CarFest returned to its spiritual home of Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire over the August Bank Holiday Weekend (28-30 August) for the second of this year’s two sell-out family festivals.
It was back in 2012 that Laverstoke, owned by 1979 F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter, was home to the very first of these entertainment-fuelled, fund-raising weekends conceived and hosted by Radio 2 broadcaster Chris Evans.
Between then and the start of this year, the six CarFests had raised more than £3.5m for BBC Children in Need – a figure that is expected to rise significantly once donations from 2015’s two events are taken into account.
As tradition now dictates, CarFest South again combined the magical worlds of eye-catching cars, pulsating live music and mouth-watering food with heaps and heaps of fabulous fun for all the family… and, this time, with some typical festival mud thrown in following all the recent torrential rain in southern England.
Scheckter’s personal collection of Grand Prix racers topped the daily Track Sprints alongside Evans’ own ‘Dirty Dozen’ classics, while chart-idols Take That joined Paloma Faith, Texas, Jools Holland and Seasick Steve – a regular at CarFests – among the many crowd-favourites on three memorable evenings of live music.
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, too, were luminaries on stage at Laverstoke. The Great British Bake Off pair switched their judging skills to the now customary Sunday afternoon ‘Cakes versus Pies’ competition.
Car-loving Hollywood was also one of the many celebrities taking part in the hill climb show alongside a host of other famous faces from television, music and motor sport including Ross Brawn, James Martin, Nick Mason and, of course, Scheckter himself who was blasting several of his own F1 icons up and down what is the Laverstoke Park Farm drive for 362 days a year. The busy track show also featured a selection of rally cars, supercars, hot rods and even a road-legal powered sofa driven by Edd China, another of the numerous TV personalities present.
Evans quite literally kicked off proceedings by opening the new GoalFest feature at lunchtime on Friday and bought the curtain down on memorable weekend when lauding chart legends Take That off stage on Sunday evening.
In between, Evans found time to host his final edition of The One Show live from the CarFest main stage on Friday evening and to say farewell to his own ‘Dirty Dozen’ – 12 eye-catching classics from his personal collection that are due to be auctioned next month by Bonhams at the Goodwood Revival.
“It’s been the best CarFest ever,” said Evans. “We’ve got to do it again, we’ve no choice. It’s too much fun that’s got to be had!”
Following recent tragic events, there was no air display programme. A fly-past by the Gnat Display team honouring Kevin Whyman who lost his life during a display at CarFest North did go ahead as planned on Saturday afternoon and was accompanied by a minute’s silence in honour of Kevin and the victims of the Shoreham Air Show.
More information on CarFest South can be found on the official website at www.carfest.org