THOUSANDS of people tuned in to watch this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival, which took place virtually due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The event, hosted at Centre VR in Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre, included interviews with people involved in the festival year on year as well as pilots from the RAF and Red Arrows.

And director of the festival, Jon Weaver, said the virtual event was to make sure they didn’t lose sight of the festival.

Mr Weaver said: “We wanted to do something just to make sure that, at this time of year, we had something to remember that actually the Air Festival is on and not to lose sight of it.

“It’s not just about planes. There are elements around what we do in the evening, the night air stuff, the vintage stuff, even things like demos to really celebrate it and also to say what we are going to do in 2021 in trying to make it a broader festival.

“It’s gone down well. It’s not the Air Festival let’s be honest. It’s something that we hope people will be able to playback and enjoy.

“We’ve had quite a few thousand people picking it up and we are really happy. It’s a great piece which I think will have a lot of longevity.”

Mr Weaver said it had taken three months to plan the virtual festival, which was the idea of team member Michelle Roberts.

“It’s taken a huge amount of effort to put the shows together. We have something in the region of nine hours of broadcast so that takes a lot of planning.

“Centre VR along with CityFibre have been great in terms of making it happen and that’s been wonderful and a great showcase.”

One of the people interviewed on the show was Martin Bridge who, with the help of his family, created an air show in his garden during lockdown.

Using a coat hanger, Martin, his wife Hayley and children Hannah Cook and Curtis Bridge made a red arrow display.

Martin told the Daily Echo: “It all started because we had our own virtual air show at home.

“We posted it on Facebook and it just went mental. Because it’s gone everywhere, Michelle messaged us and asked to come down and show them how we did it.

“Anyone can make it, it only takes five minutes to do.”

Fibre network infrastructure provider CityFibre, supported the event, and Lucy Cooper was tasked with running the event throughout the day.

Ms Cooper said: “CityFibre is one of the main sponsors and it’s important for us to support local events.

“I’ve been here since the rehearsal morning on Thursday helping everybody keep to time.

“It’s gone really well. We have to adapt in these times. We hope to be back on the beach next year but this is the next best thing.”