Tankfest 2020 goes online

EVERY year, Bovington Tank Museum in the UK hosts an event known as Tankfest, with a range of different armoured fighting vehicles out and running through their paces.

The event is partnered with World of Tanks publisher Wargaming and was originally scheduled to go ahead earlier this month, but COVID-19 wrecked that idea and so the main event has been moved to September.

That doesn’t mean tank fans have to miss out in the meantime however, as Wargaming and The Tank Museum are bringing Tankfest to the digital world between June 26 and 28.

In an announcement today, Wargaming said:

 “As the partner and co-host, World of Tanks is proud to make this virtual experience become reality, using its vast technical and publishing expertise to bring Tankfest to fans across the globe.

The main event will take place on Sunday, June 28, for a unique online experience at the museum – where the famous Arena Show will be recreated via livestream for a rare demonstration of The Tank Museum’s tanks in action. The show will be presented by World of Tanks’ own Richard Cutland and The Tank Museum Curator, David Willey, who will cast an experienced eye over the proceedings.

World of Tanks will also be bringing a new dimension to this years’ event, introducing tank comparisons during the livestream – using the game engine to pit the top tanks against one another. From Tiger to T-34/85 – World of Tanks will help to educate audiences with exciting showdowns and blazing battles that showcase the strengths and weaknesses of these armoured legends. Stunning education with facts and figures about the steel monsters from the past!”

Tank Museum director Richard Smith said the museum was pleased to be able to bring to event to its fans, even given the difficult times.

“World of Tanks has allowed us to create an online Tankfest experience that will bring our famous Arena Show to life for fans across the world – whilst their fundraising efforts will allow us to show our collection for many years to come,” he said.

Wargaming Europe military relations head Richard Cutland said it was a privilege to support Tankfest in a virtual event, alongside the long-time support for the physical event.

“By using our digital and publishing experience, we are excited to help educate our audiences on the amazing history of these tanks and are lucky to work with the educational professionals at The Tank Museum to conserve this fascinating history,” he said.

“From the tank comparisons to exciting in-game events for players, this will be the most multi-faceted Tankfest ever.”

I was fortunate to attend TankFest 2017 as a guest of Wargaming and it was quite an experience getting to see tanks – like this Soviet T-72 – up close and in action.

As per Wargaming’s announcement:

“The Tankfest partnership is not the only addition to a long relationship between World of Tanks and The Tank Museum, as the World of Tanks team have also created a special Premium Shop offer, rewarding players with the Tiger 131 – while the proceeds of the sales will go directly to The Tank Museum. Players can follow the portal news for more information about the bundles, as well as other in-game events here.

Everything will be streamed via World of Tanks’ usual platforms, as well as those of The Tank Museum, so all can take part from the comfort of home.

And there will be a lot to take part in! Following the streams with The Tank Museum, there will be more tank action with The World of Tanks team on Twitch and YouTube. Check out our streaming hub here.

As someone who attended Tankfest 2017 as a guest of Wargaming, I can confirm the physical event is a fantastic experience for any armour enthusiast, so it’s good to see something with livestreams and the like being planned ahead of the rescheduled physical event.