Dorset

Bournemouth Air Festival set for virtual reality displays

The Red Arrows at Bournemouth Image copyright Bournemouth Air Festival
Image caption Hundreds of thousands of spectators usually travel to Bournemouth to watch the air displays

The Bournemouth Air Festival is set to be staged online with virtual reality displays after the original event was cancelled because of coronavirus, organisers have revealed.

The festival, which has run every summer since 2008, will be broadcast live on its website and social media platforms, between 21 and 23 August.

It will be hosted by Bournemouth-based virtual reality studio Centre VR.

The local council said the show was "an integral part of our events calendar".

Hundreds of thousands of spectators usually travel to the coastal resort to watch the event - and organisers felt forced to cancel this year's show because of concerns about compliance with social distancing rules.

Now however, they have confirmed the event will be held entirely online.

Image copyright Martin Hoare Photography
Image caption World War Two aircraft will be among the vintage planes on show

They said entertainment would have hourly themes including daredevil flying, displays of vintage aircraft and shows from the Red Arrows.

Vikki Slade, leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, said: "The team have worked really hard to make sure we don't miss the air festival.

"It's a shame we're not on the beach, but the line-up is impressive with something for everyone."

David Bailey, chairman of BCP Destination Management Board, added: "The tourism industry always looks forward to the air festival, the footfall, the incredible amount of money spent within the local economy and the chance for us to really showcase our wonderful resort.

"It's important we keep going in these unprecedented times and a move for 2020 to a virtual event is going to be great fun."

Next year's festival is scheduled to go ahead as usual between 2 and 5 September.

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