The BMW Car Club Board of Directors have unanimously made the difficult decision to postpone the Club’s National Festival this year, and to instead expand its presence and member offering at the famous Silverstone Classic event, the world’s largest historic race meeting. A redesigned, improved and expanded National event called ‘BMW Sommerfest’ will replace the National Festival from 2021.
The Board and Club Office have noticed a declining trend in member attendance over the past few years, accompanied by an increase in operating costs. Notification of heavily reduced access to the venue before this year’s scheduled event, and dates for the British Grand Prix were contributing factors in taking this decision, but revisiting the concept of what a national event should be is something that has been under consideration for some time.
A dynamic club responds to its member’s behaviour, which has changed over the years. Silverstone Classic is now one of our best supported events, so resources will be diverted toward making the member experience at this year’s Classic even better. Members in 2019 enjoyed the Club’s improved hospitality marquee, and for 2020 we look forward to expanding our offering even further and moving to a new more central location will act as the perfect hub for members wishing to enjoy this incredible event.
Taking in lessons learnt from other events currently enjoying huge popularity, such as Goodwood’s Revival, Bicester Heritage’s Super Scramble and Race Retro, the Club is looking to grow its national event with a diverse offering designed to appeal to as many members as possible.
Ideas currently under consideration include the addition of a dynamic component such as a motorsport event or driving test, talks from well-known identities, workshop and restoration seminars, more focus on modified BMWs, social activities and driving tours, and importantly, improving the event experience for family and friends to make it a great day out for all. The current venue does not lend itself to such change at relatively short notice, and with major venues taking bookings more than 12 months in advance, it was not possible to relocate. Rather than continue with an event that the Club knows does not appeal to a broad section of the membership, it was deemed better to follow member behaviour and offer increased support where it is most appreciated.
Silverstone Classic tickets can be purchased through their website using our member discount code, and access to the Club hospitality is available to all members, contact the club office for more information. Do you have any suggestions about how you think ‘BMW Sommerfest 2021’ should look? Send us your thoughts by emailing Office@bmwcarclubgb.co.uk.