Ed Masley Arizona Republic
We’ve all been cooped up for far too long.”
That’s how Arizona Bike Week organizers set the tone for a newsletter shared on their website as the festival prepares to welcome bikers back to WestWorld of Scottsdale for a five-day blowout from from Wednesday, Oct. 7, to Sunday, Oct. 11.
The event includes the first live concert series in the state since March, with headlining performances by Night Ranger, Blackberry Smoke, Texas Hippie Coalition and Jackyl.
It will also have live local music every afternoon at an onsite bar called the Kickstand.
Arizona Bike Week normally takes place in April but was postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newsletter goes on to say, “We celebrate our passion for riding by coming together at rallies filled with vendors and live music. That’s what bikers do. The spectatorless version of sporting events and concerts, virtually streamed, to be watched from your couch, doesn’t work for us.”
How Bike Week concerts will work under COVID-19
So they’ve adapted how they would’ve gone about this in a normal year to meet the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines currently in place.
Organizers are operating under a special permit from the City of Scottsdale, which includes a number of locally mandated health and safety restrictions,
Masks must be worn at all times inside the gated area of the event, except when at a table.
“We all hate masks, we get it,” the newsletter notes. “Whether you have chosen to support your local establishments and follow the rules has been your choice, just as whether you attend ABW this year is your choice.”
If you are unable to wear a mask for any reason, the website says, “please sit this one out and we’ll hope to see you back in 2021.”
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There is an attendance limit each day, so ticket availability is limited.
And the concert arena will be broken up into small sections with a minimum of 6 feet between them. Each section will hold nine people and include a high top table.
“So you get to gather your 8 closest friends and watch the concert from your private box, with an actual table to set your beer on!,” the newsletter says.
“Our biggest fear is that y’all are going to decide you like watching a concert this way and will want us to set it up like this every year. We can’t! It costs way too much and we don’t want to have to pass that cost on to you.”
Not all activities will go on as usual
Some activities have been canceled due to gathering restrictions, this includes charity rides, bike shows and stunt shows.
For those who purchased tickets but would rather sit this out, Bike Week is offering refunds on those previously non-fundable tickets.
“At Arizona Bike Week, we want to be able to look back on this bleak and tragic year and say, we didn’t do what was easy but we did do what was right,” the newsletter says. “Some folks would say that what we do isn’t that significant and that’s ok. Bikers get it…”
Arizona Bike Week
When: Oct. 7-11.Gates are open from noon-11 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Where: WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road.
For more information on Bike Week or to purchase tickets, go to azbikeweek.com.