Theatre groups, stage schools, dance troops, sports clubs, local groups, musicians and entertainers have found lockdowns particularly difficult, but now they have the chance to perform on a stage.
Contender Fest, a new three-day festival that combines fitness challenges and taster classes, with food, entertainment, music and family fun, has reserved a select number of spots on its main stage for local groups and individuals, who are being invited to apply for the chance to showcase what they do to an audience of potentially thousands.
The festival will take place at Parley Lane, near Bournemouth Airport, from 10 to 12 September.
On the festival ground will be a main stage, set to host professional performances and demonstrations throughout the day, before giving way to DJs for evening after-parties on Friday and Saturday.
Bournemouth businessman Des Burke, founder of Contender Fest, said: Having been part of the community for decades I know the wealth of talent we have, with countless clubs and groups who have kept going despite all the challenges of the pandemic – I want to celebrate what they do and the incredible contribution they make to our communities.
“My idea is to open up the festival stage to give them an opportunity to showcase what they do, whether it’s singing and dancing, demonstrating martial arts, parkour, gymnastics, or any number of other skills and disciplines.
As well as the main stage, other key elements include the Contender Games, making use of a custom-built obstacle course, suitable for everyone from age 16 upwards, with up to 40 different elements, from a 20k sledge pull, to incline walls, monkey bars, and a log flip.
This giant obstacle course will host several events such as the PX2 Team event, where two people work together to conquer the course for the chance of winning £500, and Run 4 Your Life, an individual event where the first one over all the obstacles in the fastest time gets the £500 cash prize. Then there is the Swarm 100 when 100 people will be let loose to climb, play and overcome the obstacles across the course for an hour. While the Big5 is a challenge to complete as many reps as you can across five tough exercises in just 60 seconds each, again with a cash prize.
The event will also include taster sessions and classes across at least 12 different fitness and wellbeing disciplines from Yoga and meditation to kickboxing and military-style boot camp fitness. Other elements include fitness-related trade stands, food traders offering everything from exotic street food to award-winning local produce, and three speciality bars. There will also be an artisan Craft Village, mini-obstacle course for children, fairground rides, face painting, entertainers and Wessex vintage Fire trucks.
Des said: “This event is about bringing people together, taking part, keeping active and having fun, and I am so excited to connect with other groups and individuals who share those values and would like to take their turn on the festival stage. This is your chance to show the world what you can do, to inspire others, and have a great time doing it.”
Performers applying for the main stage opportunity need to send an email with a description of their skill to: firstname.lastname@example.org.The closing date for applications is 4 July.
Tickets are on sale now starting from £8 or £3.50 for children, with under 5s going free, and discounts for NHS staff. Book before 4 July to take advantage of the Early Bird offers. Visit contenderfest.co.uk to buy tickets.
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