Kartfest 2019 Backup’s most successful event to date

Five years on from the original 14 teams and £7,000 raised, Kartfest 2019 sold out in less than two weeks with 34 teams taking part and, at the end of the day, an amazing £28,300 raised for the charity to help support members of the live events industry.

With a diverse mixture of manufactures, rental companies, agencies and end clients arriving at Daytona at Surrey’s Sandown Park each year, Kartfest has become recognised as the must attend, annual event for the industry. This year, the headline sponsor was once again Chauvet, with the kind support of Autograph, Creative Technology, The Technical Department, IPS, JPP bars and Heli-Teli as production partners.

“We have really established this day as a date for all of the industry to come together and meet up, race and raise an amazing amount of money for Backup and subsequently the industry,” says Kartfest organiser and Backup trustee Lee Dennison. “And the support from our sponsor and production partners was, as always, incredible.”

“It’s was not only a brilliant day of reflection and fundraising for our industry family, but also one of the best industry social events of the year,” confirms Scott Arnold, group managing director of Autograph Sound Recording.

Falling as it did this year on July 4th, the theme dictated itself and a celebration of our cousins on the other side of the Atlantic elicited some interesting costumes, with plenty of more traditional attire mixed in, as well as some rather more tongue in cheek choices, and the spirit of the day was embraced by one and all.

A full day of racing, pit stop challenges, BBQ, beers, comedy from Danny Posthill – one of the fantastic comedians who appeared at last year’s Comfest and who is set to appear at this year’s show in November (more news about that at a later date) – bucking broncos, music and awards meant there was something for both racers and non-racers. Over 300 people joined in the fun on the day and enthusiasm was at an all-time high.

With the recent passing of industry legend and great friend of the charity Bryan Leitch fresh in everyone’s minds, it fell to the Mongol Rally entrants, the Nomadic Numpties duo of Antony ‘Turbo’ Hall and Henri Copper in their rally car, Poppy, to lead off the 34 karts on their warm up lap in tribute to Bryan, who were supported by applause from everyone. Once they left the track, three hours of fast and furious racing ensued.

“It was the second time we attended Kartfest, but the first time Avolites entered its own official team,” says Avolites sales director, Koy Neminathan. “We decided to remember Bryan by producing ‘Team Bryan’ t-shirts, which our entire team wore. The day was fun-filled and the networking with the other guests was great. We will definitely be there next year.”

Once the laps were counted and Trump cards were played, Production Park were hailed 2019 Kartfest champions, with Yamaha in second place and SFL in third position. Winner of the fastest lap was DiGiCo’s Tim Shaxson, with Autograph’s Duncan Bell awarded the dubious honour of slowest lap, whilst Britannia Row Productions stole the fastest ever Pit Stop Challenge.

“This year’s Kartfest was another amazing day, made even more so for us at SFL as we won third place!” says SFL’s managing director, Tom Jeffrey. “It’s always gratifying to see how well the event is supported; it’s incredibly important that we help the people in our industry who need it. Backup does just that.”

“With a hugely generous set of donated raffle prizes and silent auction prizes, the final total of £28,300 will go a long way in supporting our family when they need that precious financial support,” adds fellow trustee Paul Robson. “There is no other industry like ours in getting behind people and being there when they need.”

More praise for Kartfest:

“Thanks again for another great Kartfest! By far the best industry networking event in the UK, and all for a great cause. We have the greatest admiration for all that are involved in the set up and delivery of this event!”

Alex Warren, Sales Manager – UK & Republic Of Ireland, Commercial Audio, Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK)

“This is the ‘go to’ industry event and it couldn’t be for a worthier industry cause. Congratulations to the Backup team for pulling off yet another entertaining day of races, prizes and sunshine.”

Tom Harper, Director and Head of Sustainability, Unusual Rigging

“Hats off to Lee and the team that run the fantastic Backup Kartfest day out, and to the handful of individuals and companies that generate the lion’s share of the charity’s revenue.

As well as a good way to raise much-needed cash on the day, it’s also inspiring us at Sennheiser UK to come up with some other ways of contributing to Backup throughout the year.”

David Atkinson, Trade Marketing Manager | Pro Audio Solutions, Sennheiser UK

“We at CT always look forward to Kart Fest. Not only has the weather been great for the past few years but the atmosphere is fantastic and it’s a great opportunity to socialise with your industry mates and compete on the track. That’s all without mentioning what a great and important industry charity Backup is, so we should all be getting involved and supporting it more.”

Matthew Eve, Head of Corporate Events, CT

“Lee and the Backup Team put on yet another great Kart Fest. It’s always a very enjoyable day with lots of light hearted banter with friends and more importantly, a lot of money was raised for a very worthwhile cause.”

Tim Shaxson, DiGiCo

“I N C R E D I B L E !”

Glen Rowe, K Y O T O