An intrepid team of ten industry professionals cycled 400km along the Mediterranean coast last weekend, to raise awareness of the impacted Live Events industry and raise funds for charity.
Organised by #WeMakeEvents in UK and Spain, BikeFest Spain 2022 has so far raised 6,000 Euros, with donations still rolling in. The funds are being split between two industry charities that help individuals through financial hardship – Backup in the UK and the AAA Foundation in Spain.
BikeFest Spain 2022 was delivered by #WeMakeEvents in partnership with PLASA, AFIAL, AVIXA, ISE, FIAVE, Alerta Roja and LSi. The event garnered support from companies across Europe, with sponsorship from Ayrton, Equipson, EarPro, EES, FANTEK and Ruisaljo. In addition, the cyclists represented PLASA, Equipson, Bishop Sound, Britannia Row, and Sharp NEC.
Federico Haba, Head of Sharp/NEC Display Solutions Ibérica, comments: “As a representative of an AV manufacturer, we at SHARP/NEC wanted to join the cause to raise awareness of the impact Covid is having on the Live Events sector. In addition, with limited access to key components and steep increases in costs, we – and many other companies like us – are being forced to manage supply chain delays. This is having ramifications for distributors, venues, end-users and ultimately, the public.”
From Valencia to Barcelona
The team hit the road at the Mestalla Stadium in the historic port city of Valencia, and over three days cycled along the sunny Mediterranean coast, taking in orange groves, beaches, and some very challenging mountains. 400km later the team approached the bustling roads of Barcelona and crossed the finishing line at the Fira Barcelona exhibition centre.
The arrival in Barcelona was bittersweet – Although a small audience of industry colleagues were there to celebrate the team’s arrival, the exhibition centre should have been thronging with event attendees but instead stood empty. Another stark reminder of the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Live Events Industry and the imperative to keep campaigning.
Nicky Greet, of PLASA and #WeMakeEvents, co-organiser of the event comments: “It’s so vital that #WeMakeEvents continues to run activities like this, that both fundraise and keep our industry in the minds of governments. The relentless impact of the pandemic has hit people’s livelihoods and mental health, and they mustn’t be forgotten about. As the driver of the support van for BikeFest Spain 2022, I can tell you that the team cycled some serious terrain, in cold and windy conditions too. It was really impressive seeing them keep the momentum going, doing it on behalf of all of us in the industry.”
Future sponsorship opportunities
#WeMakeEvents in the UK and Spain are extremely grateful for the sponsors, the cyclists, and the donators. With another BikeFest planned in May to align with the postponed dates of ISE, there are further opportunities to get involved as a cyclist or sponsor. More information on sponsorship packages and promotional opportunities will be shared soon.
Juan Jose Vila, of Equipson and #HacemosEventos, who conceived the idea and co-organised the event, comments: “The aim of BikeFest Spain 2022 was to show solidarity with the industry – from the freelancers right up to the international companies. And when ISE postponed, the team unanimously agreed to continue, highlighting not only the past two years but what is still happening in our industry right now! BikeFest was only made possible by our sponsors, for which I give them my thanks. We invite even more sponsors on board for when BikeFest returns in May for ISE, so join us and align your brand with a worthy and fun cause!”