We're WhaleFest and we're raising £5,000 to buy our own inflatable life-size orca to bring you face to face with this majestic whale. Are you smiling yet? Whenever we mention our unique crowdfunding project we are consistently met with huge smiles!
"One of my most memorable marine encounters was swimming with wild killer whales off the coast of New Zealand. Experiencing the power, size and grace of these sentient beings on their terms was a truly remarkable experience that I'll never forget. I'm a big advocate for fun educational projects like this that encourage people to discover the marine environment whilst appreciating the conservation issues. WhaleFest do a stellar job, but there is a lot more that they want to achieve with your support".
Monty Halls, TV Presenter and Adventurer
Gok Wan, TV Presenter -
"Hello my lovelies! check out this cracking idea from WhaleFest. They want to inspire more people than ever before, people like you (and me!), to love and protect whales xxx"
See this message on Gok's facebook page https://www.facebook.com/therealGokWan
What is WhaleFest?
WhaleFest is the biggest event of its kind, supporting whales, dolphins and the marine environment. We are a not-for-profit event raising funds for conservation charities.
In 1982 world leaders gathered in Brighton and took the historic vote to cease hunting whales. Unfortunately this hasn't saved them and hundreds of whales and dolphins are killed every single day. This is a direct result of the numerous ways that we impact our oceans including the continuation of hunts in some countries, ocean pollution, ship strikes, and some fishing practices. Unfortunately, since the vote to stop hunting, one species has gone extinct and others are near extinction. WhaleFest aims to raise the public adoration of whales and dolphins and inspire people to continue the essential work of protecting them.
Our family-friendly event is filled with regular people, people just like you or I who are captivated by these exhilarating animals. In ‘50 Things to do Before You Die’ BBC viewers put whale watching as their number 4 ‘must do’ and swimming with wild dolphins was a clear winner at number 1!
WhaleFest brings together all those enthusiastic people in a global community that gives whales and dolphins a powerful voice.
By presenting science, facts and stories in the most accessible and entertaining way, we inspire people to be ambassadors for the oceans. Our speakers include TV presenters, conservationists, scientists, wildlife TV producers, authors and heads of charities. Our visitors are people like you who are eager to learn about marine animals and the importance of protecting our marine ecosystems.
WhaleFest is an annual event in Brighton, which has taken place for the past 3 years. In 2014 we attracted 10,000 people from 37 countries, raising £10,000 for whale and dolphin charities.
In addition to WhaleFest in Brighton (at The Brighton Centre 14-15th March 2015 www.whale-fest.com), next year we plan to increase our outreach further by attending events all over the country as the WhaleFest Pop-Up. Our first Pop-Up event will be at the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show (12-15th February 2015).
Why a life-size inflatable whale?
Life-size inflatable whales provide a memorable experience for both adults and children alike.
By standing side by side with a life-size replica orca one can feel their awesome size and presence and imagine the size of the territories that they roam in the wild. This in turn can lead to a real appreciation of the issues that these animals face in small pools in marine parks.
Through fun and engaging interactions with replica whales we can raise public adoration for these sentient beings. We evoked strong emotions and an outpouring of empathy for captive orca at the mock orca release on Brighton beach in March 2014. Where we staged a very realistic outdoor production of a replica orca being released into the wild. Take a look at the photos.
Fundamentally life-size inflatables are key to inspiring people to both adore and protect whales. They make a long-term impression, provide a powerful learning experience and trigger an appreciation of the issues that whales face.
What are we hoping to achieve?
We want to increase the outreach of our valuable work by showcasing whales at events spanning the country. We want to bring life-size replica whales to an event near you, so you and your friends and family can experience their awe-inspiring immensity and beauty. The only practical way we can take replica whales to multiple events is by owning our own collection of inflatables. Initially we would like to buy an orca and build our menagerie from there.
Funds raised will enable us to buy an incredibly realistic inflatable life-size orca. Any additional overfunding will set us on our way to acquiring some inflatable whale and dolphin friends for him.
Do you want to be part of a crowd who believe in a better future for whales and our oceans?
We want you to get face to face with our life-size orca at WhaleFest in Brighton next year (14-15th March). You can accelerate our journey to owning him and you can visit him at WhaleFest by selecting your favourite reward and making a pledge.
Rewards for pledges over £20 are WhaleFest tickets so you can see the orca that you've helped to build. Pledges can be any amount of your choice starting from just £5. You can pledge anonymously and you can pledge without taking a reward if you'd prefer this option.
Then in the spirit of crowdfunding we need you to spread your excitement about our orca and help us build a bigger crowd. So get on Facebook and shout it about, tweet about it, talk about it, e-mail your long lost cousin and tell them about it. Tell everyone you know that you're excited about our orca!
If you are not in a position to pledge money, pledge your time by sharing your enthusiasm for our orca on social media and with your friends and family. Again, tell everyone you know that you're excited about our campaign!
Crowdfunder is an 'all or nothing' fundraising platform. This means that unless the financial target is met, there will be no money at all. We only have 30 days to hit our target so don't delay getting involved.
Together we can all make a difference. That's why it's called CROWDfunding.
We hope to see you taking a selfie (or whale-fie!) with our orca soon!
A MILLION THANK YOUS!