WE’RE MOVING TANKFEST TO SEPTEMBER
Due to the current situation in the UK, we now feel that there is too much risk associated with planning TANKFEST for the normal June weekend.
Instead, we’re planning TANKFEST on the assumption that by mid-September, the UK vaccine roll-out will be almost complete and levels of infection in the community will have sufficiently subsided to make public gatherings possible.
But we can’t assume that everything will be back to ‘normal’ by then so we’ve had to make some changes to the way in which the event will run.
For now, we have to assume that we will need to operate in a way that will accommodate social distancing and minimise crowding.
Here’s how we’re planning to do it.
THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT
TANKFEST 2021 will be a four-day event, from Friday 17 to Monday 20 September.
It will feature explosive arena displays, the tank park (featuring visiting armour), trade stalls, a Living History area, access to the Vehicle Conservation Centre and access to The Tank Museum itself.
This year we’ve also introduced a lecture stage and mini-demonstration arena, where you can hear talks, live music and watch living history demonstrations close up.
Friday and Monday will have a minor programme of events, but visitors will be able to view the tank park, browse the stalls and explore The Tank Museum and Vehicle Conservation Centre.
The main programme of events will take place on the Saturday and Sunday, with our extensive arena display of historic moving armour.
There will be Premium Experience tickets available for all four days (Friday and Monday Premium tickets include a standard Saturday or Sunday admission).
But as a result of COVID-19, things must be a little different this year.
We must assume that we will need to operate TANKFEST with social distancing and other COVID protocols in place.
This means far fewer visitors on site, and far fewer spectators around the arena.
A DAY OF TWO HALVES – MANAGING THE CROWDS
We are dramatically revamping our arena display to make it more intense, concentrated and action-packed.
We’re planning to add more drama and spectacle; minimising the gaps and pauses to create a single stream of high-quality tank action.
This allows us to run an identical arena show twice in one day – giving us an opportunity to split the attending audience between each ‘show’.
So, when you book your ticket, you’ll be asked to book an AM or PM Arena slot.
When you arrive at TANKFEST, you’ll be issued with the appropriate wristband to enable you access to the arena spectator’s area for your chosen show session.
You can spend the remainder (or earlier part) of you visit enjoying the museum, lecture stage or mini-arena.
We understand that this somewhat bureaucratic approach may jar with loyal TANKFEST visitors who are used to pleasing themselves during their visit.
In the current circumstances, this approach appears to be the only practical solution that will allow us to sensibly plan our most important fundraising event of the year – and giving us a fighting chance of success.
EVENT CAPACITY & SOCIAL DISTANCING
Arena capacity is the key to the overall TANKFEST capacity.
It currently stands at 1,400 (following a project to increase the usable space over the winter) allowing for a 2-metre gap between each standing ticket holder.
This means that the total number of visitors we can allow for TANKFEST is currently 2,800 each day – less than a quarter of that permitted at the last TANKFEST event.
It also means that we are unable to offer Grandstand seating this year.
Of course, we can’t possibly know what regulations will be in place in September. We assume that those which come into force after the current lockdown will evolve or be relaxed over the course of the year.
If this happens we may be able to make more tickets available – but this will depend entirely on the guidance we receive from the government.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE
We have all had a rough ride over the last year – but we at The Tank Museum are extremely grateful for your continued loyalty.
We have had to make a number of difficult decisions over the last 10 months, often at short notice and with limited information at hand.
Many reading this will have already had their tickets transferred from the intended June 2020 date to a date in September 2020 that we also had to cancel.
It is thanks to your support that we are still here – making it even more disappointing for us to be to letting you all down again.