Hordes of bikers will ride into Ocean City next week for OC BikeFest, one the largest rallies of its kind on the East Coast, after a year off due to the pandemic.
This year’s festival, which will run from Sept. 15-19, will feature concerts, rides, demonstrations, vendors and some 150,000 motorcycle enthusiasts spread across three different venues between Ocean City and Salisbury.
The three venues being used this year, according to BikeFest promotor Chase Micheal, are the 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 festivities will begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday with a free concert at the inlet parking lot, featuring 1980s hair bands Great White and Baltimore locals KIX.
“We’re expecting a pretty big crowd Wednesday, especially with the free concert,” Micheal said.
Starting Thursday, the inlet lot will be gated and only open to those with tickets to the concerts.
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.
Foghat will take the stage at the inlet parking lot at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, followed by George Thorogood and the Destroyers at 8 p.m., and on Friday, Tesla will go on stage at 5:30 p.m. and Bret Michaels will play at 8 p.m. The latter is expected to play several songs from his band Poison, according to Micheal.
But BikeFest is more than just concerts this year.
Without the need of a wristband, patrons can go to the stadium in Salisbury to test drive motorcycles and see the Unknown Industries Stunt Team perform stunts. Vendors, including Factory Indian Motorcycles, Yamaha Motorcycles, and Rommel Harley Davidson, will be on location.
The convention is also wristband-free and will feature vendors, official merchandise, food, beverages, and free bike parking.
The festival also includes a self-guided poker run called Cruisin’ the Coast that includes eight or nine stops, Micheal said, that showcase Worcester County and different towns around 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.