Red Arrows at Southport Air Show. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Stand Up For Southport Blog by Andrew Brown 

Southport Air Show returns to Southport this weekend and it remains one of the best value days out in the North West.

I love watching the event, it’s one of the highlights of the year. It’s superb value for money. 

The line-up of aircraft this year is immense. 

It features the world famous RAF Red Arrows – the world’s greatest and most thrilling aerobatic team. 

The manoeuvres they pull off in sync while flying feet away from each other at such fast speeds is breathtaking. They’re worth every penny of the admission price alone. 

Read More: Southport Air Show 2023 full line-up of aircraft revealed

Equally, the RAF Typhoon. Some in the crowd might have to wear their ear protectors for that one! 

It’s always emotional watching the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight. My Grandad flew in Lancasters during World War Two so to see one thundering over Southport Beach, in tandem with a Spitfire and a Hurricane, is something really special and very poignant. 

There are many more aircraft flying this year too: RAF Tutor, Chinook, Tigers Army Parachute Display Team, Team Raven, Strikemaster Display Team, Hurricane, Firefly, Spitfire, Mustang,

Great War Display Team, Royal Navy Black Cats, deHavilland Vampire and Bronco. 

That’s less than a pound for each. 

Southport Air Show. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Southport Air Show. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

There is plenty to enjoy on the ground too, which is why it’s well worth arriving early, seeing everything there and beating the traffic. 

There’s the Military Village, loads of vehicles from the Mid Lancs Military Vehicle Trust, Lytham St Annes Spitfire Ground Display Team, The Veterans Living History Museum, the 69th Field Artillery Guns and more. 

Tickets are £10 each (£10.75 including booking fee), with children under 16 going free.

It’s superb value compared against many other days out you can book, for a fraction of the entertainment on offer, and very favourable against other major air shows. 

You can maintain the value by taking a picnic onto the beach, although food outlets are available for anyone who needs them. 

When Southport Air Show occurs, some people always ask why Southport is a ticket event while Blackpool Air Show is ‘free’. 

Nothing on this scale is ever ‘free’ – there is always a bill to be paid! 

Today, Sefton Council revealed figures that show the air show costs £400,000 to stage, with £360,000 recouped through ticket sales and other revenue. 

It’s a really sensible approach. 

Around the UK, some air shows have been cancelled in the past couple of years, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Sefton has lost a huge swathe of its funding during the past decade, while costs for things such as adult and children’s care have rocketed. 

Council Tax has been increased by the maximum allowed, 4.99%, each year for the past few years. 

Sefton Council still subsidises Southport Air Show to some extent, but without that £360,000 revenue to offset it the air show may become at risk when the council is facing severe budget pressures elsewhere. 

It’s not unreasonable to ask spectators from around the country to pay an entry fee for an event they’re here to enjoy rather than lump that sum onto Sefton residents’ annual Council Tax bills. 

For local businesses, that Southport Air Show funding is a very lucrative investment. 

Over 40,000 people will flood into Southport for the event this Saturday and Sunday (9th-10th September), giving a huge boost to local shops, hotels, guest houses, taxis, bars, restaurants, cafes and others. 

Over £430 million was generated by the tourism sector in 2021 and large events such as Southport Air Show, Southport Flower Show, Southport Comedy Festival and others play a huge part in giving a vital boost to local businesses and creating local jobs. 

Southport Air Show is organised by an astonishingly talented but very small team in Sefton Council’s Tourism department. 

In two weeks’ time, they will present the annual British Musical Fireworks Championship at Victoria Park, having organised the successful Southport Food and Drink Festival earlier this year, as well as advising and supporting the other major events that happen here. 

We’re very fortunate to have them. 

Southport Air Show has wowed visitors of all ages for the past 30 years. 

Long may it continue to reach new heights. 

To buy tickets for the 2023 Southport Air Show please visit

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