ACS Twenty5 Live
From his basement to a global company in 25 years, Chris Leach, founder of Air Charter Service, has a lot to celebrate, and what better way than throwing a festival for 300 of his employees, their family and close friends.
Taking over the grounds at the Old Cranleighan Rugby Club, ACS Twenty5 Live was a sight to behold. With a sprawling Big Top, main stage, English Garden and Beach Party area, as well as plenty of seating areas, giant flowers, a rodeo bull, photo booth and bouncy castle amongst other attractions. First up on the main stage were the Superskas, getting the crowd on their feet with some classic tunes, as a circus skills workshop entertained some of the older children and a face painter worked her magic on all who came before her, though some of her stunning handiwork did fall victim to the Frozen themed bouncy castle.
After the Superskas came The Casters, offering their own unique brand of pop rock, with plenty of energy even with the weather becoming gloomier by the second. During their set the bubble football also started at the back of the site. Two teams wiggling their way into their individual zorbs ready to prove they were the Ronaldo of the bubble football world. For others the lure of the rodeo bull and surfboard were too much to resist, with a few proving particularly adept at staying atop, whilst others succumbed to gravity far more swiftly. Nearby, the Tiki Hut was creating fresh and fruity cocktails, helping to keep up the summertime vibes even as the weather closed in. In the Big Top, the photo booth had been discovered and the Superskas were entertaining the crowd again, with an acoustic set as they chilled out on beanbags and benches.
Back on the main stage Audio Hype were belting out some modern hits, fresh from their acoustic set in the Big Top as people continued to try their hand at zorbing, with mixed results. There was also an Alice and her white rabbit on stilts, wandering through the festival with bubbles, stopping to star in plenty of pictures and entertaining the children. Back in the Big Top Kev Moth was serenading the crowd with an acoustic set, adding to the chilled out atmosphere of the tent. Outside you could also find plenty to eat, with a barbecue, which later gave way to a hog roast and a burrito stand which was replaced by a mobile pizzeria. For something sweet you could make your way to the English Garden for tea and cake, whilst the ice cream proved particularly popular with a vast range of flavours including cookie dough, piña colada and strawberries and cream.
Last, but by no means least, the headline act, Mad Hen, hit the main stage. Dressed to kill and with some impressively choreographed moves, these guys had the crowd on their feet. Unfortunately this was also the point the rain came down the hardest, but never fear, a box of emergency waterproof ponchos appeared and the party continued. Those without a poncho found a solution too, bringing over an awning from the side lines so they could continue to dance, regardless of the weather.
Then, it was time for the DJs. Inside the Big Top a flash mob took over the floor to put the ACS staff to shame with their slick dance moves before melting back into the crowd after a bow. There was also a birthday celebration for ACS Business Development Director Lloyd Robinson, with cake and plenty of singing. Outside DJ Dan Harding was proving massively popular, having collected a following throughout the day as his filled in the gaps in the main stage schedule; his tent was jammed, with plenty of dancers and glow sticks in attendance. In front of the Big Top was also a fire performer, dazzling the crowd with her poi, juggling and hooping skills, each one made to look more effortless than the last.
ACS staff, friends and family raised £1962, which was then matched by ACS to bring the total up to £3924. This was then donated to our chosen charities, Save the Children, Macmillan Cancer Trust, Momentum and the Dysart School. ACS Twenty5 Live was the perfect way to celebrate 25 years of Air Charter Service, highlighting how proud Chris and Tina are of the company and all the people in it. ACS is a family, and no matter how big it becomes, the core values instilled by Chris and Tina from the beginning remain unchanged.