LET US ENTERTAIN YOU!
The vibrant mix of holiday destination talent...
Holiday entertainment has significantly evolved from the first Redcoats of the 1930 and the Hi de Hi era of the Sixties. Operators of parks, large and small, still agree that getting the entertainment mix right remains crucial to ensure happy, satisfied customers. While holiday parks continue to evolve and offer modern amenities, depending on the target market, the traditional camp host still has a place.
Their expertise, personal touch, and ability to create a sense of community contribute to the overall experience and can make a holiday park stay even more enjoyable. These days, holiday destinations are constantly raising the bar by offering a diverse range of entertainment options to cater to different age groups and interests.
A mix of live shows, musical performances, themed events, and interactive experiences all aim to engage visitors. Holiday parks typically manage their entertainment offerings through a combination of planning, coordination, and collaboration.
• Entertainment Programming: Design a varied programme that caters to different age groups and interests, including live performances, themed events, sports tournaments, and workshops.
• Talent Booking: While considering the preferences and demographics of guests, working with external performers or talent agencies can be a cost-efficient way of securing talent such as musicians, magicians, dancers, and comedians.
• Activity Scheduling: The entertainment team creates a schedule for activities, ensuring a good balance throughout the day. This helps guests plan their participation and prevents overlapping events.
• Facilities and Venues: Dedicated spaces for entertainment may include theatres, outdoor stages, sports courts, and activity rooms. These areas are equipped with appropriate sound systems, lighting, and seating arrangements to enhance the overall experience.
• Key Personnel: Trained staff members including entertainers, activity coordinators, and event managers, are employed to execute the entertainment programme. They oversee the smooth operation of events, interact with guests, and ensure everyone’s enjoyment and safety.
• Guest Feedback: Collecting client feedback through surveys, suggestion boxes, or online platforms.
This helps them understand preferences, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to future programs. No better example of holiday destination entertainment than Butlins with its wide range of shows, live performances, and activities suitable for all ages. The resorts often feature popular acts, live music, and themed events, ensuring a vibrant atmosphere.
Ranging from genre specific breaks like the new We Call It Dance weekender to popular decade breaks, 2023 will see 16 different Big Weekenders – all for adults only. There are also some new, big-name artists performing at Butlin’s for the first time. Continuing with the dance theme, Tom Zanetti, Route 94 and Lovely Laura and Ben Santiago are all new acts playing the We Love Ibiza weekender.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is other new headliner performing on Back To The 2000s and Replay Weekenders. Mike Godolphin, Entertainment Director at Butlin’s, said: “We’re thrilled to be introducing a new dance weekender featuring some of the biggest names in the industry. “We Call It Dance is a brilliant opportunity to get your mates together and enjoy an unforgettable three nights of house, disco, garage and much more.
We can’t wait to see everyone on the dancefloor in Skegness later this year.” With the tagline ‘the Home of Entertainment’, Butlin’s is continually redefining what entertainment is, could and should be. The holiday park chain is opening a brand-new indoor activity centre, PLAYXPERIENCE, at its Bognor Regis resort.
Described as “an immersive indoor hub”, this new £15million space will feature a variety of experiences all under one roof. Covering nearly 50,000 square feet, each room will be filled with adrenaline-pumping activities in the daytime and competitive, interactive bar games in the evening.
In 2022 Parkdean Resorts announced a £140 million spend nationwide at its parks as part of its biggest ever investment programme. The investment went towards new accommodation, new and upgraded activities and facilities, and installing park-wide Wi-Fi capability.
The investment also allowed Parkdean to continue to roll out its hugely popular brand partnerships, with Bear Grylls’ Survival Academy, Tots’ Breaks, and events and entertainment from Milkshake and Nickelodeon now available at more parks than ever.
Steve Richards, Chief Executive of Parkdean Resorts tells us: “By investing in our parks, we’re not only improving the guest experience, but we’re also ensuring that holidaymakers keep coming back year after year, spending money in local shops, attractions, pubs and restaurants, and supporting the communities that rely so heavily on tourism.”
The entertainment and activity offering at holiday operator Away Resorts is unique to each park. Across the portfolio there is everything from archery to line dancing, laser tag, axe throwing and zorbing, to alpaca walks and yoga, arts and crafts, bug hunts. fishing and cycle hire.
There are also traditional character shows, breakfasts and meet-and- greets with the likes of Bear, Scratch and Lucy. Sammi Storey, Entertainment Manager at Sandy Balls says “[Bear’s] so real, and it’s so rewarding seeing all the kid’s smiles!”
Creative Director Max Barraclough is proud of what Away Resorts has achieved: “My team thrives on building unique experiences our customers will remember forever,” he says. “Our Custard Pie and Colour Festival events are now famous, with guests coming back time and time again for them.
“Our mini festivals get customers singing, dancing and really letting go. We Live Stream many events now, so no matter which park you’re staying at you can enjoy the full Away Resorts experience. We like to think the attention to detail in all our entertainment shines through.”
The entertainment offering is big – and growing - at all the parks. A good example of this family together festival, Famaland. New for 2023, it will take place at Tattershall Lakes between 21st July –2nd September and bring together epic headline shows, mini versions of its well-loved festivals including Dinoworld, Colour Throws and Custard Pie Fights, as well as some brilliant family favourite character appearances.
“All our most popular events together each week,” says the creative team behind it. Whether seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, enchanting live performances, or a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature, the evolution of UK holiday destination entertainment has resulted in a more inclusive and engaging experience for visitors, with a focus on providing diverse entertainment options that cater to different preferences and age groups.