4000 people enjoy the drive-in fireworks display

Over 4000 people arrived at the East of England Arena and Events Centre in 1000 cars last night, November 4, for a spectacular fireworks display, which was Covid19-secure and socially distanced as the venue, organiser, Peterborough City Council, public health and a range of suppliers raced to bring the display forward ahead of today’s lockdown.

Venue director, Jason Lunn, explained, “The display had been scheduled for the 7th as a socially distanced drive-in display and everything was in place, with suppliers and personnel all briefed accordingly. The sudden announcement of a national lockdown meant either cancelling or postponing the display.”

“There was a third choice – with a few days to prepare we decided to try and bring the display date forward, just ahead of the beginning of the new lockdown on November 5th. With the display already sold out, we knew just how disappointing a cancellation would be, especially on the eve of more social restrictions, so we quickly began working with the organiser Entertainment Effects, Peterborough City Council, and public health authorities, to make it happen.”

Peterborough City Radio hosted a 3-hour show, including pre-display entertainment while visitors parked, requests from the audience, and broadcasting the soundtrack to the fireworks. Kev Lawrence of PCRFM was DJ for the night and provided a lively show to keep everyone entertained as they parked their vehicles and waited for the show to start. Online over 1000 visitors watched a live stream of the display’s Facebook page.

Pamela Newbould, health & safety and Covid19 officer, takes up the story, “Once we had established the possibility of moving the display forward to the 4th, we then worked with Peterborough City Council and public health to make this a safe and spectacular night. The change of date was announced and most people were able to attend, those who could not were reimbursed, and those tickets were put back on sale.”

“Newbould concluded, “We could not have done this without the amazing help of the local authorities and our suppliers and contractors who pulled out all the stops to make this happen.”

The comments from the venue’s Facebook page after the display communicate the feeling of those who attended:

Chris – “Our first time. We thought it was genuinely brilliant. So well organised and such a great display. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make it so much fun and also so safe.”
Naomi – “Absolutely fantastic display and awesome atmosphere! Well done to all involved!”
Ray – “We all loved it thankyou well organised great display… Drive-in is the future bring on the next one”
Fiona – “Thought this … was very well organised, we really enjoyed it and felt covid safe too”
Chloe – “Thank you so much it was amazing! Definitely going to book for Christmas one! X”
Becky – “It was fantastic, well done”
Matthew – “Absolutely gutted to have missed this! One of my favourite events of the year. A great achievement to have held it in the first place let alone change the date last minute. Well done all!!”

“Everyone who came behaved impeccably and an orderly exit meant that we cleared the venue of around 1000 cars in just 25 minutes. The end of a very satisfying display,” concluded Lunn.

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Email: [email protected]
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East of England Arena and Events Centre

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By Rail

Peterborough is located on the East Coast Main line running from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh. A number of fast trains run on this network, making London accessible in 45 minutes on specific trains.

The station has its own taxi rank, which means reaching the East of England Arena is approximately 15 minutes away once the train has arrived in the station.

By Car

Arriving by car, you will be guided to one of our hard standing or grassed free parking areas. There are 22,000 spaces – so plenty of room for everyone. We also have plenty of disabled parking bays.

Travelling from Peterborough City Centre – take the Nene Parkway/A1260, follow directions to Oundle Road/A605 and turn right onto this road, which will lead you directly to the venue. The brown highway signs indicating East of England Arena/Showground will help to guide you. The journey is approximately 16 minutes from the centre of Peterborough.

Travelling from the A1(M) South – continue along the A1(M), passing the Peterborough Services (Extra MSA); continue forward onto the A1 and then take the next turn left, signposted East of England Arena/Showground. At the junction with the A605, turn left and travel half a mile. At the roundabout, turn right, and you have arrived at the East of England Arena.

Travelling from the A1(M) North – ignore the very first signpost for Peterborough and continue travelling along the A1 picking up the brown highways signposts indicating East of England Arena/Showground. Follow these signs and leave the A1 at Alwalton, taking you through the village and onto the A605 Oundle Road junction. Turn left at this junction and at the very next roundabout, turn right and you’ve arrived at Peterborough Arena. If you are in a heavy vehicle, or towing a trailer, we advise you to avoid driving through Alwalton. In this case continue on the A1, leaving at Junction 17. Turn left onto Fletton Parkway A1139. After half a mile exit onto the Orton Parkway (still A1139) taking the second exit at the roundabout. Continue on Orton Parkway at the next roundabout. After half a mile turn left onto Oundle Road where you will find the entrance of the Arena on your left after 600m. 

By Public Transport

Peterborough City Centre has a number of taxi ranks, as well as a coach park and bus station located within the Queensgate Centre. The Stagecoach bus service runs a half-hourly service during the week and two-hourly Sunday service, stopping just outside the East of England Arena. The bus number to look for is X4 leaving Bay 15 at Queensgate, Peterborough.

The bus stop is located at the Marriott Hotel, Lynchwood.  A  fifteen minute walk will bring you to our main entrance gate. 

By Air

East of England Arena’s location makes it central for London Stansted, London Luton, East Midlands and Birmingham airports – all four are approximately 60-90 minutes away by car.