As the Valley’s music venues and festivals remain in limbo with the pandemic stretching into its seventh month, one prominent local event will feature concerts by notable bands.
Arizona Bike Week, the annual festival and rally celebrating motorcycles and biker culture kicks off today at WestWorld of Scottsdale and runs through Sunday, October 11, and will feature five days of live music by local and touring rock acts. (This year’s lineup includes sets by Night Ranger, Blackberry Smoke, and Texas Hippie Coalition.)
It’s one of the Valley’s biggest concert events since mid-March, and organizers say it's being staged with safety in mind. According to a recent Facebook post, they’ve received a special permit from the city of Scottsdale to put on the event and are following local and national guidelines.
Arizona Bike Week, which was originally set to happen in April before being rescheduled because of the pandemic, will require mandatory mask usage by patrons and feature social distancing during concerts. The overall capacity of the event will also be limited and several of Bike Week’s most popular activities, like its bike and stunt shows, won’t be happening.
So why did Bike Week’s organizers want to go forward with this year’s event? It’s partly because a motorcycle rally wasn’t something that could be staged virtually, they say.
“The [spectator-less] version of sporting events and concerts, virtually streamed, to be watched from your couch, doesn’t work for us,” they say. “So we’ve come up with a version of our rally that meets all the health and safety guidelines that are currently in place.”
Organizers also say that while some folks may not be into wearing masks right now, they're a necessity during the pandemic.
"Just like with bars and restaurants, the responsibility falls on us to enforce," organizers say. "We all hate masks, we get it. 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."
What else is in store for Arizona Bike Week 2020? We’ve assembled a guide to the event, which includes safety guidelines, details about its concerts, and other important information for anyone considering attending.
When and Where Is Arizona Bike Week 2020 Happening?
It runs from Wednesday, October 7, to Sunday, October 11, at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road. Hours are noon to 11 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday.
How Much Are Tickets?
It depends on the day. Admission will be $45 per person from Wednesday through Friday, $52 per person on Saturday, and free on Sunday. Admission to the concerts is included. Tickets are available on the Bike Week website. The number of tickets each day will be limited due to capacity and safety concerns.
Are There Age Limits?
No. It's an all-ages event and children 12 and under get in free.
What’s the Weather Going to Be Like?
It will be warm and sunny each day of the event with temperatures either in the low 100s or high 90s. In other words, it's pretty much shorts and short-sleeves kind of weather.
What Will the Parking Situation Be Like?
It will be completely free to park at WestWorld during the event, and plenty of spaces will be available.
Are Masks Required to Attend Arizona Bike Week?
Yes. The event’s website states that everyone is required to wear a mask at all times while inside the gates. They can be removed while sitting at a table, though.
When and Where Will the Concerts Take Place?
Local bands will perform each afternoon inside the Kickstand, a bar that will be set up inside a tent on the grounds of WestWorld. The main concerts will happen at The RockYard, the event’s outdoor concert area. Opening acts start at 5:30 p.m. each evening, with the headliner following at 9 p.m.
What Bands Are Performing at Arizona Bike Week 2020?
The Arizona Bike Week concert lineup kicks off on Wednesday with southern metal act Jackyl and an opening set by Threefold Fate. The metalheads of Texas Hippie Coalition take the stage on Thursday, with locals Stereo Rex as openers. Country-rock band Blackberry Smoke and the locals of Moonshine Voodoo Band perform on Friday, with Night Ranger and Drop Diezel closing things out on Sunday.
What Will the Setup Be Like for Concerts?
According to Bike Week organizers, The RockYard will feature a series of sections separated by security barriers and at least 6 feet of distance. Groups of up to nine people will be allowed in each and a high-top table will be available.
Will There Be Food and Drinks?
Yes. Both will be available to purchase from vendors and concession stands throughout the event. Patrons will also be allowed to bring in sealed bottles of water. Organizers say that seating will be available at a number of picnic tables around the perimeter of the RockYard that will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Will There Be Regular Vendors?
Yes, according to Facebook posts by organizers, they will have “a ton of vendors” at this year’s Arizona Bike Week. We’re guessing it will include a large variety of motorcycle-related businesses.
What Bands Will Perform at The Kickstand?
The lineup of locals scheduled to perform will include Ripple Affect on Wednesday, October 7; AZZ Top on Thursday, October 8; Organ Grinder on Friday, October 9; Bill Dutcher Trio and Black Horse on Saturday, October 10; and Ozzy Osbourne tribute act I Don't Know on Sunday, October 11.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.