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Heritage Live 2023 outdoor shows at Audley End, Saffron Walden: Soft Cell, OMD and Heaven 17 first acts announced





An 80s synth-pop spectacle that brings together three of the top exponents of that decade-defining sound has been announced as the first show of the 2023 summer outdoor concert series at Audley End House & Gardens.

Soft Cell will headline the Heritage Live event near Saffron Walden which also features very special guests Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) and Heaven 17.

The show at the English Heritage venue will take place on Friday August 11. Tickets go on pre-sale on Wednesday November 9 and on general sale on Friday November 11.

Soft Cell will be headlining Audley End House and Gardens on Friday 11 August, 2023. Picture: Andrew Whitton
Soft Cell will be headlining Audley End House and Gardens on Friday 11 August, 2023. Picture: Andrew Whitton

Heritage Live organiser Giles Cooper said: “It’s been an ambition of us all at Heritage Live to stage a show for the legendary Soft Cell, but to also have them joined by the iconic OMD and Heaven 17 will make this concert so unique within such a spectacular setting that it’ll undoubtedly make this a night to remember for many years to come. We can’t wait!”

Having met at Leeds Polytechnic in the late 1970s, Marc Almond and Dave Ball released four UK top 20 albums as Soft Cell between 1981 and 1984, spawning hits such as Memorabilia, Torch, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye and their era-defining No 1 hit Tainted Love.

The duo performed to a sold-out crowd at The O2 in London in 2018 for what was intended to be a farewell concert but instead led to the release of acclaimed new album *Happiness Not Included, which earlier this year entered the UK album charts at No 7. In the last 12 months, Soft Cell have toured the UK and North America celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.

OMD will be supporting Soft Cell at Audley End on Friday August 11
OMD will be supporting Soft Cell at Audley End on Friday August 11

OMD were formed by Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys in Liverpool in the late '70s and are known for their trademark electronic sound, achieving hits throughout the '80s including Souvenir, Joan of Arc, If You Leave Me and Enola Gay.

Formed after a split from The Human League, Heaven 17 were formed in 1980 in Sheffield and achieved chart success with hits including (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang, Play To Win and Temptation, cementing their status as one of the most forward-thinking bands of the decade.

The party at the show next summer will be started by legendary DJs Readers Wifes. Formed in London in 1994, the Readers Wifes, aka Kim Phaggs and Chelsea Kelsey, were among the forerunners of the kind of clubbing eclecticism taken for granted these days.

DJs at London’s now legendary Duckie, their five-hour sets mixing '80s electro, glam, punk, ska, Motown and Kate Bush were a revolutionary proposition back then in a clubland awash with wall-to-wall digital house and samey e-pop – 28 years on, the club is still rammed to the rafters every Saturday night.

Guy Garvey of Elbow at Audley End in August 2022
Guy Garvey of Elbow at Audley End in August 2022

Heritage Live brings together the best in live music and beautiful of outdoor settings. The series at Audley End House & Gardens this year featured Elbow, Simple Minds and Tom Jones. In previous years the venue has hosted The Jacksons, Jess Glynne, Van Morrison, Boy George & Culture Club, The Human League and more.

For access to the discounted pre-sale for Soft Cell, OMD and Heaven 17, customers need to register at https://arep.co/p/soft-cell. General sale tickets will be available from axs.com/heritagelive.

There will be a wide variety of artisan food traders and bars on site. A picnic in a small rucksack is permitted, with a sealed bottle of water, but no alcohol, soft drinks or knives are permitted.

Simple Minds' Heritage Live concert at Audley End in August 2022
Simple Minds' Heritage Live concert at Audley End in August 2022

Parking tickets can be bought in advance via the online ticketing process. Tickets for the disabled access viewing platform and/or spaces in the disabled car park can be booked via axs.com/heritagelive and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.



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