FAMILIES in Swindon are being given the chance to enjoy the summer on their doorstep.

After countless events and festivals were shelved for 2020 because of the pandemic, a new Covid-safe venue has been created in Old Town.

Vegan nights, bands, street shows, a circus, tasting events and a bar will all be part of the Swindon Summer Bowl, which kicks off on July 17.

Fandangos is the entertainment company behind the fun in Town Gardens.

Owner and former circus performer Tom Falding said: “The Swindon Summer Bowl has been launched as a response to the Covid-19 crisis which has seen a lot of cancelled events across the world.

“Our background is a circus but we do all sorts of events, we’ve had no work this year and we wanted to do something instead of nothing during this time.

“We’ve come up with a safe and controlled plan for these events. The response to it has been insane, I’m absolutely blown away. Children and family bookings have sold very quickly.”

To make social distancing possible at the venue, each bubble will be given a designated place to sit and surfaces will be cleaned regularly.

So far, more than 50 per cent of the family tickets have sold out and there are plans for events to run into August – and possibly beyond.

Tom said: “When we made the announcement this week, it got popular very quickly. We’re selling out on almost all of our tickets. Lots of people responded in a positive way, which was a great feeling.

“I’ve been involved in entertainment and circuses for a very long time, I just love it. After everything that’s happened, it’s good to be doing something again that will keep me sane.”

Fandangos teamed up with South Swindon Parish Council to secure the venue.

Events working party chairman Neil Hopkins said: “The parish council is really pleased to be hosting the Swindon Summer Bowl at the Town Gardens in the Bowl area.

“Fandangos contacted the parish council a few months ago about organising a regular event in the Town Gardens Bowl and as we had lost all our previous bookings due to the Covid-19 lockdown this made a lot of sense to us – particularly as the Bowl will allow social distancing in a lovely outside space which has been very much under-utilised for many years.

“This is the first event of its kind to take place in Swindon since lockdown was first announced.”

More information can be found at www.swindonsummerbowl.co.uk