Explosive return for Battle Proms picnic concert to Hatfield

This year's 2021 Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park.

This year's 2021 Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

An iconic Supermarine Spitfire dancing in the sky above Hatfield to Elgar's Nimrod.

Explosions aplenty from dozens of cannon in time to the music.

The Red Devils parachute display team dropping in on the Hatfield House Battle Proms concert.

The Red Devils parachute display team dropping in on the Hatfield House Battle Proms concert. - Credit: John Andrews

Napoleonic cavalry displays and the British Army's Red Devils dropping in on proceedings.

Flag-waving spectators decked out in Union Jack colours singing along to Last Night of the Proms favourites culminating in a fantastic fireworks finale.

All dressed up for the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park.

All dressed up for the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

It can only be The Battle Proms, which returned to the grounds of Hatfield House on Saturday afternoon and evening.

After having to cancel the annual picnic concert last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, Battle Proms made a welcome return to the Hatfield social events calendar – with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Capacity in the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field at Hatfield House was reduced, and the festival site was expanded to allow for more social distancing of families eating their picnics. 

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As the poster said as spectators entered the site: "Keep Calm and a Cannon width apart."

A poster advising social distancing at the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park.

A poster advising social distancing at the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

However, revellers partying in the park were still able to enjoy the familiar Battle Proms fare – dynamic displays and sublime classical music performed by the New English Concert Orchestra conducted by Douglas Coombes MBE.

With clear blue skies on a scorching hot afternoon, the Red Devils parachute display team wowed families at the event with their incredible precision freefall demonstration. 

The Red Devils at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

The Red Devils at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

The Red Devils dropping in on the Hatfield House Battle Proms concert.

The Red Devils dropping in on the Hatfield House Battle Proms concert. - Credit: John Andrews

The Red Devils landing at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

The Red Devils landing at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

The Red Devils posted on its official Twitter and Instagram pages: "We thoroughly enjoyed jumping into @Hatfield_House House yesterday evening! 

"Be sure to keep an eye out for us at the next  @BattleProms Concerts on the 31st of July!"

The Battle Proms Belles also entertained ticket holders with vintage tunes ahead of the two-hour classical programme, including the apt We'll Meet Again after last year's cancellation.

The Battle Proms Belles at the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House.

The Battle Proms Belles at the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

The concert's main event kicked off, as usual, with the evening gun salute.

A volley of shots heralded the arrival of the majestic Grace Spitfire for a meticulously choreographed aerial display in the skies above the arena. 

The evening's music featured an uplifting selection of soul-stirring classical favourites, including the 1812 Overture. 

Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's rousing piece was performed in true Battle Proms style with a thunderous percussion of cannon fire and fireworks.

Fireworks and cannon fire at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Fireworks and cannon fire at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

This only served as a pyrotechnical warm-up to the open-air concert's signature piece in the second half of the programma: Beethoven’s Battle Symphony.

The Battle Proms is still the only place in the world where you can hear this dramatic piece performed as German composer Ludwig van Beethoven intended, with the full complement of 193 cannons, plus musket fire and fireworks, providing a unique and breathtaking musical spectacle.

Members of The Red Devils Army Parachute Display Team on stage with Pam Rhodes at the 2021 Battle Proms concert

Members of The Red Devils Army Parachute Display Team on stage with Pam Rhodes at the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Hosted by popular BBC presenter Pam Rhodes, the picnic concert finished with a spectacular fireworks finale to accompany Proms favourites such as Rule Britannia.

Audience members at this year's 2021 Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park.

Audience members at this year's 2021 Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

A Napoleonic cavalry display at the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park.

A Napoleonic cavalry display at the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

The Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park.

The Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Revellers at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Revellers at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Fireworks at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Fireworks at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Fireworks and cannon fire at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Fireworks and cannon fire at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Fireworks and cannon fire at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Fireworks and cannon fire at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Fireworks at The Battle Proms 2021 in Hatfield Park.

Fireworks at The Battle Proms 2021 in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

A Napoleonic cavalry display at the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park.

A Napoleonic cavalry display at the Battle Proms concert in Hatfield Park. - Credit: John Andrews

Crowds at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Crowds at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Revellers at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House.

Revellers at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Volunteers collecting for Battle Proms' charity partner, SSAFA - the Armed Forces charity

Volunteers collecting for Battle Proms' charity partner, SSAFA - the Armed Forces charity - Credit: John Andrews

The 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House.

The 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

The 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House.

The 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Spectators at the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House.

Spectators at the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

A family at the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House.

A family at the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Thousands of people attended the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House.

Thousands of people attended the 2021 Battle Proms concert at Hatfield House. - Credit: John Andrews

Crowds of people at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

Crowds of people at the 2021 Battle Proms concert in the grounds of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire. - Credit: John Andrews

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