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   

Press Information: Commercial and sponsorship opportunities:   

Travel sustainably to Bournemouth Air Festival 

Visitors to Bournemouth Air Festival next week are being asked to plan their journeys in advance to help reduce the environmental impact of travelling to the event.

If just one third of visitors changed how they come to the festival across the four days, 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved every year.

In comparison, aircraft over the four days of entertainment contribute around 240 tonnes of emissions.

This year’s festival is on Thursday 31 August – Sunday 2 September and includes aerobatic entertainment during the day and at dusk with family-friendly attractions throughout.

 Cllr Andy Martin, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Communications and Culture, BCP Council said: “Bournemouth Air Festival is one of the highlights of the summer season, so we know we’ll get a high volume of people coming to Bournemouth.

“If you live locally I encourage you to travel by train, coach, bus and even bike where possible. This sustainable travel not only reduces air pollution, but it also eases traffic congestion around Bournemouth.

“It’s our responsibility to create awareness about sustainable practices and encourage everyone to follow those practices.”

Visitors are being urged to be aware of the planned rail strikes on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 September which are likely to significantly impact train services across the 4 days. Festival organisers are encouraging visitors to take the train if possible but check for updates on the National Rail and South Western Railway websites, and look at alternative coach, bus and bike options as well as the park and ride.

Jon Weaver, Festival Director commented: “There are many alternative ways to travel to the Air Festival including by bus and coach, with plenty of providers offering great prices on travel to and from Bournemouth throughout the summer, so although this strike action may affect a small number of travellers, I’m confident that the majority will make alternative travel arrangements to come and enjoy the Air Festival.”

Morebus still have their £2 single fare price cap in place, with over 65s and under 7s also travelling for free from as far afield as Sailsbury and Swanage.

There will be a Park and Ride operating in Kings Park (next to AFC Bournemouth) every 15 mins over the four days, dropping off up to seven people per car next to the event site on the East Overcliff.

And the active among us can visit the festival by pedal power by downloading the Beryl app and cycling or scooting down to Bournemouth on the peripheral of the festival site.

Reducing the environmental impact doesn’t just stop at sustainable travel, festival goers are also being encouraged to bring their reusable water bottles and fill them up at one of the 150 hydration stations located along the promenade, in a bid to reduce single-waste plastic.

For more information on how to go green for the Air Festival, please visit Plan your visit – Bournemouth Air Festival


Notes to Editors:

Industrial action updates on the trains can be found here:

Air restrictions in place for festival

Bournemouth Air Festival organisers are keen to remind everyone of the air and sea activity restrictions that are in place throughout the four-day event.

From Thursday, 31 August – Sunday, 3 September, drones are strictly banned from flying at the event site in the restricted airspace, to protect participating aircraft and display teams.

Anyone caught flying a drone during this time can face prosecution by Dorset Police. At last year’s event, counter-drone police officers detected nine drones flying within the festival air space with pilots having their drones seized and were subject to positive police action.

A marine safety zone has been set up which prohibits boats from entering the sea below the flight display area, with marine patrols making sure everyone sticks to the rules.

This year’s festival, organised by BCP Council, includes an exciting programme of aerobatic displays and on-land entertainment.

Jon Weaver, Festival Director, BCP Council said: “Keeping everyone safe and following the relevant guidance is so important to the successful running of any festival.

“Behind the scenes, a huge workforce is coming together to ensure everything runs smoothly for the visitors, traders, pilots, military personnel, press, and everyone else attending the Air Festival, with safety the key priority underpinning the whole event.

“From the essential air restrictions that are in place to the marine safety zone, we have an extensive and robust event plan that covers all aspects of the operations, and we work alongside Dorset Police and other emergency services to provide the best possible experience for people attending.

“Any restrictions are put in place for everyone’s safety, so we can all have an enjoyable time at this event.”

People who want to have fun on the beach are being encouraged to follow the RNLI’s beach safety advice if entering the water which includes swimming between the red and yellow lifeguard flags and following their essential Float to Live guidance.

If anyone spots something suspicious, they’re being encouraged to follow the ‘See it, Say it, Sorted’ mantra and report it to a Police or Security Officer, Beach Ranger or member of the Events Team.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan, Gold Commander said: “Our multi-agency approach includes high visibility patrols by uniformed officers, armed police and security staff as well as CCTV monitoring.

“We want to welcome everyone to come and enjoy the air festival responsibly while reminding them to be vigilant and report anything suspicious.

“Overall, it’s about keeping everyone safe on the land, in the sea and in the skies, so those visiting the event can have a fantastic time over the four days.”

With impressive flying and aerobatics, stunning night displays and plenty of activities on land, hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Bournemouth’s seafront over the four days to enjoy this free event.

Families can also take advantage of the Allianz KidZone beach safety scheme to protect lost children on the seafront, and visitors are being reminded to keep hydrated by refilling their bottles at the water stations along the promenade.


Notes to Editors