Bikers and bike enthusiasts from across the country descended on the coastal town of Margate from 27 to 30 April, enjoying all the action, music and fantastic feasts on offer at the South Coast Bike Fest #SCBF2017, presented by UGU South Coast Tourism.
“We couldn’t have hoped for a better turnout at such a well-run event,” said Justin Mackrory, UGU South Coast Tourism CEO. “The atmosphere throughout was incredible with locals and visitors alike really taking advantage of the warm ocean as well as the range of biking activities and entertainment that made up this spectacular festival.
“People were chilled, unhurried and just happy to be in the warm sun, situated in a friendly, hospitable, scenic environment and having time out from the stresses and strains of everyday living. This is what everyone needs! We’re looking forward to continuing this biking tradition in the coming years.”
Commenting on #SCBF2017, the Mayor of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, Her Worship Councillor Nomusa Mqwebu said: “Margate has grown in stature through its association with the biking community and it is greatly beneficial to see such a large-scale, family-friendly event taking place, once again, in the town. The tourism benefits to local industry, as well as the surrounding communities, are immeasurable and we hope to see this tradition continuing annually.”
The Municipal Manager of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, Maxwell Mbili, added by saying that, as the municipality they are excited by the new and bigger bike festival which contributes immensely to the tourism product in the South Coast and as Ray Nkonyeni Municipality they will continue supporting such activities.
Event organiser, Vicky Wentzel, of Wozani Africa Events, said: “This event has met all our expectations with more than 60 000 guests registering to enter the event precinct. We would like to thank our sponsors and event partners as well as our extremely dedicated team on the ground of more than 500 crew members who made this possible.”
Getting the event started was the impressive Opening Parade from Margate Main Street to the Classic Bike Museum Stand at the beachfront. The audience was treated to sightings of extremely rare, vintage motorcycles, such as the Douglas 1922 and AJS 1931, featuring alongside some 40 classic bikes, all of which was fuelled by the Classic Motorcycle Club of Natal.
Stepping into The Village Market Trading Square, guests could view and buy quality biking products with ongoing entertainment provided by buskers, street artists, Samba dancers and poi fire dancers within the Mardi Gras Village. The event venue also kept everyone satiated with 8 festival-themed bars, 22 onsite restaurants, pubs and clubs and even craft beer villages.
Sounds of the festival reverberated across the town with 35 of South Africa’s top musical acts putting on some memorable performances at the two music arenas. At the Village Pier Rock Stage, the audience was treated to the likes of the Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters, Hinds Brothers, Circle of Stones and Phil Moffet, among many others, will perform crowd favourites.
For those who invested in the #fuelyourfun tickets, entrance to the Carling Main Beach Stage promised a musical overload with legends like Koos Kombuis, Jack Parow, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Gangs of Ballet, Jack Hammer Band, Fokofpolisiekar, Tender Mavundla, Prime Circle and Freshly Ground, and more, rocking out.
Those looking for some serious high-octane action got their full at the Dezzi Festival of Speed, set at the Dezzi Raceway on Saturday, 29 April. Forming part of the #SCBF2017 programme, the Dezzi Festival of Speed saw a number of fast-paced biking events, such as bike attacks, 150cc v scooters and Legends Car races.
Throughout the festival, the Margate Fishing Pier formed the Experiential Energy Zone where top riders, bikers and skaters will provide action-packed entertainment. Here, visitors got to witness FMX champs, Nick de Wit and Brian Capper, ramping motorcycles and generally causing mayhem at the Gravity Clash Action Sports’ Show or even watch some BMX and skateboarding tricks at the skate park.
Bringing in some unparalleled biking performances was the Durban-based biking team and non-profit organisation, The ShredBettys. These talented ladies put on fantastic biking demos as well as ‘learn to ride’ sessions as part of their aim to support and encourage women riders across the country.
On Sunday, 30 April, audiences were captivated by the country’s best enduro, motocross, trials and fun riders at the epic Powasol EnduroX Series, presented by the Powasol team at the Margate Fishing Pier.
Big-name riders all competed on an amazing track constructed by legendary South African MX star, Brett Redman, as well as internationally-renowned EnduroX track builder, Holger Dettmann. Dalan Hall too first place in the Expert Class; Kent Dreyer took top spot in the Hobby Class; Wade Young led the Pro Class and, Josh Henderson took the Pro Mini 85cc Class while Luke Walker won the Pro Mini 65cc Class.
Supporting the local community is an important element of the #SCBF2017 with local artists given an incredible platform to showcase their talents. Mthwalume residents, Sibonelo Chiliza, Mnqobi Sengane, Sanele Cebisa, Mfundo Gumede and Thabani Mtshali wowed visitors with their unbelievable artistic skill.
Community support continued on 29 April as the Mayoral Charity Parade took over the streets of Margate. Here, R20 000 was donated to the children of Othandweni Cerebral Palsy Daycare Centre in Gamalakhe, ensuring these youngsters receive food for the upcoming months.
The final parade, Shelly Centre Pals in Paradise Mass Parade, included entertainment and food at Shelly Centre’s rooftop with an impressive biking parade setting off later that morning. Overall, an incredible finish to a hugely successful biking festival.
Photo by Justin Klusener Photography