Bournemouth Air Festival launches

The fifteenth Bournemouth Air Festival launches today (31 August) with crowd favourites the Red Arrows and Typhoon making a welcome return. 

Organised by BCP Council the festival is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town over four days. 

Visitors can see performances from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight planes, the Chinook helicopter, the Rolls Royce XIX Spitfire, P-51 Mustang and Fairey Swordfish biplane. 

There will also be a debut from the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco plane. 

In a first for the festival, cheesemakers Boursin have teamed up with Great British Bake-off star, Manon Lagrève, to create a bistro on the beach, between Who Dares Gyms and El Murrino beach restaurant. 

Diners are encouraged to pay what they can, with all donations going to Nationwide charity FoodCycle.  

Festival goers can also enjoy Madame MOJO’s Cabaret Club which will be offering family-friendly performances throughout the four days, alongside funfairs, big screens showing films and 1.5 miles of food and drink stalls. 

Those who can’t make the event in person can also watch all the fun of the festival with the official free live-streaming of the event by 

Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities and Tourism, Cllr Millie Earl, said: “This family-friendly event showcases our beautiful coastline and is yet another reason for visitors to come and explore our unique towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.  

“Buy our souvenir Coronation programme where you can read more about our three towns’ connections to aviation with STEM pioneer Charles Rolls, who co-founded Rolls Royce, and the Wright brothers renowned for history’s first flight. 

“Congratulations again to our future pioneers – the winners of our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) competition for Primary School children in Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole.  

“They will be meeting the world-famous Red Arrows pilots at the festival and will be taken on a tour of the Ultra Energy STEM Village, as part of their prize. 

“While we want everyone to have fun at our festival, please help keep our beautiful seafront clean by recycling and disposing of your rubbish responsibly. Travel by bus, bike or scooter if you can and help us create a greener festival.” 

Air Festival Director Jon Weaver said: “The festival wouldn’t be the renowned attraction that it is without the many organisations, groups and individuals who plan, organise and deliver it every year.   

“I would particularly like to thank our partners at Dorset Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, the HM Coastguard, Poole Harbour Commissioners, the RNLI and South Western Ambulance Services along with our other multi agency partners – all of whom have worked so hard to make the Air Festival an enjoyable and safe event. 

“Of course, I am always very grateful for the amazing help we receive from our colleagues across BCP Council – all of whom work tirelessly behind the scenes putting together this incredible programme. 

“The incredible aircraft provided by the Armed Forces on the ground and in the air play a huge part in attracting the many visitors to the festival over the four days. 

“Lastly, but by no means least, an enormous thank you goes to all our sponsors, including Bournemouth Airport, Thales, Oceana Hotels and Restaurants, Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel, Ultra Energy, the Air Festival Patron, Porsche Centre Bournemouth and South West Trains as well the traders who taking part in the festival this year.” 

Returning to the festival will be the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, who will be performing the Beat Retreat Sunset Ceremony in the Lower Gardens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6.45pm. They will again perform on Sunday morning from11am-12pm 

The Commando Recruiting Team will be giving Unarmed Combat demonstrations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6.20pm. 

Editor’s notes: 

Watch the official free live-streaming of the event at  

You can get up to date access to the full Flying programme by purchasing the Coronation Souvenir programme here. 

For more information on Morebus routes through the festival see here. Thanks to the current government bus subsidies, the fare is £2 per single journey, so it’s cheaper than ever to travel by bus and a greener way too.  

For more information on train strikes, please visit the South Western Railway website. 

Buy tickets to Madame Mojo’s Cabaret club here. 

For information on what BCP Council are doing to make the festival more sustainable, please see here. 

There’s still time to snap up the last few VIP hospitality tickets for the best view of the festival here. 

For more information on the displays and aircraft as they are being announced please go to the Bournemouth Air Festival website or stay up to date on social media: Facebook: @bournemouthairfestival, Instagram: bmthairfest, Twitter: @BmthAirFest   

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