Plans underway for Bognor Birdman 2020

Bognor Birdman 2017
Bognor Birdman 2017

Organisers of the International Bognor Birdman said they ‘ran out of time’ to meet the requirements to run this year’s event but insisted it will go ahead next year as they had learned from their mistakes.

Birdman was planned for September 1 as part of the town’s new Pride event but organisers were unable to satisfy Arun District Council’s health and safety requirements.

Sarah Boote-Cook with mayor Phil Woodall

Sarah Boote-Cook with mayor Phil Woodall

Sarah Boote-Cook, Bognor Birdman and Pride chairman, revealed organisers are holding a meeting with Arun District Council on Monday, August 19 to start making arrangements for next year.

She said: “The idea of a double event wasn’t spoken about until April. We overestimated how much work we would need to do to run both events and we ran out of time.

"We have given ourselves a year this time, and we are already well underway with the planning so we won’t have the same problem.”

In a bid to raise funds and to ensure the hard work behind the scenes didn’t ‘go unnoticed’, there will still be a Pride event on the pier later this month.

Sarah said: “Everyone is invited, for free, to Legends Sports Bar on August 31 between 2pm and 10pm.

“It will be a party on the pier. It will be a fun event for everybody. It will encourage diversity and inclusion.”

Marketing and events manager at Bognor Pier, Crawford Winkworth, who helped set up the event, said it will be family friendly.

He added: “Many events have come and gone over the years so it was great that we could help bring this to Bognor as a lot of people were really disappointed when the Birdman event was cancelled.”

Bognor Pride said the party will provide an opportunity to raise the money required to stage next year’s Pride event.

In a post on its Facebook page on Monday, it wrote: “After months of planning and safety advisory group meetings, Bognor Regis lost it’s Pride due to health and safety expectations and time constraints placed upon the overall event.

“Thanks to a few friends, and in the spirit of all things LGBTQ, we’ve come up with something that can’t be refused.

“This will also be an opportunity to help give the Bognor Regis Pride team the time it needs to tick those H&S boxes and raise the money required to stage next year’s Pride event.”