The deep humming and rumbling of thousands of motorcycles cruising up and down Coastal Highway in Ocean City, paired with lots of leather, a blocked-off inlet parking lot and a massive stage for national recording artists herald the arrival of this year’s OC BikeFest.
The festival, which will run from Wednesday through Sunday will feature concerts, rides, demonstrations, vendors and some 150,000 motorcycle enthusiasts spread across three different venues between Ocean City and Salisbury.
BikeFest promoter Chase Micheal said the venues being used for this year’s event are Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, the Roland E. Powell Convention Center on 40th Street in Ocean City, and the inlet parking lot in downtown Ocean city.
The inlet lot was closed to ordinary motorists on Thursday and will remain so through the weekend. Those with tickets will be able to enter the open-air venue.
Tesla will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Bret Michaels will play at 8 p.m. The latter is expected to play several songs from his band Poison, according to Micheal.
Three-day event passes are available through eventbrite.com for $175, not including a $17.09 fee and $5.76 local amusement tax. Along with the concerts, the three-day pass provides limited free motorcycle parking until 11 p.m. each night, use of the city bus and discounts at local establishments.
Single-day tickets are also available at a price of $60 for Thursday and Friday and $65 for Saturday. Unlike the three-day pass, the single-day tickets do not include free use of the city bus or discounts at local restaurants.
Patrons without wristbands can go to the stadium in Salisbury to test drive motorcycles and see the Unknown Industries Stunt Team perform. Vendors, including Factory Indian Motorcycles, Yamaha Motorcycles, and Rommel Harley Davidson, will be on location.
The convention is also a wristband-free zone and will feature official merchandise, food, beverages, vendors, and free bike parking.
Also taking place this weekend as part of BikeFest is the Cruisin’ the Coast self-guided poker run that includes eight or nine stops throughout Worcester County and other towns on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The cost to register for the poker run is $30, which can be paid for online or in person.
Micheal suggested that everyone take advantage of getting three-day wristbands on Wednesday or Thursday to avoid the larger crowd.
“If you’re here early, get your wristband,” he said.
Tickets for the event can be purchased in person or online by visiting www.ocbikefest.com.