Here is a feature that I wrote on Bournemouth Sevens rugby festival to be published in the Daily Echo.
7 a-side, 7 minutes each way, 6 full size pitches, 5 DJ’s, 4 beer tents, 3 days, 2 nights, 1 huge party! With Bournemouth Sevens releasing the latest line up of bands and DJss this week, excitement is building for the biggest festival in Bournemouth.
So why is seven the lucky number? First held in 2008 by Diamond Sports Events, by 2009 Bournemouth Sevens was the biggest music and rugby festival of its kind in the world. In 2009 it doubled in size from the first year with 132 rugby teams, 88 netball teams and 20,000 attendees, and this year is expected to be bigger than ever. Any amateur rugby teams can enter and play for 12 cups including The Sunday Snakebite Cup and The Sunday Shandy Cup.
Unlike typical rugby matches, games are seven a-side and seven minutes each way played on a full sized pitch. But essentially everyone is competing for the same thing, to be crowned the Bournemouth Sevens 2010 champions. Other countries such as Dubai, Hong Kong and Amsterdam have Sevens festivals but Bournemouth holds the biggest of its kind in the world, recently winning the Sport Business Award for mass participation. The festival this year will be held on May bank holiday weekend for three days starting Friday 28th May. Held at Bournemouth Sports Club in Chapel Gate, the 65 acres of tree-lined fields is more than enough to accommodate the rugby pitches, netball courts, beer tents, stages, campsite, parking, food tents and endless other facilities.
With just over a month to go, this week event organisers Diamond Sports Events announced the entertainment line up. The festival provides a variety of entertainment all day from 10am until 1am to keep the crowd occupied before, after, between and even during the rugby matches. The headline act announced is former Radio 1 presenter DJ Spoony. Other acts include the Bavarian Oompah Band and various cover bands providing music on a main stage to dance the nights away to.
If that’s not enough, other entertainment for this year includes a parachute display, a pitch side Jacuzzi and the new craze ‘Rock-e-oke’ similar to karaoke but individuals can sing-a-long on stage to a live band creating the ultimate rock star experience! As a family event there are loads of activities for the children. Whether it is wall climbing, face painting or quad biking there is plenty to keep them busy all weekend, it’s just getting them to leave which is the problem!
Although not compulsory, fancy dress is ultimately encouraged for the weekend. Never seen 20 smurfs, 8 gingerbread men, 43 Amy Winehouses and an Easter bunny all under one roof? Just take a look at the website to see some of the weird and wonderful ideas people came up with last year. And don’t worry, it has been confirmed that this year the whole weekend will be caught on camera, with coverage courtesy of Sky TV, BBC and ITV. Sam Woodman, an attendee of the event last year said, “Last year was amazing, 15 of us all went dressed as ‘Where’s Wally’ but are still trying to think of something original to go as this year! I really don’t know how they’re going to top last year but the line up looks incredible, can’t wait.”
Volunteer Jessica Child, 20, worked at the festival last year. She plans to do it again this year and would encourage people to volunteer. “There is a great atmosphere at the festival, everyone is just out to have a good time,” she said. “I am studying events management at university and this is definitely the best event I have ever volunteered for as there were loads of jobs for me to do like giving out wristbands and directing people around the site. I would really recommend volunteering at the festival this year because you get to work with some amazing people, you don’t even realize that you’re working!”
Although they have not yet released any names for 2010, in previous years many professional rugby players have attended the event including players of the England rugby union, Austin Healey who now provides BBC punditry, Josh Lucy, Kyran Bracken and Lewis Moody. In an interview on the Bournemouth Sevens website Austin Healey said, “This is the most amazing event I think I’ve ever been to. The Bournemouth Sevens is supposed to be a festival of rugby but it’s more a festival of fun. There are lots of families here with their children creating a great atmosphere.” On the Sunday evening there will also be an awards ceremony on the main stage where all the cup winners will have a chance to meet and be presented with their awards by their sporting heroes.
Whether it’s a great game of rugby you’re after, a stag do with a twist or just a weekend away with mates, Bournemouth Sevens is the only place to spend May bank holiday weekend. The campsite is already 85% full and 20,000 people will be flocking from all over the country so grab your tickets soon. To purchase tickets, enter a team into the rugby tournaments or find out more about the weekend please go online at www.bournemouthsevens.com. Alternatively you can call 0844 847 2500 to purchase tickets. Although there will be tickets on the day, they are cheaper in advance and there will only be a limited number. There are cheap deals for students and group bookings and under 12’s get in for free. You would be simply mad to miss it!
The magazine layout I created for the feature using the programme Indesign