Ilfracombe Birdman event is back for 2021
- Credit: Ilfracombe Round Table
North Devon’s wackiest event will return to Ilfracombe pier on Saturday, August 21, as brave aviators in the Round Table Birdman competition hurl themselves into the sea in the name of charity, with a £500 prize up for grabs.
As with everything else in 2020, Birdman was cancelled last year, so organisers are delighted to be able to stage the event now that restrictions are ending. The all-day festival is completely free to enter and offers live music, street food, family entertainment and more.
Simon Robilliard, chairman of Ilfracombe Round Table who organise Birdman, said it is a privilege to be planning events for the community again, he said: “We are so excited to be staging Birdman in August.
“We think this will be North Devon’s first major event after the lockdown restrictions end, so we hope it will act as a celebration after 18 months of being cooped up inside. We can’t wait for people to come and enjoy the day, although of course we will encourage them to do it safely.”
Ilfracombe Round Table’s Birdman event is hugely popular with locals and holidaymakers. Last year was the first time in more than twenty years that the event couldn’t take place. Simon said: “It was gut-wrenching to have to cancel last year, and our summer in Ilfracombe felt a bit empty without Birdman, because it is the busiest day in the town by far. It really brings people together, and it’s very important to us to make sure it is a free festival for everyone to enjoy. We feel that everyone deserves a great day out after everything we’ve been through.”
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Birdman could only be confirmed very recently, after the government gave details of restrictions being lifted, which has left organisers racing against the clock.
“We’re working really hard to get everything in place, because we haven’t got much time! But everything is shaping up nicely,” said Simon. “We’ve got some fantastic bands booked, some great street food stalls, a fantastic bar and much more for people to enjoy.”
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The call is now going out for brave aviators to enter the Birdman competition itself, constructing some sort of craft which will help them defy (or at least delay!) gravity. Simon added: “We want to make this the best Birdman competition yet, so we’re offering a £500 top prize for the winning entrant. It’s not just about how far you fly, it’s about putting on a spectacle for the crowds, so please visit our website to enter now.”
Birdman is a fundraising event with all funds going to Ilfracombe Round Table, a registered charity, to support local worthy causes. Simon said: “This has obviously been a very tough time for our community and there are so many worthy causes in the town that need our support.
“Every pound raised at Birdman will make a difference to someone in need. Birdman is only possible, as a free event for the whole community, thanks to sponsorship from local companies.
“We are very grateful to Fullabrook CIC which has provided a grant towards some of our costs, but we’re still on the lookout for any generous businesses who would like to be involved. Please visit our website and get in touch, because we can’t do it without you.”
Gates open and the live music starts at 12.00pm on Saturday, August 21, carrying on until 10pm. The actual Birdman contest takes place late-afternoon, as soon as the tide has reached the correct height.
For more information, and to enter the Birdman contest, visit www.ilfracombebirdman.co.uk