Now in it’s fourth year and growing ever stronger, CarFest is the brainchild of TV and radio presenter, Chris Evans for the BBC’s Children in Need. The six hugely successful, sell-out festivals held to date have wowed more than 265,000 visitors and both events, CarFest North and CarFest South have raised in excess of £3.5m for BBC Children in Need so far.
What it lacks in 4×4’s and mud plugging action it certainly makes up for in variety and enthusiasm. There always seems to be something going on for Mum, Dad and kids too, it’s a fun and intoxicating mix of amazing cars, great food & drink and live music. Chris Evans’ team really have worked out a great formula for everyone.
Unfortunately due to other commitments that weekend, I could only manage to show my face on the Sunday, and even though we were quite early, the crowds were already out enjoying the atmosphere.
We spent a good hour or so wandering around the paddock watching and listening the array of super-cars and custom cars as they warmed up and ventured out onto the track for their ‘hot laps’ – awesome! I did feel kind of smug as the press pass allows me some privileges like standing on the pit wall watching cars as they scream past. We also wandered up and cornered that bloke from ‘The Great British Bake off’ as he clambered out of a Ferrari because Karen Lee wanted a photo with him. He kindly obliged.
Flicking through the show guide we noticed that Texas was due on stage, so we meandered our way through the many club stands and grabbed a spot on the top of the hill. After a couple of their popular songs I got a bit bored (sorry, not a huge fan), so we wandered off for a nosey through the exhibitors.
We stopped off at the Weber tent and learnt how to create a great BBQ with their 30 minute workshops, we did the same with Tenderstem too. Next door Pink Lady apples were on hand offering out free apples out of a huge ice bucket, and during that hot afternoon they hit the spot like nothing else! In fact, since then on the apple front at Turner Towers we’ve eaten nothing but Pink Lady’s.
We continued to wander around stopping off at the many car clubs, tents, and and military displays whilst listening to Hunter & The Bear and 10cc playing in the background, quite surreal really.
We sat by the track for a while too, embracing the atmosphere as the angry mob of muscles cars, movie cars, historic F1 cars… and a motorised bed sped past!
I stopped off at the Mitsubishi stand for a quick chat about their new Outlander PHEV, the worlds first 4WD plug-in hybrid. I drove one early last year at the Millbrook testing ground, it was quite peculiar driving an electric car off road, a bit too weird if I’m honest. Anyway, after a long chat he gave me a cap and sent me on my way… I think he wanted to start packing up so he could get to the concert.
By now it was about 6.00pm and we decided to make our way to the stage area and bagged ourselves a cracking spot quite literally up against the railings in front and in between both stages. First we were entertained by Bob Blakely, the guy who nobody turned for during The Voice, he was quite good. Then it was The Feeling’s turn, next was Sophie Ellis Bextor, Nell Bryden and finally Jools Holland… but we left after he started, sorry Jools, again not a huge fan of your music either.
And that was it, another great festival with loads of money going to Children In Need. A huge congratulations to all who supported it, especially for the volunteers and unseen staff, see you later on in the year!
CarFest North: 31st July – 2nd August 2015
CarFest South: 28th – 30th August 2015
CarFest North, 2014