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2025 BHW Show of the Year

Preparations for the 2025 show are now well under way and already the Committee have held two meetings in Askern to consider arrangements. The Gala Evening is booked at The Viva Nightclub, and the acts reserved, as well as meetings with the Winter Gardens being ongoing to ensure that all will be in place.

Having enjoyed a fixed price contract with the Winter Gardens for a number of years, which they have kindly extended over the period of Covid and Avian Flu, they have now advised us that they have no alternative but to increase their charges for 2025 and beyond. The committee have therefore reluctantly decided that they must pass those increases on to ensure the show remains viable.

I can therefore advise that the entry fee to enter the show in 2025 will be £12 for Saturday and £9 for the Sunday, with advance two-day tickets being available for £20 – please be aware that the concessionary price will not be available on the door. The cost to enter a pigeon in the show will be £3.50 per bird. As the Gala Evening is not held with the Winter Gardens, we are able to hold the price of those at £25 per ticket.

In addition, the Winter Gardens have advised us that some years ago they introduced a ‘restoration levy’ on every ticket sold at all the events held in the venue; to date the show has been exempt, but they have advised that they must introduce it, at a rate of £1.75, for our event from 2025. The committee have been able to negotiate that for next year this levy will be charged on orders rather than tickets. Therefore, if you place an order for a single ticket, you will pay the levy of £1.75; if you place an order for multiple tickets, you will still pay the single levy of £1.75.

To explain the reason for the introduction of the levy, The Winter Gardens have made the following statement:

From July 2021 a Restoration Levy of £1.75 on all tickets purchased both online and in-person at our box office applies. This Levy will be ring-fenced and go directly into the investment needed in our Grade 2* listed venue.

First opened in 1878, the Winter Gardens celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2018 and with such age comes a set of unique challenges to ensure the venues remain operational, functional, and suitable to welcome the needs of modern-day events and audiences. Already each year over £500k is invested in routine maintenance alone, essential repairs increase that figure substantially. That along with the added pressure of Covid and sustained closure has added further financial burdens to the venue.

The levy, after VAT deductions, will mean for every ticket purchased £1.46 goes direct into venue upkeep. If 150,000 tickets sell each year, that is £218,750 that ensures we can continue to welcome the biggest shows, events, and gigs at the greatest place of entertainment in the world, the Winter Gardens Blackpool.

We will be fully transparent and ensure every penny of your restoration fee is spent wisely. 

We understand tickets are a big investment, especially if you are a regular visitor and for those within the community in which we serve. We want to make live events as accessible as possible, but we also need to ensure the venue’s longevity, to make sure it remains at the forefront of Blackpool’s visitor economy for many years to come.

In advance, we want to say a massive thank you! The levy could be a game-changer for the venue, that as operators we treasure as much as you. We are dedicated to working tirelessly to protect, restore and maintain the unique character of the venue for now and future generations.

We have made other adjustments to the show for next year, some of which reflect our return to normality. The first is that the Charity Auction will return to being live at the show; internet bids will be accepted prior to the event, but the hammer will come down on the Saturday afternoon in Blackpool. We are also returning the raffle prize draw to the show on the Sunday.

With the increasing number of awards and trophies it has become increasingly difficult to have them all assigned and prepared by the time of the Saturday afternoon presentation, and it has been decided therefore that we should move these presentations to Sunday morning.

Also, in response to a request by the BSRF, a two-bird entry will now be allowed in classes 9 to16.

The show has much to look forward to: in 2026 it will be the 50th anniversary of the show being held in Blackpool, and in 2028 we have the honour of being invited to host the FCI Olympiad. The committee’s commitment is to ensure that the show maintains its position as the premier pigeon event in the UK and Europe, in that it provides both a pigeon show and an exhibition of trade stands. We look forward to your support in that objective, and providing the pigeon world with an annual event worthy of our great membership and sport.

David Trippett
Show Committee Chairman

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