As soon as I found out about the Coventry MotoFest 2018 festival, I could not wait to go! Coventry is one of the places you return for more! The city knows how to host really nice events and we tend to visit festivals such as Godiva.
This time it was expected to be busy and we promptly arrived by train avoiding the hassle of parking. Stepping outside the train station we were greeted by the noise of the engines and loud narration. The atmosphere was brilliant, people were happy and everyone seemed to enjoy the day!
The whole event was spread out into the different zones which were easily accessible. We had no problems walking the distances with a three-year-old. Plus he got a free balloon! 🎈
Let me invite you to watch this short video I took that captures some of the moments the event had to offer before jumping into reading the rest of the story.
Coventry motor heritage
Taking a detour from the event – it is a history lesson to understand why this event is so special! You see, Coventry has played a big part in the British Motor Industry. It has been very successful in manufacturing bicycles and cars after finding a niche in the motor industry, but over the century the city has seen a drastic decline in production. Nowadays, Coventry is home to the JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) headquarters and production of the black cab taxis which keeps the heritage of once center of the motor industry alive. [^1]
MotoFest action plan
The festive activities and displays have been set in the city centre. The most popular zones were the Toyo Tires Sprint Circuit and the Jaguar Land Rover. Besides the most action-packed points, visitors have had the following to keep them busy:
Numerous music stages
The original Wall of Death
Community zone for kids
Numerous displays of cars and bikes
Stop the crash [^2]
Toyo Tires Sprint Circuit
The sprint circuit was basically Coventry ring road with the dedicated viewing areas for spectators. Demonstration, parade and timed laps were happening here with the practice sessions taking place on Saturday. Drifting and high speed along with the heritage cars was the centre of the attention for most of the visitors and definitely an object of so many photographers. Sprint competitions were taking place on Sunday. The sprint was significant this year due to the new legislation coming into place which allowed for timed laps in the city centre.
A timetable has been set for the following with repeated intervals:
BARC Midlands Motofest Sprint Timed laps
Stop the crash
This experience has been set up next to the JLR zone. Car crash testing video along with the smashed car on display was stopping crowds of people to witness or even experience the car safety message. Here a black taxi cab and a passenger car have been involved in a demonstration/experience of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). We literally were witnessing the technologies of the latest achievements in the motoring industry. The presentation of the systems has been offered to everyone wishing to have a hands-on experience of the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). [^2]
The original Wall of Death
The Wall of Death was a wooden drum that looked like a massive tent from outside with lots of noise and smell. We thought it must be interesting and after having a lunch in the city, we headed straight towards the entertainment. Paying a rather symbolic fee of £3 per person, we climbed the steep stairs up. A strong petrol smell instantly hit the nose. Heritage bikes at the bottom of the drum spark the excitement and we patiently waited for the show to begin.
They say it is a show not to forget and there is no other way to describe it! As soon as the rider picks up the speed and reaches the top of the ring, you begin to feel for your safety and the adrenaline kicks in! The speed, the noise, the smell, the shakiness of the structure, the stream of air hitting your face – it is better than a roller coaster!
The absolute star of the show was the act of riding a bike hands-free. Hands down! The guy made it look so easy! [^3]
Jaguar Land Rover Zone
A rather spacious interactive area with experience for both kids and adults. The queue to the attraction has been busy all day.
The Land Rover driving experience was taking spectators around the rough terrain and a very steep platform. The whole journey has been accompanied with an in-car presentation.
From the other side of the zone – a much smaller Land Rover for little ones to experience the ride of their lives.
Who is behind the MotoFest
Coventry MotoFest is the celebration of the heritage and motor industry taking place for the 5th time since 2014. With an expectation of 150 000 people from across the UK to attend, the festival is getting bigger and louder. [^2]
While MotoFest is a celebration of cars, bikes, people and Coventry, not everyone knows that the whole event is being organized by a team led by James Noble – a leader of the Coventry Jubilee Church. Ten churches together with the partners such as Coventry University, JLR, Hope Coventry, Coventry Council, etc. make the celebration and the heritage happen on the streets of Coventry.[^2]
I was lucky enough to learn about it while waiting for a face paint in the HOPE area for kids. A lady approached me to ask about the cameras on me and then told me about the organizers of the event and some other facts. I felt they should really make a statement about it so everyone would know!
It was not all cars!
The venue was not all cars! There were a number of stages with live music, good food, funfair near the racing track as well as next to the transport museum. We saw a car simulator, which is fun!
The little ones had plenty to keep them busy: free face paint, numerous craft activities, fun rides, small Land Rover ride. It was really an event to cater for every age group!
Display of Classic Vehicles & Bikes
Cars were parked everywhere, by the spectators’ zones, on the grass, in the square, on the streets. Many have been on display with an open bonnet, mostly in the manufacturer’s zones. It all felt like an open air transport museum which was really nice! Below are the images of some of the features as well as cars I have captured.
Thank you for reading! I hope you have enjoyed it and thinking of coming to the MotoFest next year because let’s face it – this event is awesome!