EASTBOURNE’S Beach Life festival will undergo a change in format this summer, returning as a new drive-in movie event at Princes Park.

In response to social distancing measures, the two-day festival on July 11 and July 12 will be taking Eastbourne to the movies, featuring two films a day on a giant screen, all with perfect singalong soundtracks.

Film fans can choose from family favourites such as Frozen 2 and The Lion King (the 2019 version) in the afternoon, and for grown ups in the evening the PG-rated Grease and Mamma Mia will bring comedy, romance and a rousing rendition of hits.

The ticketed event is one of several ideas that are being considered as an alternative to Covid-19 event cancellations.

While Beach Life won’t be able to include its usual line-up of live music, funfair rides or watersports due to social distancing, fans can still enjoy the festival feeling from the comfort of their own cars.

Eastbourne Borough Council cabinet member for tourism and enterprise, Councillor Margaret Bannister said “Beach Life will be one of the first events after we potentially reopen our tourism industry to visitors.

“So we wanted to do everything we can to make the event happen in some form.

“Outdoor film screenings are always popular with families and film fans, so a drive-in movie experience by the beach is the perfect way to kick start the season, all with public safety in mind.

“Social distancing may be setting the tone for some time, but there is much we can still offer our visitors, while providing a much-needed highlight for residents too.”

Although drive-in cinema is still a bit of a novelty in the United Kingdom it enjoys huge popularity in countries such as Australia and South Africa, having emanated from the United States in the 1950s.

Plus, who could possibly forget that epic drive-in scene from Grease?

The festival’s Facebook followers were given the chance to vote for their favourite films this week, with Frozen 2 (U) and Grease (PG) chosen for the Saturday and The Lion King 2019 (PG) and Mamma Mia! (PG) chosen for the Sunday. With viewers tuning into the film’s audio from their own parked vehicles, audience members will be asked to remain in their cars, unless using the food and drink or toilets on site, which will be run with strict social distancing and additional cleaning measures.

Tickets will be on sale from June 8, priced at £20 per car, and will be available for purchase online only at www.BeachLifeFestival.co.uk.