22-24 July 2016
Belvoir Castle, Lincolnshire
A brand new fieldsports-themed countryside showcase, The Great British Game Fair, is set to take centre stage in the countryside calendar next year and replace the now-defunct CLA Game Fair.
Organised by game fair experts, Countryman Fairs, the three-day event will be held in the magnificent grounds of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, hosted by Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, over the weekend of July 22nd-24th 2016.
Shooting, hunting, angling and other traditional country sports will be very much at the core of the Great British Game Fair, with the focus on sporting excellence, whilst also introducing the next generation of enthusiasts to enjoy their first experiences in a welcoming and accessible way. Organisers are expecting to invest up to £2.5million into the show to create a truly world-class event, which will offer visitors and exhibitors a dynamic and innovative alternative to the usual game fair format, including an extravaganza of evening entertainment. The "Our Countryside Rocks!"" concert will bring together a host of artists, which promises to add an entirely new dimension to this showpiece event.
Countryman Fairs CEO Ian Harford promises the entire feel of the new event will be that of celebration.
"We have listened very carefully to feedback from both visitors and exhibitors about the failings of the CLA Game Fair, and all have said the same: they want a high-quality, world-class event that is focused on country sports and lifestyle. It must be affordable and accessible for all, but must also have a sense of occasion a feeling of community. In short, we must bring the countryside calendar to life and inject new passion into our beloved country sports."
For over 30 years, Countryman Fairs have been delivering highly successful large-scale countryside events across the UK, including the world-renowned Midland Game Fair, which attracts around 100,000 visitors each year. Ian added:
"We have brought together a 'dream team' of highly experienced event management and marketing professionals with a view to creating the national showpiece event for the UK field sports and countryside communities. The Great British Game Fair is undoubtedly the most important countryside event for a generation."
Further announcements will be made in the coming days, but for more information, visit the Great British Game Fair Facebook page
Wednesday 28th October 2015
Following the announcement of yet another "CLA Game Fair replacement" event scheduled for an already overcrowded July 2016 - and we understand there are another two events due to be announced in the next few weeks - we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw The 2016 Great British Game Fair from the calendar for the time being.
Since the announcement of the CLA Game Fair cancellation, we have actively consulted with the shooting industry, media groups, representative bodies and other event organisers - including the two who have recently launched events - with a view to creating a single, unified showpiece event to represent British fieldsports and country life. This makes the recent sequence of events very disappointing.
With so many different events vying for the same space, exhibitors and visitors, it is inevitable that antipathy and negativity will affect all of the events and cause unnecessary division within the industry we hold dear and have so long sought to support. We feel that it is in the best interest of the industry and all parties involved to take this remedial action as soon as possible to prevent further damage and infighting.
We will now undertake a period of in-depth consultation with all parties with a view to working together to create a truly world-class showpiece event that properly represents our fieldsports and indeed our entire way of life. Following this consultation, we will decide how we intend to proceed – but this will only be in agreement and partnership with all of the relevant exhibitors and representative bodies. We will make a full and detailed statement on how we intend to proceed on 1 December 2015.
In the meantime, we intend to continue to develop our award-winning group of countryside events, including a re-designed Gunmakers' Row at the world-renowned Midland Game Fair. 2015 was a record year for Countryman Fairs and we will be introducing a number of exciting new regional events to our show calendar for 2016. We welcome feedback and comments from exhibitors and visitors alike and hope to be in a position to make a positive announcement in the coming weeks.