THE May Day biker event in Hastings this year attracted an estimated 32,000 motorcycles and became one of the biggest free to attend motorcycle events in Europe.
By comparison the world famous Isle of Man TT races attracted only 34,000 motorcycles over two weeks in June 2012. Hastings has a larger core population than the Isle of Man and now has a bigger motorcycle event too.
The May Day biker Run is 35 this year and it has finally come of age by being recognised as the longest running, biggest and most economically valuable event in the Hastings calendar.
Combined with the estimated 10,000 people who attended Jack-in-the-Green, Hastings on May Day was rammed with about 76,000 visitors.
I am very proud to say that while resources were stretched and the temperature rose into the 20s good organisation and event co-ordination delivered two very successful and diverse events.
In the year that Hastings and Bexhill bid for City of Culture status the town has shown that it can handle combined events of both a traditional style and an international scale very effectively.
I would like to thank all those who helped make this year’s bike1066 event run so smoothly despite the town bursting at the seams with bikes. The hours of preparation put in by Hastings Borough Council officers, Sussex Police, the fire and rescue services, St John Ambulance, car park staff and all the other agencies combined to deliver a well-run family friendly event that has instantly, through internet chatter, given Hastings a global reputation as a must visit destination for bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts.
I would also like to thank my event management team and the many volunteers who gave up their time to work with us on the event without whom the day could so easily have turned into a disaster. The bikers bring more than £1 million into the Hastings economy on May Day and we hope that by making them welcome they will continue to visit for the next 35 years.
Director HEM Events Ltd / bike1066