The 2019 Insurance Classic Motor Show : What is CarFest? The 2019 Insurance Classic Motor Show : What is CarFest?
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What is CarFest?

Do you love having fun as much as you love classic cars? If so, you’re not alone and there’s a festival just for you!

CarFest is an annual motoring and music festival for the whole family that was created by Virgin Radio presenter Chris Evans. Now in its ninth year, CarFest is every car lover’s dream. From classic racers to the latest supercars, car enthusiasts will struggle to decide which way to turn next.

Last year, visitors to the festival were surrounded by classic cars, vintage racers, hot rods, movie cars, autocross, stock car racing, and stadium super trucks. What’s not to like?


Family fun – a car festival everyone can enjoy

While cars are definitely the main attraction, CarFest is not actually all about cars. The festival was created with classic car lovers in mind, but rest assured it has something for families of long-suffering car enthusiasts, too! Chris Evans himself is a well-known classic car lover as we know.

There’s plenty for music lovers, food fans and kids (of all ages) to enjoy. In fact, the festival stands out from other motoring events and festivals as one that offers more of a well-rounded experience.

Visitors can expect to see more than just weird and wonderful vehicles on display. There’s live music, celebrity chef cooking demos, a steam fair, family fun run, fancy dress parade, mouth-watering food, a fairground, horse-riding shows and more. Suffice to say, there’s something for everyone.

As the organisers put it: “It’s a super-charged weekend, packed full of happiness, kindness and honesty.” And of course, there’s more cars than you can shake a gear stick at.

The sun shining behind a classic car

When and where does CarFest take place?

CarFest takes place on two different dates in two different locations each year.

First up, there’s CarFest North which has taken place at three locations in Cheshire over the years: Cholmondeley Castle, Oulton Park and Bolesworth Estate.

Meanwhile, CarFest South is held each year at 1979 Formula 1 World Champion Jody Scheckter’s Laverstoke Park Farm in Hampshire (which, in case you didn’t know, is famous for its buffalo mozzarella!).

This year, CarFest North is taking place from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th July 2020 and CarFest South will be over the August bank holiday weekend – Friday 28th to Sunday 30th August.

However, Evans has also teased a third event as part of this year’s motoring celebrations. In an email to fans, he wrote: “We’re looking at CarFest Northern Ireland…  Watch this space for more news!”


Great fun for a great cause

When Chris Evans founded CarFest in 2012, he did so with the sole purpose of raising money for BBC Children in Need. Since then, the festival has raised more than £16.5 million for children’s charities around the UK.

Each year, CarFest donates all of its profits to charity – including a guaranteed 25% of the price of each ticket.

Along with 50% of funds raised going to Children in Need, last year’s festival saw money going to four UK children’s charities: Teenage Cancer Trust, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and Starlight Children’s Foundation.

The plan is to have raised a total of £21 million for good causes by 2021 to mark the festival’s 10th anniversary.


What can we expect from CarFest 2020?

The line-up for this year’s festival has yet to be released at the time of writing, but last year’s musical acts included Boy George, The Human League, Rick Astley and the Kaiser Chiefs.

As well as music, food is also a big part of CarFest, so expect to eat some pretty tasty grub while you’re there. Head to ‘CarFeast’ where you’ll be able to have a drink at the CarFest pub, indulge at the chocolate factory, watch live cooking demonstrations, sample tasty treats, and join in with the daily street parties.

To keep the kids entertained, there will be fun for all ages. From wooden forts and fairground games to live skate shows, roller discos, and zorbing, the fun doesn’t stop.

CarFest is committed to sustainability, so you can also expect reusable cups, no plastic bottles, plenty of water stations, compostable toilets, and lots of recycling spots.

 A line of classic cars at a car show

What to pack for CarFest

Packing for a festival can be stressful – especially when the whole family is coming along for the ride. Here’s our guide to the essential things to help make CarFest 2020 go smoothly.

·        Tent: A pretty obvious one if you are camping, but definitely not something you want to leave behind. Along with the tent, make sure you’ve got sleeping bags, roll mats (or air beds if you prefer), a mallet and torches.

·        Water: Investing in a large reusable water bottle that you can fill up onsite is always a good idea at festivals. With an eye on sustainability, there will be plenty of water refill points around the site.

·        Wellies: There’s always the risk of a festival getting rained on so make sure you check the weather forecast before you go. If it’s looking like it might be a mudfest, pack a pair of wellies for everyone. Remember: for maximum festival enjoyment, it’s best not to spend the weekend wearing plastic bags over your shoes.

·        Sun cream: UK summers can be very unpredictable. Just as they can be incredibly wet, they can also be incredibly hot. High SPF sun cream won’t take up much room in your rucksack and is essential for all sorts of reasons we don’t need to tell you.

·        Hat: It’ll keep the sun off your head on sunny days or your head warm on chilly nights.

·        Fab festival extras:

Don’t forget all those things that make the difference between having a good time and an absolutely GREAT time at a festival:

o   Ear plugs: good if you find yourself a bit closer to the speakers than you planned and for blocking out the sound of early-rising kids).

o   Paracetamol and ginger tea: good for nausea or hangovers.

o   Waterproof picnic blanket: with so much delicious food on offer, it’s good to know you’ll have somewhere to eat it.

o   Loo roll and baby wipes: two all-round useful things to have with you when camping in a field.

The first release of CarFest 2020 tickets has already closed and the next release will be sometime in spring 2020. Keep an eye on the  website for more information about tickets, line-ups, and new additions for this year.

If you love classic cars as much as Chris Evans, you’ll want to give your investment the protection it deserves. At Lancaster Insurance, we arrange classic car insurance for almost every classic car out there.

Get a quote for classic car insurance today.



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