Bournemouth Air Festival

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Bournemouth Air Show
Red Arrows at Bournemouth Air Festival.jpg
RAF Red Arrows Aerobatic Display Team performing their cupid formation at The Bournemouth Air Festival 2009.
GenreAir show
VenueBournemouth Beach Area, Bournemouth Gardens.
Coordinates50°43′12″N 1°52′48″W / 50.72000°N 1.88000°W / 50.72000; -1.88000Coordinates: 50°43′12″N 1°52′48″W / 50.72000°N 1.88000°W / 50.72000; -1.88000
CountryUnited Kingdom
ActivityAerobatic displays
Organised byBournemouth Council

The Bournemouth Air Festival is an annual air show held along the coast at Bournemouth, in Dorset, England. It has featured aircraft from the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, as well as civil aviation displays. Since its formation in 2008, the festival claims to have entertained over nine million people.


The first Bournemouth Air Festival was held from 28–31 August 2008, attracting over 750,001 visitors.


Its second year, 2009, was held from 20–23 August and attendance almost doubled to an estimated 1,344,000 people.[1] Aircraft at the 2009 festival included:

Aerobatic aerial displays were provided by:

Additional ground displays were provided by:


The 2010 Bournemouth Air Festival was marred by poor weather although the general public still enjoyed the static displays and the small amount of flying that took place.[2]

2011 - Third Annual Air Festival & Red Arrow’s Crash[edit]

The 2011 event took place between 18–21 August. On Saturday 20 August, at approximately 13:50 BST, one of the Red Arrows, Red Four, crashed in a field, approximately 1 km near to Bournemouth Airport. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging, was killed in the accident, when returning to the airport after a display at the Air Festival.[3]

An inquest heard Flt Lt Egging may have succumbed to G-force impairment before attempting to correct his course in the moments before the impact.

The coroner in Bournemouth recorded a verdict of accidental death. The court heard a service inquiry, led by Wing Cdr Mark Rodden, concluded "A-loc" - almost loss of consciousness due to G-force - was the likely cause of the crash.

Memorial Sculpture and Relocation after Clifftop Landslide:

Prior to the 2012 Bournemouth Air Festival, a memorial sculpture was unveiled in a private ceremony at the top of the East Cliff at Bournemouth Beach. The sculpture is of three glass Red Arrows planes and stainless steel contrails.

In August 2017, the memorial sculpture was relocated further along the East Cliff, at the top of the Zig-Zag, after a landslide on 24 April 2016. Rubble fell down the 30m-high (100 ft) rock face in East Cliff, partially engulfing the carriages of an Edwardian funicular railway - known as East Cliff Lift and a crushing a block of toilets. There were no reported injuries as a result of the landslide.

Although undamaged in the landslide, the Jon Egging memorial was close to the edge and was sealed off from public view.


The 2013 show took place between Thursday 29 August and Sunday 1 September.
The main display line up was:
Thursday only - Rv8tors; Swordfish WW2 Bomber
Not Thursday - AAC Lynx Helicopter; B17 Flying Fortress 'Sally B'; RAF Chinook
Saturday and Sunday only - De' Havilland Vampire; Gloster Meteor
Sunday only - Avro Vulcan XH558
Friday and Sunday only - RAF Typhoon
Not Sunday - Red Arrows
All Days etc. - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; Gerald Cooper Aerobatics (Sbach 300); Hawker Hunter 'Miss Demeanour'; Hawker Hunter and De' Havilland Sea Vixen flypasts; Jet Provest; Patrouille Reva; RAF Tucano; RAF Tutor; Royal Navy Lynx Helicopter; Royal Navy Merlin Helicopter; The Blades; The Tigers Parachute Team

Night Air on The Piers[edit]

As well as entertainment in the sky, in the sea and on land, since 2014 Bournemouth Air Festival has brought live music on stages next to Boscombe and Bournemouth Pier. Artists include established singer/songwriters, bands, instrumentalists and tribute bands.

In the Lower Gardens of and cliff tops at Bournemouth, there are performances by Military bands, including Royal Marines and Army Air Corps bands.

Whilst there are performances, there are dusk air displays, featuring pyrotechnics and aerobatics as a finale to the flying programme each day.




2016 (Due to an unusually high tide and strong winds, performances were cancelled)[edit]

Friday 19th August:

  • Rixton
  • Kaiser Chiefs (performance cancelled due to weather)

Saturday 20th August:
All performances cancelled due to weather


Thursday 30th August:

  • Nino Nikolov (Violinist and contestant on Britain’s Got Talent 2018, who also performed on Bournemouth Pier as entertainment for VIP’s during the 2018 Air Festival).
  • McGoozer (Scottish Singer/Songwriter, based in London, who brought a party atmosphere to Night Air)
  • The UK BeeGees (Tribute band performing the music of The BeeGees).

Friday 31st August:

  • Danny Adams (Singer/Songwriter and contestant on The Voice UK 2012, Danny Adams performed an acoustic set of covers and originals).
  • Wonderband (The foremost Stevie Wonder band in the U.K. performing the music of Stevie Wonder. Their performance also featured a surprise guest appearance by Merrill and Jay Osmond of "The Osmonds", who performed their song “Crazy Horses” and joined Wonderband on stage for the Stevie Wonder song “Superstiton” ).

Saturday 1st September:

  • Greg Johnson (Acoustic Adult-Contempary/Easy Listening Pop Singer/Songwriter Greg Johnson had a home show, bringing a set of his award-winning original music to Night Air. Having performed on BBC Radio 2 on The Chris Evan’s Breakfast Show, Greg brought a fantastic show to Night Air, playing acoustic guitar, as well as instrumental tracks of beautiful arrangements composed, arranged and produced by himself)
  • U2 2 (With 26 years as the premier U2 tribute show, Bono has said “We’re flattered by what they’re doin’. The band ended the Night Air Music for 2018 with the music of U2).


Since its formation in 2008, Bournemouth Air Festival has won several awards. These include:

  • Visit England Gold Event of the Year
  • South West England Tourism Excellence – Silver Award
  • Green Apple environmental Award
  • BADA Unsung Hero
  • EAC Marketing Awards
  • Primary Times Best Event of the Year 2015 and 2016


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Bournemouth Air Festival at Wikimedia Commons