FINAL preparations are underway to transform Cartmel Racecourse into a concert venue for a star-studded night of live music this Friday, June 28.
Sir Cliff Richard, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Fly Boys will entertain the crowds when the course is ‘wired for sound’ for the evening of live music following a thrill-packed afternoon of horse racing.
And with temperatures set to soar over the weekend, organisers are now getting set to dish out suncream from information points across the course while they ensure plentiful supplies of beer, prosecco, cold drinks and ice cream are available.
Steve Cooper, managing director of Holker Racing and Leisure, said 12 months of hard work and planning by his team would come to fruition this week as one of the region’s best loved days out took place.
“A huge amount of hard work goes into bringing our concert day together throughout the year, but things really ramp up in the final week,” he said.
“Transforming the course into a concert venue in a matter of days is a finely choreographed operation.
“For 2019 we’re very proud to be welcoming three fantastic world-renowned acts onto the stage with Sir Cliff Richard, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Fly Boys, as well as 150 equine superstars over two days of superb racing.
“It’s certainly going to be bigger and better than ever before with something for everyone to enjoy at this magical course.”
Thousands of bottles of Champagne and prosecco are expected to be consumed on concert day at Cartmel Racecourse, which has previously hosted artists such as Boyzone, Tom Jones, Simply Red and Jools Holland.
However, while hundreds of racegoers will enjoy fine dining in the new Rogan & Co trackside pop up, as well as the refurbished Louis Roederer Restaurant, others are expected to tuck into thousands of portions of fish and chips – an afternoon favourite at Cartmel.
The course will also become the picnic capital of south Cumbria for the day as visitors roll out a blanket and sit down to enjoy time with family and friends in the forecast sunshine.
Following seven exciting races, attention will move to the concert itself with chart topper Sophie Ellis-Bextor taking to the stage at 6pm.
Next, The Fly Boys will put a vintage swing twist on a host of modern tracks before headline act Sir Cliff Richard fills the Cartmel valley with sound from his Diamond Encore tour from approximately 8pm.
And to make sure concert-goers are able to get home as swiftly as possible, Network Rail will run a later train from nearby Cark-in-Cartmel Station at 10.20pm with double the usual number of carriages available.
Remarkably, the entire stage, backstage area and concert seating will be removed on Saturday in time for a full day of superb racing on course on Sunday, June 30.
Steve added: “It’s incredible to watch the building of a stadium-style stage to fill the Cartmel Valley with the sound of world-class artists in a matter of hours. It’s something the construction team have got down to a fine art.
“There is a lot going on here on concert day. Not only have we got our performers on stage, thousands of racegoers, a Michelin-starred chef at Rogan & Co, there are the equine superstars and their dedicated teams too.
“We’ve also got hundreds of staff ready to help people and keep everything running smoothly. They will even be handing out suncream to keep everyone safe in the warm weather.
“It’s certainly a very exciting day and one we all look forward to – particularly as the sun is set to shine down on us all again this year.”
Tickets are available to purchase online until midnight on Thursday 27.
The course adopted an e-ticketing system this year so racegoers can print out their ticket or display it for entry via their mobile phone.
Tickets will also be available on the day for those who decide to make the most of the fine weather and enjoy horse racing and live music in a spectacular setting.