Story by: Fred Z., pics by: Fred Z., Heidi Priddy, and assorted BFC members
The Hollister Freedom Rally 2015 was an incredible celebration of motorcycles, motorcyclists, fun, freedom, and many who were totally enjoying the Biker Lifestyle. While so many of us are die-hard bikers and we live the lifestyle everyday – the rally attracted many of the weekend warriors, and included “all types” of motorcyclists and brands of motorcycles… as well as those citizens who just wanted to watch all the activities of this exciting historic city – where much of the “American Biker Experience” actually began back in the 1940’s.
The weekend had so many activities – it was hard to take it all in… No one could complain that there wasn’t enough to do during the weekend. They estimate that over 40,000 bikers visited the city for the weekend. They came in from local California cities, surrounding U.S. states, as well as New York and many other states, and as far away as Norway and Japan. The rally attracted motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world.
With the new promoter: ConvExx (the company who puts on the Vegas Bike Rally”) – at the helm, “the rally went off really well” this year, despite the city council’s concerns about violence or drama. There also was “a large, extremely visible” law enforcement team that played fair and showed respect to the rally attendees… while they were keeping track of things & keeping the peace.
ConvExx and the city provided a lot of FREE activities that included: A Custom Bike Show, A Tattoo Contest, The Ms. Hollister contest, and even a “Traveling Replica of The Vietnam Wall”. There were also some great free concerts with some awesome bands like: Liquid Sky, The Full Throttle Band, Moondance, The Charlie Brechtel Band, and many more.
ConvExx also brought in some Big Guns – “Big Name Entertainment” with the addition of: The Guess Who (with hits like: American Woman, These Eyes, and No Sugar, plus The Fabulous Thunderbirds that belted out hits like: Tough Enuff – were real crowd pleasers.
They also strategically brought in two actors from the hit show “The Sons of Anarchy” – Tommy Flanagan “Chibs” & Mark Boone Jr. “Bobby Elvis”. In the 6 hours that Tommy and Mark tag-teamed the crowd – they were able to meet and greet over 800 “very excited and adoring fans”!
ConvExx also provided a V.I.P. ticket package for $ 100.00 that gave the attendee over $ 150.00 in value – including tickets to both concerts, a V.I.P. meet & greet with the SOA actors, a lunch coupon, a VIP shirt, VIP pin, free entry for your custom bike into the bike show, and a lot more. It was a great “all inclusive” value for those who truly wanted “the whole enchilada experience” of this awesome Biker Weekend.
Our band “The BFC Full Throttle Band” played Thurs. night at the legendary Johnny’s Bar, we did two concerts at the 5 th & San Benito stage (on both Friday & Saturday), and we also played at “1 st Prebyterian Church of Hollister” on Sunday morning. We were told that we were real crowd pleasers at all of the venues that we played at. And as always we had a large army of almost 50 Bikers for Christ members from all over the state of California – who came in to enjoy our band’s music, as well as minister and help promote an environment of love, respect, and God’s peace on the streets of Hollister.
We’d like to personally thank Charisse at Johnny’s Bar, Chuck Scwhartz, Sheldon Kaye and the rest of the crew at ConvExx entertainment, and Pastor Mike Hogg and all of our church friends at 1st Presbyterian Church of Hollister for inviting us to play and entertain our fans, and meet so many new friends. We’re really honored to be involved in such a great rally.
All in all – the Hollister Freedom Rally was a real success for the city, the bikers, and all the fans of this awesome historically fueled & legendary Biker Rally. We hope to see you all again next year.