with a stately home as a backdrop!

“I love playing in Britain on a warm summer's evening and having an enormous picnic under an open sky is the perfect way to start. We'll be pulling out all the stops to make it a fantastic show.”

Viscount Coke said: “We are delighted to be hosting Sir Elton John at Holkham Hall next year. It is a real honour for us to welcome him back to Norfolk after an absence of four years, and for him to have chosen Holkham as the venue.”

Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra have also announced a Norfolk outdoor live date next year as part of a series of summer concerts in Thetford Forest.

The popular musician, who performed at the woodland venue on the Norfolk-Suffolk border in 2003, will return on June 6 with guest star Dave Edmunds and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall.

The announcement is the first confirmed date of the Forestry Commission's annual live music programme for High Lodge in 2009, which will include a total of six concerts in June and July.

Peter Rawlinson, for High Lodge, said: “We are delighted to have secured a date with Jools who last appeared at the venue to a sell-out crowd in 2003. The concert will be supporting the Forestry Commission's valuable social and environmental programmes and should prove a welcome return for his fans across East Anglia.”

t Tickets for Elton John are priced £60 (subject to booking fee) and go on public sale on Friday at 9am. Hotline numbers: 0871 2310835, 0844 8472493, 0844 3388000

t Tickets for Jools Holland are £32.00 (subject to booking fee). Hotline 01842 814612 or