RESIDENTS are calling on the council not to cancel next year’s air festival amid speculation that 2023 could be the last. 

Some have even said they will do a peaceful protest should BCP Council decide that the popular four-day event be scrapped. 

An e-petition has been set up via the council, warning councillors to think carefully and not to “disappoint thousands of young children” 

Marc Hayward comes to Bournemouth from Ferndown for the event annually and spends his money in local businesses. 

Bournemouth Echo: Marc said people will be very upset if the show is cancelledMarc said people will be very upset if the show is cancelled (Image: Submit)

However, the 47-year-old said he would be “very upset and very angry” if the event is scrapped. 

He said: “I’ve been a plane enthusiast since I was 10 years old and I like going to the air festival every year because it excites me. 

Read more: Will Bournemouth Air Festival return next year for 2024?

“I like meeting with the pilots and I get really excited to see the festival every year, and it helps with my anxiety. 

“I would be very upset and very angry if they were to cancel it and I think I would do a peaceful protest by getting lots of local residents involved. 

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Phil BroadheadCllr Phil Broadhead (Image: Submit)

“You need to keep it because it helps young children learn about the army and planes and is a good weekend out.” 

Cllr Phil Broadhead, opposition leader, said he and the Conservative party are “committed to campaigning” for the show to go on – saying this year’s show “felt like the best one yet”. 

Read more: Bournemouth Air Festival 2023: no new dates for next year

He said the sums calculated by the Liberal Democrats were “wrong”, saying that the £400k net cost of the festival didn’t include income from car parking or kiosk sales - “which last year were record-breaking,” he added. 

“But this shouldn’t be just about the money, although it is hard to ignore the £50m injection per year into the wider economy. 

Bournemouth Echo:

“It’s about putting our region on the map and, yes, having some fun. Of course, we need to keep finding ways for the festival to make more money. But we also need to stop yo-yo-ing and make a decision.” 

A petition was set up on the council's website earlier this month that said the cancellation "will cause a huge loss in income for the local area and will also damage the reputation Bournemouth has established over the years".

Recommendations on the future of the event will be made to BCP Council’s cabinet at a committee meeting in October and a decision will be made afterwards. 

Cllr Millie Earl, deputy leader, said: “No decisions have been made on the future of the air festival yet. 

“We will continue to have meetings with business leads as part of our working group, established in July. 

“As part of forthcoming discussions, we’ll be analysing the data from this year’s festival and looking at some of the ideas we’ve received from business owners and festival goers over the last few days. 

“We will announce what next year will look like as soon as we can. We’re expecting a recommendation in front of our cabinet in October.” 

The petition can be viewed at