BCP to extend the cancellation of outdoor events until end of August 2020

Tuesday 12 May 2020 

Joint media release by BCP Council and Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Destination Management Board

‘Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole take difficult decision to extend the cancellation of outdoor events until end of August 2020.

Major events and festivals including Bournemouth Air Festival that were due to go ahead this summer have been cancelled due to the continued impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Responding to the government’s guidance on the outbreak, BCP Council – with support of Destination Management Board – has taken the decision not to permit outdoor events on council public open space until the end of August 2020.

This includes, the cancellation of BCP Council organised events – the Bournemouth Air Festival, Summer Fireworks and summer events programme on Poole Quay.  Other events that have had to be cancelled include BSO Concerts in Meyrick Park and Christchurch Food Festival.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said; “Our immensely popular summer events programme, including the Bournemouth Air Festival, attracts millions of visitors to the area bringing over £32 million income to our local businesses and supports the council’s services through our seafront offering.

“In response to the recent government guidance around the easing of lockdown, it will no longer be possible that events planned to take place this summer in public outdoor open space can go ahead.

“Cancelling major events and festivals is a decision we don’t take lightly. The most important consideration is the health of our residents, and the safety of everyone involved including visitors, festival goers, exhibitors, traders, staff, contractors, and the many more who contribute and play a part in delivering those much-loved events.

“Our NHS and emergency services have coped incredibly well during the Covid-19 pandemic and we would not want to risk this changing, or to try to manage events whilst adhering to government measures and advice including on social distancing.

“The government’s guidance indicated that hospitality businesses are not likely to open before July.  We know there are many hotels, restaurants, bars and local contractors serving this industry whose livelihoods rely on the summer events programme and we want to assure those businesses – including the 17,000 plus people employed in this sector – that BCP Council will do everything we can to support you and work together with you to come through this.

“We’re looking at every feasible option to help to sustain this industry, and with this we have already committed to deliver a refreshed Air Festival in 2021.”

BCP Council and Destination Management Board for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will continue to work together in lobbying central government to ensure this vital sector is fully supported through the national recovery plan.

David Bailey, Chairman of the Destination Management Board, said; “The Board fully understands the decision taken by BCP Council. It is very important that as the Destination of Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole we show we are taking the sensible measures and demonstrate that in the future we want to offer visitors and residents the safest environment to enjoy the unique tourism and hospitality offer.   We thank BCP Council for its continued support and the confirmation of next year’s Bournemouth Air Festival.”

A Bournemouth Air Festival for next year has been confirmed for Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th September 2021.

Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, “Our Proms in the Park concerts hosted in partnership with BCP Council are always a highlight of the summer season in Bournemouth; with audiences dancing away to our live music, the series is always a celebratory moment in the BSO year.  We know that loyal audiences will be sorry to miss the party this year, and we’ll miss you all too, but we look forward to seeing you next year for a spectacular celebration”.


Notes to Editor

All events that were due to take place on council land between now and 31 August 2020 have been cancelled.  These include:




13/14 June 2020

Magic of Thailand Festival

Baiter Park

27 June 2020

Folk in the Quay

Poole Quay

Fridays 3 July – 28 August 2020

Quay for my Car

Poole Quay

4 – 5 July

Reggae Weekender

Kings Park

Tuesdays 7 July -25 August 2020

Dream Machines (Bike Night)

Poole Quay

12 July

Poole Goes Vintage

Poole Quay

10 – 12  July 2020

Sandpolo / Sandfest


Thursdays 23 July -27th August

 Summer Spectacular Fireworks

Poole Quay

25 – 26 July 2020

Mudeford Arts Festival

Mudeford Quay

28 – 30 July 2020

BSO Proms in the Park

Meyrick Park

28 – 30 July 2020

Poole Harbour Festival

Baiter Park

30 July – 2 August

Handball Beach Championships

Poole Seafront

Fridays 31 July – 28 August 2020

Bournemouth Fireworks

Bournemouth Seafront

31 July to 2 August

Poole Harbour Festival

Baiter Park

6 – 8 August 2020

RNLI Funday

Mudeford Quay

8 August 2020

Mini Steam on the Quay

Poole Quay

20 -23 August 2020

Bournemouth Air Festival

Bournemouth Seafront

28 – 31 August 2020

Mudeford Seafood Festival

Mudeford Quay

28 – 30 August 2020

Upton Concerts

Upton Country Park

29 – 31 August 2020

Christchurch Food Festival

Christchurch Quay & Town Centre


The top ten best locations to watch the Air Festival

Whether you want an incredible eye level aircraft view, a beachfront location with planes over head or perhaps you fancy a more relaxed time away from the crowds, there are plenty of perfect places to watch the Air Festival’s aviation action!

If the weather forecasts sunny days and balmy temperatures you can be sure the Air Festival will be busy with families, friends, aircraft enthusiasts and people simply after a fantastic day out – so if you want to be amongst the excitement be sure to get your spot nice and early.

Obviously one of the most convenient places is the beach area near Pier Approach, don’t forget your windbreak and deckchairs available to hire.  You can reach the beach from the Lower Gardens and zig zag slopes and from here Bournemouth’s historic Pier, another great spot to watch the incredible aircraft, is just a moments’ walk.

The display line stretches from Bournemouth Pier to just beyond Boscombe Pier and at the heart of this is another ideal location, the central flight line. Here you’ll also find the official Air Festival Hospitality Marquee, the perfect place to treat family, friends or business associates to a super special first-class day out.

What makes the Air Festival location different to others is the choice of vantage points and the overcliff area offers spectacular eye level views.  It’s busy but the perfect spot to capture images and enjoy the array of cliff top entertainment.

Should you fancy watching the planes away from the hustle and bustle of main festival site you can still see the action from a more relaxed location.  Boscombe beach is perfect, with ample amenities and, although not in the official event air space, you can still see and hear aircraft and display teams towards Southbourne or over the west side of the Pier towards Alum Chine.

Alternatively, if you want the beach front views but your own space why not hire a beach hut along the seafront or perhaps book one of the exclusive Beach Lodges.

With so much choice, perhaps you just want to be at home and hear what’s going on from the comfort of your armchair or deckchair – then simply tune into the Air Festival commentary on 87.7FM

Whatever your idea of the perfect festival location, we’ve got it covered – beachfront fun, cliff top vistas, central flight line experiences, relaxed alternatives, beach hut hire or simply tuning into the radio…we look forward to welcoming you to the another fantastic Air Festival this summer 30th August – 2nd September!