When I first heard about CarFest, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect…cars AND music?! So Bank Holiday weekend, I headed down to Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire to see if the reality was just as good!
CarFest is organised by Chris Evans, held on former F1 champion Jody Scheckters farm and at least 25% of the ticket price goes to Children in Need. It is very much a family orientated festival, with plenty to do and see for adults and children alike. There is camping available, but as that wasn’t an option for me I had to travel in and out each day. I have to say the roads were amazing, we didn’t get held up once, but a shuttle from the station to the festival would be a great help!
I arrived Friday lunchtime, and after sorting my passes, went and explored the site. I caught some jousting in the showground arena, and then headed up to the start to see the cars getting ready for the hillclimb. Aswell as the sports cars, there were novelty cars too, a bed, a desk and even a shed made their way up the hill! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was also on track, with Sharleen Spiteri of Texas at the wheel, and of course Chris Evans’ magnificent 7 Ferraris!
Time went very quickly and I wandered over to the main stage where rehearsals were starting for the live broadcast of The One Show. Chris Evans is a fantastic host, not only on television, but at the festival. All weekend he didn’t stop interacting with the crowd. I managed to have a very brief chat with him and he was genuinely loving every minute of it.
Texas headlined the main stage on Friday night, with Seasick Steve, the surprise guest of the weekend, joining them onstage briefly. A great end to an awesome first day! You can see Day 1 highlights on my Facebook page here!
Day 2 arrived with some rain. I missed the most of it as I was travelling into the festival and by the time I arrived on site it had stopped! I checked out the jousting again as it was so much fun the first time, and saw The Kangaroo Kid who did amazing things with a quad bike! The Red Arrows did a fly over, it’s always awesome to see those guys, and then I went and caught some more cars out on the track. This time Seasick Steve was flying round on Chity Chitty Bang Bang! Nick Mason of Pink Floyd fame was also out on track, aswell as Olympic champion James Cracknell who went up the hill in the shed!
It was soon time to head back over to the main stage, where aswell as the billed acts, Seasick Steve was going to do a half hour set. The man is a genius. You have to see him live to fully appreciate what he can do with a 3 string guitar. Along with Steve there was music from Reef, Alfie Boe, Rubylux, Ocean Colour Scene and the headline act, Keane. A perfect end to another fun day! Day 2 highlights can also be found on my Facebook page here.
The third and final day started out a little damp and grey, so much so that unfortunately the scheduled Red Arrows display had to be cancelled. There was still plenty of action in the sky though, with displays from Apaches and Chinooks, a Vulcan bomber and a memorial flight. First out on track was an Aston Martin parade, an absolute dream for me, I chose about 5 I wanted! I then caught some Dancing JCBs at the showground before catching the last of the track action in the afternoon. Heading to the main stage for the evenings performances, I checked out Britain’s Best Pavilion, where you could find all kinds of tasty delights. I bought the most delicious fudge, and wish I had bought more!
The final evenings entertainment didn’t disappoint, with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood hosting the Cakes vs Pies final (cake won!), and more great music. Scouting for Girls were a firm favourite with the crowd, as was Amy MacDonald, who was celebrating her birthday and was presented with the most amazing Ferrari birthday cake! The legendary Jools Holland closed the festival with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. You can view all the Day 3 highlights on my Facebook page here.
It really was a fun weekend. There is so much to do and see, Chris Evans is the perfect host and they are well on their way of raising over £1 million for Children in Need again.