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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 13:14 GMT
Kenwood summer concerts cancelled
Kenwood - Image: English Heritage
The concerts at Kenwood were hugely popular
English Heritage has cancelled all of its outdoor summer concerts at Kenwood House this year after complaints about noise and traffic.

The organisation said the decision was taken after a small number of residents near the London venue voiced concerns.

About 60,000 people a year attend the annual concerts, which have featured classical music and performances from pop artists including Will Young.

Simon Thurley of English Heritage said he hoped they would return next year.

'Crucial income'

Last year Camden Council responded to residents' complaints by cutting the number of concerts allowed at Kenwood from 10 to eight, and reducing ticket numbers for the events.

Mr Thurley, English Heritage's chief executive, said the 2006 series of concerts lost money as a result.

Will Young
Will Young performed at Kenwood in 2005

"The concerts which have been running for 55 years have given huge pleasure to hundreds of thousands of people," he said.

"This is a very sad day for Kenwood as well as for all the people who enjoy coming to a beautiful setting to enjoy music on a summer's evening."

Mr Thurley added that the concerts provided "crucial income" for the stately home and estate on Hampstead Heath, owned by English Heritage.

"It costs English Heritage 1.8m a year to run Kenwood House, and in spite of money raised from donations and commercial activity we still lose 1.1m per annum," he said.

"With the loss of the concerts - a vital part of our revenue-raising activities at Kenwood - this deficit will be significantly increased. Clearly we will have to look at other ways of plugging this gap."

English Heritage said its open-air concerts at Marble Hill, Audley End and Battle Abbey will go ahead as planned.


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