BOURNEMOUTH Wheels Festival is ready to roar off the start line tomorrow.
The event, the first of its kind in the town, runs from Saturday until Bank Holiday Monday and will see wheels-related attractions across the town.
From monster trucks on the beach to historic F1 cars and Moto GP bikes on the East Overcliff, there will be something for everyone.
Six zones will run from Boscombe pier along the seafront to the west of Bournemouth Pier, with motorbike stunts, BMX, skateboarders, vehicle displays and desert driving just some of the attractions.
Tomorrow and Sunday night will see a stunt motorbike rider jump over Bournemouth Pier, while there will be musical entertainment and fireworks.
Monday night sees the festival draw to a close with cycling events in the town centre.
To help people get around the site, volunteer Festival Makers have been trained and are ready to go.
Modelled on the Olympic Games Makers from London 2012, there will be more than 50 people on hand thanks to event sponsors Bournemouth Town Centre BID, Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Coastal BID.
Dr Debbie Sadd, of Bourne-mouth University, said: “The Festival Makers scheme is a great way for the people of Bournemouth and Bournemouth University students to be involved in the town’s fantastic events.
The Festival Makers will be an instant information point for people across the festival site and are just another element that help build on Bournemouth’s warm welcome reputation.”
- The souvenir programme for the event costs £7 and contains detailed information about all the attractions, as well as featuring discounts on grandstand seating and Monster Truck rides.
It is available from the TIC and around the festival site.
Stay online for all the Wheels Festival action
WE’LL be bringing you all the action from the first ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival on the Daily Echo website this weekend.
Each day we’ll be live blogging, giving you the latest parking and traffic information to help you plan your journey.
A team of reporters and photographers will be out and about bringing you updates, pictures and video footage of what’s happening and where so you don’t miss a single moment.
You’ll also be able to view photos in our daily galleries.
For the first time ever we’ll also be live streaming the daredevil attempt to jump over Bournemouth pier on Saturday and Sunday night (technology permitting, of course!) But we also want you to get involved in our coverage too.
We want to hear your thoughts on the Festival by letting us know what your highlights have been and sharing your pictures and video footage from the event.
You can get in touch by tweeting @Bourne mouthecho, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting on the Bournemouth Daily Echo’s Facebook page.
You can also find a handy guide on everything you need to know about the Wheels Festival, information on road closures, a list of ten things to see at the inaugural event and lots more in our special section at bournemouth echo.co.uk/wheels
Spandau star Tony turns up in Roller to busk
SPANDAU Ballet frontman Tony Hadley tried his hand at busking with a surprise acoustic performance in Bournemouth.
The eighties star stunned shoppers by performing two of the band’s greatest hits, True and Gold, in the middle of the shopping precinct in Old Christchurch Road.
The performance was to promote Bournemouth’s Wheels Festival, which starts tomorrow, and his concert at the Pavilion Theatre in October.
He arrived in a Rolls Royce Phantom and performed alongside it and a classic 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom One.
He was soon surrounded by a large crowd of people all taking photos and videos on their camera phones.
There was plenty of banter too, with Mr Hadley asking a couple of Police Federation delegates if they’d enjoyed Theresa May’s speech the previous day and then berating the crowd for not putting any coins in the chauffeur’s hat
Afterwards, he said: “I’ve never done anything like this in my life before. This is kind of busking in the truest sense.
“I must get myself down to Covent Garden in London when I haven’t got any gigs.
“It’s been very, very different but good fun. It’s nice for people to stop and sit for a while in their lunch break – a unique experience.
“It will be different in October when I’ve got the band with me but this was cool.
“I didn’t realise I would be singing in the street, literally with just an amp and a microphone. But it went okay, it was nice.
“Sometimes things done on the spur of the moment are much more fun than when it’s pre-arranged.”
His performance delighted Spandau Ballet fan Marie Frampton, visiting Bournemouth from Southampton.
She said: “This is like going back to my teenage years, dancing around my bedroom. I remember these songs so clearly and how they used to make me feel.
“It’s bringing back real memories for me, this is wonderful.”
And Betty Dickson, 75, said: “I’m very surprised to see him here performing. I just strolled out of the shop and saw him, it’s remarkable.”
Get on your cycle for the final night
TOPPING off the festival will be a series of two-wheeled events on Monday night.
Following a similar event last year, the Wheels Night Ride will involve three rides.
Kicking it off will be the free Bears on Bikes community ride, raising cash for Round Table Children’s Wish.
It kicks off at Boscombe Pier at 6.30pm
Participants are encouraged to bring their bikes dressed with a bear to ride on the seafront and around closed roads in the town centre – register at rtcw.org.
At 7.40pm that night, the town centre will be transformed into a racing circuit, starting with the Wheels Relay Challenge, involving 12 teams of four riders – register at bournemouthwheels.co.uk/take-part.
From 8.25pm, top cyclists will take part in an elite race around the town and any professional riders can register to take part.
As last year, the culmination of the night will be the free Nightglow procession from Pier Approach at 9.30pm, where people of all ages are encouraged to decorate their bike and themselves in brightly-lit, glow-in-the-dark accessories.