Festivals have been in short supply over the last 18 months, but now there is one to look forward to in the early autumn.
Contender Fest, a new three-day event combining fitness challenges and taster classes, with food, entertainment, music and family fun will take place at Parley Lane, near Bournemouth Airport from 10-12 September.
The fledgling festival, which aims to bring thousands of people together to get active, challenge themselves and have fun, is to receive a £30,000 grant from BCP Council.
The pioneering new initiative, launched in April this year, aims to support projects which will generate pride in place and provide benefits for the wider economy. Hundreds of applications were received and whittled down, with the council beginning to notify successful projects at the start of June.
Contender Fest founder, Bournemouth businessman Des Burke, owner of Flavours cookery school, said: “I am delighted that Contender Fest is getting this incredible boost from the council, which will enable us to make it even bigger and better than I’d hoped when I first set out, funding it all from my own pocket.
“It has always been about community and bringing people together, so engaging with local groups and clubs, businesses, the council and other stakeholders was baked in from the outset – but this support will enable me to take everything to the next level.
“It is incredibly exciting to see my vision coming to life. But not only will be it an amazing weekend of fun for local families. I’m also determined it will be the foundation of a real jewel in the crown for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, bringing people back to the area year after year.”
Cllr Philip Broadhead, BCP Council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for Economy, said: “We’ve been so pleased to support a huge range of innovative projects as part of our Bounce Back Challenge – helping our businesses, people and whole area leap out of the pandemic and thrive over the next year.
“I’m really excited about the Contender Fest and am sure this will be a brilliant event for the whole community. With fun, fitness and food – what’s not to love?”
Central to the event will be a custom-built obstacle course with up to 40 different challenges, and visitors can also have a go at taster classes across 12 different fitness and wellbeing disciplines.
A central stage will host performances from musicians, local groups and theatre schools throughout the day, while DJs will get the after party going on the Friday and Saturday evenings. You can also expect fitness-related trade stands, gourmet food, three speciality bars, a Craft Village, kids mini-obstacle course, fairground rides, and more, set across a generous festival ground.
Tickets are on sale now starting from £8 or £3.50 for children, with under 5s going free. Book before 4 July to take advantage of the Early Bird offers. Visit https://contenderfest.co.uk/ for more information and to buy tickets.
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