Duxford Air Shows

Discussion in 'WWII Events' started by stona, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Is it just me or is the attendance at Duxford now limited to a substantially lower number for air shows?

    I was at Flying Legends last weekend, the show was sold out, no on the gate tickets, and yet whilst the crowd was substantial it was nowhere near the numbers I remember from previous visits.

    I'm just wondering if the chaos of some earlier shows (the BoB anniversary show a few years ago stands out) has led to an official reduction imposed by the police/local authority?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I noted the same Steve.
    I was also at 'Flying Legends' on Sunday, and at the American Air Show at the end of May. Both seemed to be substantially lower in numbers than previous shows. The 'new rules' following the Shoreham incident last year, also seem to have affected the flight axis distance, and the actual display patterns.
    It might be that since the introduction of pre-ordered tickets only, attendance figures have dropped, but, at last years' BoB 75th anniversary show, the numbers seemed large to me, far more than the announced 50,000, and very noticeably larger than the 20,000 declared at the American show, more like I remember from shows in the 1980's and 1990's.
    I met up with Gary (Geedee) on Sunday, and we both agreed that, especially for 'Legends', the attendance, and the line up, seemed less than previous 'Legends' shows, and the attendance in particular was noticeable.
    I arrived on the field on Sunday at 08.05 hrs, and parked the campervan two or three rows back from the front row of the Disabled parking, between the TFC hangar and Airspace - probably directed to this spot so that the height of the van wouldn't obstruct the view for others - and there was still plenty of space, with it taking a good two or more hours before this area began to fill up with vehicles.
    With the rain and wind in the morning, I didn't bother to 'reserve' a spot at the flight line barrier, deciding to stay with the comfort of the van's amenities, and view and photograph in comfort. But my mate Mick, wandered down to the flight line a couple of times, and reported that there was plenty of room at this end of the field.
    However, I did spot a few foreign visitors I've seen at DX before, and there were some French, Dutch and German visitors on the camp site we use. The French couple had been attending for 21 years, and arrived without a ticket, not knowing that it was pre-ordered tickets only !
    Fortunately, with the help of the Internet connection on the site, and Tony, the site manager, they were able to obtain tickets and car park passes in time
    It's a pity I didn't know you were going, as you would have been welcome to come and sit with us, with shelter, free coffee, tea and soft drinks, or beer and wines if preferred, and food from the 'fridge !
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad it's not just me that noticed.
    I suppose by only selling advance tickets, something many, many other types of events have been doing for years, the numbers can be controlled. I don't know if you went to the BoB anniversary show a few years back, but there were people abandoning their cars on the grass verges on the Royston route in and taking to foot more than a mile from the airfield, at the behest of the Police. It was absolutely ridiculous.
    I have to say that I found the lesser crowding rather pleasant, but then I'm not trying to make a profit from the show :)

    Thanks for the kind offer, I'll have to let you know next time!!!!!!!!!!!! The boss and I were huddling under a brolly with hoods up fifteen minutes before the flying started, so it was a relief when the blue sky came in, just in time for almost all the display. I even managed a touch of sunburn as I hadn't brought either my sun hat or any sunscreen :) The joys of our English summer.

    One final thought. That French 'commentator' doesn't half spout some crap!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I didn't make the 70th anniversary BoB show (although Andy, 'Crimea River', did !), but I did hear about the traffic problems, and they sounded almost as bad as those for the RAF Cosford show, in 2013 - that was a ridiculous situation, with over four hour delays !
    It's very possible / probable, that this was the start of the increased traffic control, and probably advance tickets only, although I seem to recall that shows in 2013, including 'Legends', still had gate tickets, changing to advance tickets only the following year.
    The total closure of Grange Road, along the southern boundary of the airfield, also started in 2014, along with access to the tracks off the Royston road to the west of the field.

    I agree about the French commentator, although we could only hear part of his commentary, being set back from the flight line.
    Let me know when you're going again, as I'll probably take the van onto the field again - I normally leave it at the campsite, and use Karl's car to go to the show - it worked out well, especially when it rained !
     
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