VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9million

VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9million

VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9m

VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9m

VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9m

VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9m

VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9m

VIDEO: 500,000 visitors flock to first-ever Bournemouth Wheels Festival bringing in £9m

First published in News
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BOURNEMOUTH’S first-ever Wheels Festival has been hailed a smash hit with an estimated 500,000 visitors across the weekend.

The event – boosted by good weather on both Saturday and Sunday – is believed to have brought around £9 million into the town.

See how Sunday's event unfolded with our rolling coverage here

And with one more day to go, organisers are hoping to turn the festival into an annual event. Mark Smith, director of tourism at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “It has been amazing.

“It has exceeded all of our expectations. People have been saying that they can’t believe it’s only the first one.”

Mr Smith – who admits to being a “real petrol-head” – said around 200,000 people had visited on the first day of the festival, with half that number again arriving on Sunday.

“Absolutely everybody can be part of this first Wheels event in the world,” he said.

“There really is something for everyone and it’s free. There hasn’t been anything like this before.”

He said Bournemouth was fast becoming known for large-scale, free events.

“It really helps to raise the profile of the resort for the whole year,” he said.

See all our coverage from the event so far, pictures, video and more at bournemouthecho.co.uk/wheels

Poole-based Excite Rallye Raid Team Principal John Hardy said the festival was an opportunity for people in Dorset to see what their cars could achieve.

“We’re very excited to be here and to be able to show people what these vehicles can do,” he said.

“It’s my dream to get a British driver in a British car backed by a British sponsor into the top 10 at the Dakar Rally. That’s what we want and that’s what we work for.”

Ian Mackins, 55, brought his 119-year-old American steam traction engine to the event.

“It’s the only one running outside of America,” he said.

“I’ve owned it for about 11 years now. I’d sold my old engine, and decided to get a new one.”

See what's happening and where on Monday in our schedule 

The Ferndown resident – who laughed when asked if he’d describe the restoration of the vehicle as a ‘labour of love’ – has permanent marks left on his body from the hard work.

“I have a black mark on my hand where soot has worked its way underneath the skin, like a tattoo,” he said.

“When I got this engine, it was just a heap of scrap metal. It has taken years to get it to this.”

Reconnaissance Sergeant Stewart Lansberry, of the Combat Wing stationed at Bovington, was busy throughout Saturday showing children a Jackal Armoured Vehicle parked on the beach.

He said: “These are used all over the world, so it’s nice for people to be able to really see it.

“This particular vehicle returned from Afghanistan about six months ago.”

He said the first Wheels Festival was “fantastic”, adding: “A lot of people have come along to see us today.”

Nigel Morris, 53, drove the Big Foot monster truck in a series of daredevil displays across the weekend.

He said the vehicle weighs more than five-and-a-half tonnes, and yet can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just four seconds.

“We’re looking forward to riding on this picturesque beach this weekend,” he said.

 

Comments (14)

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7:49pm Sun 25 May 14

Huey says...

Great news for the town glad it has been a success well done to those involved and good luck for tomorrow with the weather
Great news for the town glad it has been a success well done to those involved and good luck for tomorrow with the weather Huey
  • Score: 5

7:52pm Sun 25 May 14

Thestickmeister says...

I was really hoping this was the event it was hyped up to be. My two sons and I love cars and live locally - We love the idea of an annual Wheels Festival. However, having spend the whole day there today, I'm sorry to say that it was a shocking disappointment. Organisation was very poor, timings didn't run as advertised and stewards seem to know very little. The Purbeck Hall Exotic cars could be counted on one hand! The Monster truck show was less than 5 minutes long after keeping the crowds waiting for a good half an hour - and blasting them with mindless commentary in the meantime; 'the sun is beating down, whether you're wearing sunglasses or not - feel it beating into your eyes'! It was sufficiently moronic that my 8 and 9 year olds asked when he'd finish talking nonsense so they could actually see something happen.

The pre war cars had completely packed up and gone home by the afternoon, despite the Echo reporting that it was an all day feature.

A real shame. I appreciate that a first time festival will have its teething problems, but this was a stretch too far. A really poor result which could have been remarkably better with a little more organisation and thought.
I was really hoping this was the event it was hyped up to be. My two sons and I love cars and live locally - We love the idea of an annual Wheels Festival. However, having spend the whole day there today, I'm sorry to say that it was a shocking disappointment. Organisation was very poor, timings didn't run as advertised and stewards seem to know very little. The Purbeck Hall Exotic cars could be counted on one hand! The Monster truck show was less than 5 minutes long after keeping the crowds waiting for a good half an hour - and blasting them with mindless commentary in the meantime; 'the sun is beating down, whether you're wearing sunglasses or not - feel it beating into your eyes'! It was sufficiently moronic that my 8 and 9 year olds asked when he'd finish talking nonsense so they could actually see something happen. The pre war cars had completely packed up and gone home by the afternoon, despite the Echo reporting that it was an all day feature. A real shame. I appreciate that a first time festival will have its teething problems, but this was a stretch too far. A really poor result which could have been remarkably better with a little more organisation and thought. Thestickmeister
  • Score: 13

8:14pm Sun 25 May 14

dylexic bobert says...

9 million! Hardly SURPRISING! captive audience charge them the earth! £1.50 a bottle of water (small) council run kiosk aswell.belurdy outrage.
9 million! Hardly SURPRISING! captive audience charge them the earth! £1.50 a bottle of water (small) council run kiosk aswell.belurdy outrage. dylexic bobert
  • Score: 4

9:30pm Sun 25 May 14

dirtyboy says...

8 million in parking fines I expect !!!!
8 million in parking fines I expect !!!! dirtyboy
  • Score: 2

10:12pm Sun 25 May 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

Thestickmeister wrote:
I was really hoping this was the event it was hyped up to be. My two sons and I love cars and live locally - We love the idea of an annual Wheels Festival. However, having spend the whole day there today, I'm sorry to say that it was a shocking disappointment. Organisation was very poor, timings didn't run as advertised and stewards seem to know very little. The Purbeck Hall Exotic cars could be counted on one hand! The Monster truck show was less than 5 minutes long after keeping the crowds waiting for a good half an hour - and blasting them with mindless commentary in the meantime; 'the sun is beating down, whether you're wearing sunglasses or not - feel it beating into your eyes'! It was sufficiently moronic that my 8 and 9 year olds asked when he'd finish talking nonsense so they could actually see something happen.

The pre war cars had completely packed up and gone home by the afternoon, despite the Echo reporting that it was an all day feature.

A real shame. I appreciate that a first time festival will have its teething problems, but this was a stretch too far. A really poor result which could have been remarkably better with a little more organisation and thought.
Thankyou so much for your review. It confirmed my belief in the general shoddyness and pointlessness of such a show and I'm so relieved I didn't walk the 500 yards or so to actually witness the cheesy spectacle.
I can, as I type, hear the fireworks designed to bring a full stop to the days event and to thrill the common people with bangs and pops, they never tire of them do they.
[quote][p][bold]Thestickmeister[/bold] wrote: I was really hoping this was the event it was hyped up to be. My two sons and I love cars and live locally - We love the idea of an annual Wheels Festival. However, having spend the whole day there today, I'm sorry to say that it was a shocking disappointment. Organisation was very poor, timings didn't run as advertised and stewards seem to know very little. The Purbeck Hall Exotic cars could be counted on one hand! The Monster truck show was less than 5 minutes long after keeping the crowds waiting for a good half an hour - and blasting them with mindless commentary in the meantime; 'the sun is beating down, whether you're wearing sunglasses or not - feel it beating into your eyes'! It was sufficiently moronic that my 8 and 9 year olds asked when he'd finish talking nonsense so they could actually see something happen. The pre war cars had completely packed up and gone home by the afternoon, despite the Echo reporting that it was an all day feature. A real shame. I appreciate that a first time festival will have its teething problems, but this was a stretch too far. A really poor result which could have been remarkably better with a little more organisation and thought.[/p][/quote]Thankyou so much for your review. It confirmed my belief in the general shoddyness and pointlessness of such a show and I'm so relieved I didn't walk the 500 yards or so to actually witness the cheesy spectacle. I can, as I type, hear the fireworks designed to bring a full stop to the days event and to thrill the common people with bangs and pops, they never tire of them do they. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: -3

10:43pm Sun 25 May 14

Up the cherries says...

Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people,
It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all.
Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time
Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people, It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all. Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time Up the cherries
  • Score: 1

11:27pm Sun 25 May 14

Avengerboy says...

Top Gear live anyone?
Top Gear live anyone? Avengerboy
  • Score: -1

11:33pm Sun 25 May 14

Thestickmeister says...

Up the cherries wrote:
Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people,
It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all.
Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time
'Free' doesn't mean it's acceptable to be shoddy. I'd sooner have paid and seen something of a higher quality. And I agree, the weather was great and from what I could tell, that was the only thing people were enjoying. I'm generally quite a positive person, but this event failed miserably when considering how it was billed. I'm glad it drew the crowds into the town and no doubt that's good for business, but was disorganised and poorly populated when considering the actual content. Next year (if there is one) will have to be significantly better for it to establish itself as a destination worth marking in the diary.
[quote][p][bold]Up the cherries[/bold] wrote: Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people, It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all. Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time[/p][/quote]'Free' doesn't mean it's acceptable to be shoddy. I'd sooner have paid and seen something of a higher quality. And I agree, the weather was great and from what I could tell, that was the only thing people were enjoying. I'm generally quite a positive person, but this event failed miserably when considering how it was billed. I'm glad it drew the crowds into the town and no doubt that's good for business, but was disorganised and poorly populated when considering the actual content. Next year (if there is one) will have to be significantly better for it to establish itself as a destination worth marking in the diary. Thestickmeister
  • Score: 11

11:34pm Sun 25 May 14

AnastasiaB says...

Up the cherries wrote:
Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people,
It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all.
Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time
Free hmmm well ask all the visitors if they felt £10 was free and the high charges for everything. having a great time they could have done that anyway without the need for this. The only good thing is that they cleaned the Town Centre before everyone came. Shame they couldn't have done it for the locals.
[quote][p][bold]Up the cherries[/bold] wrote: Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people, It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all. Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time[/p][/quote]Free hmmm well ask all the visitors if they felt £10 was free and the high charges for everything. having a great time they could have done that anyway without the need for this. The only good thing is that they cleaned the Town Centre before everyone came. Shame they couldn't have done it for the locals. AnastasiaB
  • Score: 1

12:10am Mon 26 May 14

MCAME1989 says...

Thestickmeister wrote:
I was really hoping this was the event it was hyped up to be. My two sons and I love cars and live locally - We love the idea of an annual Wheels Festival. However, having spend the whole day there today, I'm sorry to say that it was a shocking disappointment. Organisation was very poor, timings didn't run as advertised and stewards seem to know very little. The Purbeck Hall Exotic cars could be counted on one hand! The Monster truck show was less than 5 minutes long after keeping the crowds waiting for a good half an hour - and blasting them with mindless commentary in the meantime; 'the sun is beating down, whether you're wearing sunglasses or not - feel it beating into your eyes'! It was sufficiently moronic that my 8 and 9 year olds asked when he'd finish talking nonsense so they could actually see something happen.

The pre war cars had completely packed up and gone home by the afternoon, despite the Echo reporting that it was an all day feature.

A real shame. I appreciate that a first time festival will have its teething problems, but this was a stretch too far. A really poor result which could have been remarkably better with a little more organisation and thought.
I will agree with you there...my two children were into impressed at all....it took so much walking to go from one event to the next... The timings were so out you either missed things completely or just caught the end!
[quote][p][bold]Thestickmeister[/bold] wrote: I was really hoping this was the event it was hyped up to be. My two sons and I love cars and live locally - We love the idea of an annual Wheels Festival. However, having spend the whole day there today, I'm sorry to say that it was a shocking disappointment. Organisation was very poor, timings didn't run as advertised and stewards seem to know very little. The Purbeck Hall Exotic cars could be counted on one hand! The Monster truck show was less than 5 minutes long after keeping the crowds waiting for a good half an hour - and blasting them with mindless commentary in the meantime; 'the sun is beating down, whether you're wearing sunglasses or not - feel it beating into your eyes'! It was sufficiently moronic that my 8 and 9 year olds asked when he'd finish talking nonsense so they could actually see something happen. The pre war cars had completely packed up and gone home by the afternoon, despite the Echo reporting that it was an all day feature. A real shame. I appreciate that a first time festival will have its teething problems, but this was a stretch too far. A really poor result which could have been remarkably better with a little more organisation and thought.[/p][/quote]I will agree with you there...my two children were into impressed at all....it took so much walking to go from one event to the next... The timings were so out you either missed things completely or just caught the end! MCAME1989
  • Score: 9

12:19am Mon 26 May 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

Perhaps the council were getting greedy. How to create another 'air show' event and milk the masses twice in a year.

Error, concentrate on doing 1 thing well.
Perhaps the council were getting greedy. How to create another 'air show' event and milk the masses twice in a year. Error, concentrate on doing 1 thing well. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: -1

11:22am Mon 26 May 14

MrPitiful says...

I've only seen bits of this festival in passing.

I think it's bad timimng on behalf of the council to stage it on the same weekend as Bournemouth 7's rugby. Although the 7's is based out of town, it does take up a lot of local hotel spaces as only so many are able camp out there. If the intention of the "Wheels" festival is to grow in the same way as the Air festival, maybe an alternative date needs to be considered? Or is this too much forward thinking?

Also, when it returns next year, maybe a variation in the attractions would be a good idea. One of the criticisms of the air show is it's all a bit "same old" . A bit more imagination is required to keep even the most loyal anoraks interested.
I've only seen bits of this festival in passing. I think it's bad timimng on behalf of the council to stage it on the same weekend as Bournemouth 7's rugby. Although the 7's is based out of town, it does take up a lot of local hotel spaces as only so many are able camp out there. If the intention of the "Wheels" festival is to grow in the same way as the Air festival, maybe an alternative date needs to be considered? Or is this too much forward thinking? Also, when it returns next year, maybe a variation in the attractions would be a good idea. One of the criticisms of the air show is it's all a bit "same old" . A bit more imagination is required to keep even the most loyal anoraks interested. MrPitiful
  • Score: 0

6:15pm Mon 26 May 14

Suzysew says...

AnastasiaB wrote:
Up the cherries wrote:
Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people,
It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all.
Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time
Free hmmm well ask all the visitors if they felt £10 was free and the high charges for everything. having a great time they could have done that anyway without the need for this. The only good thing is that they cleaned the Town Centre before everyone came. Shame they couldn't have done it for the locals.
What was £10?
H
[quote][p][bold]AnastasiaB[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Up the cherries[/bold] wrote: Everyone I saw and spoke to was having a great time! You Just can't please some people, It's free, you don't even have to spend money if you take your own food and drink and you don't even have to go at all. Enough of the doom and gloom, yeah there were bits that were not perfect but what great weather and great atmosphere! personally I enjoyed watching thousands of family's come together and have a great time[/p][/quote]Free hmmm well ask all the visitors if they felt £10 was free and the high charges for everything. having a great time they could have done that anyway without the need for this. The only good thing is that they cleaned the Town Centre before everyone came. Shame they couldn't have done it for the locals.[/p][/quote]What was £10? H Suzysew
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Tue 27 May 14

AnnieBaker says...

We went along to this "free" event and it was absolutely packed. Some kids were doing skateboarding stunts but it was impossible to get close enough to get a decent look. So we wandered up the beach for 10 minutes only to realise we were meant to go the other way. Of course, we could have purchased the £7 brochure for a map but this seemed rather pricey and it contained no timetable of events.
So we walked up the other side through the crowds. We purchased a tiny portion of chips for £3 (!!!) and waited for the motor cross show to start, but it was postponed by 4 hours due to wind problems. Apparently the monster truck show was also 30 minutes late starting and the rally was cancelled because of some sort of "incident" (never did find out what that was).
Eventually we managed to locate the monster trucks but it turned out you had to pay to sit in the stands! The view on the beach itself fairly obstructed by giant hay bales and we did not stay to see the whole show.
I suspect the only reason this event is free is because they cannot keep people from coming and going on a public beach. Everything was overpriced and it felt like everyone was there to make money. Nothing wrong with that of course, just make sure visitors come along with £100 in their pocket to blow on their day out, rather than advertising the event as FREE in capital letters.
We went along to this "free" event and it was absolutely packed. Some kids were doing skateboarding stunts but it was impossible to get close enough to get a decent look. So we wandered up the beach for 10 minutes only to realise we were meant to go the other way. Of course, we could have purchased the £7 brochure for a map but this seemed rather pricey and it contained no timetable of events. So we walked up the other side through the crowds. We purchased a tiny portion of chips for £3 (!!!) and waited for the motor cross show to start, but it was postponed by 4 hours due to wind problems. Apparently the monster truck show was also 30 minutes late starting and the rally was cancelled because of some sort of "incident" (never did find out what that was). Eventually we managed to locate the monster trucks but it turned out you had to pay to sit in the stands! The view on the beach itself fairly obstructed by giant hay bales and we did not stay to see the whole show. I suspect the only reason this event is free is because they cannot keep people from coming and going on a public beach. Everything was overpriced and it felt like everyone was there to make money. Nothing wrong with that of course, just make sure visitors come along with £100 in their pocket to blow on their day out, rather than advertising the event as FREE in capital letters. AnnieBaker
  • Score: 0

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