ANOTHER sell-out crowd is eagerly anticipating the biggest and best CarFest South yet as the cars, cakes and music extravaganza inspired by BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Chris Evans returns to Laverstoke Park Farm near Basingstoke this Bank Holiday weekend, August 22-24.
It was two years ago at Laverstoke that the very first CarFest – as dreamt up by Evans to be his ‘perfect family festival’ – became an amazing reality.
Since then the five events held to date have provided unrivalled entertainment for more than a quarter of a million fans of all ages and, more importantly, raised millions of pounds for BBC Children in Need.
Now, following positive consultations with the local community, CarFest South enjoys a slightly increased capacity in 2014. As a result, more people than ever before will be entertained at Laverstoke and, in the process, even more funds will be raised for the charity that helps to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
“We’ve all still got a massive buzz after all the amazing fun we had at CarFest North earlier this month. Now with smiles still on our faces and music ringing in our ears, we are heading south to do it all over again,” enthused the ever-ebullient Evans.
“It’s always really special to go back to Laverstoke as, in many ways, it’s the spiritual home of CarFest. This year promises to be the best yet, too, as we’ve lined up some truly fabulous cars, great live bands plus an utterly unbelievable array of family entertainment. I can’t wait to get revving and rocking all over again!”
As tradition dictates, the dazzling showcase of cars revving up on the specially created Hill Climb at Laverstoke is headed by Evans’ own 'Magnificent Seven' collection of fabulous Ferraris topped this year by the latest addition to his personal fleet: one of the legendary Italian company’s latest La Ferrari hypercars.
The other car collections on show all stick with the Sevens theme, too. There’s a Muscle Car Seven topped by Ford’s yet-to-be-released 2015 Mustang V8 Fastback; a Movie Car Seven with a ‘Back to the Future’ De Lorean and ‘Love Bug’ Herbie Beetle; an Anniversary Seven including the Maserati Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ owned by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason; an Unusual Seven containing Honda’s record breaking 130mph lawn mower and a motorised bathroom plus equally special septets of rally cars, vintage cars, racing cars, hot rods and gorgeous supercars.
Appropriately, as Laverstoke is the multi-award winning organic/biodynamic farm established by Jody Scheckter, the 1979 Formula One World Champion, there’s an historic F1 Seven, which includes several of the special cars Scheckter raced to Grand Prix victories.
Away from the rubber-burning Hill Climb, activities in the popular Showground will include a mega Monster Truck display, motorcycle exploits from DR Stunts all the way from Australia and the Kangaroo Kid with his dazzling quad-bike stunt show.
Adding yet more smiles to faces of all ages, racing sheep will be competing in the Lamb National while the low-flying Red Barrows and their wheel barrow spectacular will be trying to impersonate the high-flying antics of the world famous RAF Red Arrows albeit at ground-level.
The Red Arrows themselves will be in the skies above CarFest South as part of an amazing three-days of epic air displays that will also feature an RAF Chinook, an Abarth stunt plane, an RAF Tucano, O’Brien’s crazy pyrotechnic Flying Circus and The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which will feature not one but two Lancaster Bombers as well as a Hurricane and Spitfire.
As a family festival, CarFest also delivers a mind-boggling range of activities, entertainments and discovery zones to inspire and excite those of all ages. For younger visitors there’s Ball World serving up a host of different ball-based sports, Book World offering story-reading lessons in The Book Den and a host of different junior driving experiences on both two and four wheels.
For those who are slightly older the AA and the Army are providing an insight into mechanical skills while there are a number of stimulating cookery workshops kindly provided by those at Laverstoke Park Farm.
Among the hugely popular regular attractions is the not-to-be-missed Cakes v Pies competition that reaches its crescendo on Sunday afternoon with TV chefs Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry acting as judges and cheerleaders on the Main Stage.
As the holiday sun goes down on the fuel-filled track activities, so the live music moves into overdrive. Friday evening’s line-up is topped by renowned synthpop duo Erasure, with the man rated by Evans to be the world’s best current live act, Seasick Steve, playing on Saturday evening. Jamie Cullum then brings down the curtain on Sunday night after an all-star line-up including The Feeling, 10cc, Texas, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott (from The Beautiful South) and Sophie Ellis-Bexter.
It all adds up to three fun-packed days of undiluted entertainment for all the family – just as Evans had decreed when originally conjuring up the CarFest concept little more than two years ago.
For all the latest news about the event visit the official CarFest website at carfest.org.