The Proms or the promenade concerts, originates back to the mid 18th century and is a very quintessential English event. Traditionally, they are outdoor concerts played in public gardens whilst people strolled around leisurely listening to the orchestra. In modern days, The Proms is organized by the BBC in summer each year at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This year's Proms starts in two weeks time on the 19th July. Apart from these concerts in London, there are many other fantastic ones held in various grand stately homes around England. I went to one at Blenheim Palace a few of years ago and had the most amazing time. Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, so is a very fitting place to hold a Battle Proms.
Battle Proms is an open air picnic concert, accompanied by nearly 200 live firing replica Napoleonic cannons and a Grace Spitfire air display, both choreographed to the concert. The Spitfire is significant to the British history as it shot down the first enemy aircraft over Normandy beach during WW2. Originally I was a bit worried that the Battle Proms would be full of boring oldies. How wrong I was! As soon as we stepped out of our car and followed the crowd, young, old and children to the concert grounds we could feel the lively atmosphere around us. A lot of people were well prepared and came not only with their picnic baskets, but also picnic tables and chairs. We set ourselves up pretty much right in front of the stage, amongst the crowd to make sure we could soak up the fantastic atmosphere.
The Proms started off with a Road to Waterloo Infantry Re-enactment, followed by various classical pieces many with a battle theme performed in a true Battle Proms style accompanied by live cannons and the Grace Spitfire aerial display. The evening ended with a spectacular firework display and a traditional sing along amongst the ocean of flags flying under the warm summer night.