Forget Monaco Grand Prix – the smell of burning rubber, screeching tyres and a throaty roar could be heard in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens yesterday (16 October) as Schumacher’s Benetton Formula One championship car sped through for a demonstration and taster of what’s to come at the new Wheels Festival – May 24-26 May 2014.
Launching this exciting festival in spectacular style, the magnificent F1 car was joined by an array of pedal power and vehicles of every type. The super line-up showcased included a sleek yellow Lamborghini Murcialago, vintage pedal bikes, a 1928 Bentley, Bigfoot Monster Truck, Penny-farthing, freestyle motocross stunt bike, custom bike, James Bond Aston Martin DB5, Dakar rally car, a 1931 Ford Sedan, a 1953 Pontiac Catalina, two unicyclists and Brum, the children’s car.
The new festival is an exciting new event which will jump start the already incredible FREE summer event programme next May. It will be Britain’s biggest FREE wheels themed family festival, packed with high energy events taking place on the seafront and across the town including:
- A stunning Pier Jump on a motorbike – a ramp is placed on sand on one side of the pier and the rider literally jumps to the other side.
- Vintage sports car demonstrations
- Evening family entertainment with wheel themed films, live music and fireworks
- Monster Truck demonstrations on the beach
- BMX Team – Extreme displays
- Pedal Power nightglow procession
- Family fun with Unicycles
- Grand Prix Road Bike Racing
- Interactive displays
- FMX (Freestyle Motorcross) Bike displays on the beach
- Dakar Rally Car demonstrations
- Explore inside amazing vehicles
- Skateboard stunts
More exciting and unique content will be announced over the coming months.
Mark Smith, Director of Bournemouth Tourism, said: “We are committed to investing in and continually enhancing Bournemouth’s tourism offer as well as providing a high quality entertainment programme for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“The announcement of a new event is already creating a buzz amongst local businesses because it will be based on a similar business model to the tremendously successful Bournemouth Air Festival, which draws millions of local people and visitors into the town over the four day event each year and makes a significant contribution to the local economy. This major new festival will further cement Bournemouth’s reputation as a premier destination and will be as valuable to the town as improving the quality of our outside space and attractions.”
Wheels Festival will use a similar business model to the hugely successful Air Festival, which is estimated to bring over £25million into the local economy, benefiting business while boosting the town’s profile. It will be funded through trading stands, sponsorship, and support from the local trade, as well as contributions from Bournemouth Council in addition to both the town centre and coastal BIDs.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Des Simmons, Chairman of the Bournemouth Coastal Business Improvement District (BID) said: “We are proud to be the lead sponsor of the new Wheels Festival because we see it as a hugely beneficial addition to Bournemouth’s year round calendar of amazing events. It will introduce a new range of visitors to all that Bournemouth has to offer and we aim to use it as a key theme in the BIDs marketing to attract staying visitors next spring. It underlines how well the BID and Bournemouth Tourism can combine to make these innovative ideas actually happen, it meets our objective of bringing new off-season business and shows our commitment to helping launch major new events.”
The new festival is expected to attract around 360,000 to the town, with a mix of local people and visitors coming to taking advantage of a top class event and world-class entertainment.
Andrew Francis, Chair of the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board, said: “Local businesses are very excited about having another high profile event in the town, helping to boost trade and increase footfall in Bournemouth. This event will be spread across various pockets of the town with town centre shows and parades. Expected to bring around 360,000 people to Bournemouth this event will hugely benefit local businesses.”