Held over the August Bank Holiday weekend in the grounds of Laverstoke Park Farm, Overton, Hampshire - the organic/biodynamic farm founded by 1979 F1 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter - the inaugural CarFest lived up to all the hype, wowing a sell-out crowd of 20,000 festival-goers with two-days of fun-filled entertainment.
As Evans desired when first dreaming up his CarFest concept, the spectacular festival featured high-octane action from the amazing array of racing, classic and supercars, fabulous food plus live music from top bands all raising much-needed funds for BBC Children in Need appeal.
Incredibly Evans only dreamt up CarFest in March as his own personal interpretation of the perfect festival weekend. Now, in the space of just five months, the DJ's fantasy has been turned into sparkling reality first with CarFest South and soon with CarFest North, a second festival featuring an almost identical line-up of dazzling entertainment to be held at Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire on the weekend of 8-9 September.
"CarFest South done and dusted. And absolutely brilliant", enthused a delighted Evans. "Does the organic grass of Laverstoke Park cope with torrential rain better than standard festival grass? It seems it might. After three brief but brutal weather fronts paid us a visit on Saturday, the grass soaked up any troublesome mud and the party continued. Historic fly-pasts overhead, aerobatic displays from The RN and The Blades and The RAF Red Arrows, more fab live music than might be good for one person and the thousands of kids present self-policing the event. It was awesome. Thank you to the local council, the local constabulary and all those wonderful Overtonians who came along and joined in the fun. And fun that thus far has raised at least £750k for BBC Children In Need. I say! We'll done everyone - now bring on CarFest North on the 8th and 9th of September".
Scheckter was equally thrilled to see Laverstoke stage the very first of Evans' special CarFests. He said "We were delighted to host this very special event to raise funds for Children in Need. We have had overwhelming positive feedback from everyone who attended, the event was a huge success and it was a pleasure to host CarFest at Laverstoke Park Farm".
On so many fronts CarFest exceeded all expectations as did the vast number of stand-out highlights. For the petrolheads there were incredible demonstration runs from past and present Formula One racers plus many of the world's finest exotic supercars as well as memorable air displays from the RAF Red Arrows, the astonishing Vulcan bomber and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. All the drivers and marshals praised the friendliness of the paddock and hillclimb organisation as well as the incredible quality and desirability of the cars participating - all agreeing that CarFest has already become a 'must-see' fixture on the motoring and motor sport calendar.
Away from the iconic cars, the equally impressive array of live music performances headlined by The Feeling and Texas on Saturday and The Magic Numbers and Razorlight on Sunday was at the heart of the general entertainment, adding to the traditional festival atmosphere. Alongside the popular performing bands, a feast of non-stop family fun was on offer throughout the weekend ranging from JCB Dancing Diggers to a silent disco and 'Cake versus Pie' competitions.
As Evans had planned, the food on offer was of the highest quality with a wide range of foods from a variety of caterers. Adding to the show, Laverstoke Park Farm staff provided a wide range of food and cooking workshops from making bread or ice cream to butter churning.
As the inspiration behind CarFest, Evans had a major hands-on approach throughout the weekend, whether sharing his thoughts with festival goers, introducing bands and revving up the DJs on stage, drumming up business with Silverstone Auction, entertaining famous guests such as F1 star Mark Webber and his fellow presenters from his early morning radio show or driving around Laverstoke Park Farm in his own Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
With the dust barely settled in Hampshire, the great CarFest extravaganza now moves to Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire for CarFest North on 8-9 September. Despite selling out within hours of tickets going on-sale, an extended licence has enabled organisers to offer some additional day, weekend and VIP tickets. To buy tickets go to www.carfest.org.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Photo by Glynn Williams