As the sun beamed down on Eastbourne over the weekend, Airbourne saw the busiest ever day in its 23-year history.
The free, four-day airshow welcomed its biggest ever audience on Super Saturday as hundreds of thousands watched the Vulcan Bomber fly for a final time over the town, along with the first ever free-to-watch flight of the world’s only flying Blenheim bomber.
The culmination of the 12-hour Super Saturday extravaganza saw stunning twilight pyro-aerobatics, Scouting For Girls on stage and a new Saturday night firework display.
More than 12,000 watched the chart topping band from the managed beach stage area alone, with thousands more lining the seafront to see the firework spectacular, sponsored by Ansvar and Frontier Fireworks.
The Airbourne souvenir programme had its best ever sales day on Saturday, over a third more than the previous best on Vulcan day in 2012, and by the end of Saturday, parking was already 22 per cent up on previous years with more cars than ever before using the car parks and Beachy Head Park ‘n’ View areas.
On the sea on Saturday, more than 150 boats passed through the locks to view the displays, with late night queues at the locks on their return.
Friday proved popular too and many stayed into the evening to watch De’Vide on the Airbourne Live stage, sponsored by TJ’s Nightclub, or to see Toyah at the Bandstand, which proved to be a sell out success.
Eastbourne Borough Council Senior Head of Tourism and Enterprise, Phil Evans, said, “After a damp start, Airbourne certainly caught up after the rain with three awesome days of flying.
“It was fantastic to see so many families enjoying the show and many more around town dining into the evening.
“The atmosphere on Super Saturday evening was amazing, we’ve never seen the seafront look so vibrant.”
More than 200 volunteer bucket collectors were in force during the show, with collections organised by the Rotary Clubs of Sovereign Harbour and Hailsham, along with support from the clubs of Eastbourne, Eastbourne AM, Eastbourne Sovereign and Beachy Head.
Airbourne returns from 11 – 14 August 2016, and exclusive seating is available to book now. In the meantime work continues throughout the week to count in all of the bucket collections, which will help to fund next year’s flying displays.
Airbourne fans can still donate at Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre in Cornfield Road, at the Seafront Office or online at www.eastbourneairshow.com.
See Tuesday’s Eastbourne Gazette and Friday’s Eastbourne Herald for pictures and more reaction.
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