Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in BikeFest Spain 2022, a three-day fundraising ride from Valencia to ISE in Barcelona from 29-31 January, travelling 360km along the Mediterranean coast. The BikeFest team aims to raise funds for live events, entertainment and AV professionals who have suffered financially due to the pandemic.
BikeFest began in the UK, cycling to the PLASA Show each year to raise awareness for mental health. And in 2021, BikeFest returned to London, fundraising for industry colleagues impacted by the pandemic. This initiative was partnered with #WeMakeEvents, the global campaign spearheaded by PLASA in support of the live events supply chain.
BikeFest 2022 will be in Spain in time for the ISE convention. Two industry charities – Backup in the UK and AAA in Spain – will benefit from BikeFest 2022’s fundraising efforts, with organisations; PLASA, AVIXA, ISE, AFIAL, FIAVE and Alerta Roja supporting and promoting the initiative.
Juan Jose Vila, COO and CMO of Equipson, conceived the idea of a charity bike ride in Spain and asked #WeMakeEvents to headline the project, alongside a partnership with AFIAL, PLASA, AVIXA and ISE. Over the last two years Juan has worked closely with these organisations to help the AV industry, winning AVIXA’s Volunteer of the year award 2021. He is also an active member of the Spanish #WeMakeEvents team, the Spanish equivalent of the campaign #hacemoseventos.
Juan comments: “Primarily, this event is all about raising funds for the organisations and charities that are supporting those struggling in the Live sector. But it is also about having fun and having a sustainable adventure where all the power is generated by our legs. The route isn’t too arduous and, because it sticks to the coast, doesn’t involve too many hills. With a bit of fitness almost everyone can do it. Of course, it is still a challenge to ride long distances over three days, but the challenge is manageable. We will even provide you with a six-week training plan if you want to take part.”
The ride will start in Valencia on 29 January, finishing at ISE on the 31st. Cyclists who wish to participate can sign up for all three days or single days. Day one from Valencia to Peñiscola is 140 km; Day two to Tarragona is 130 km; Day Three to Barcelona is 95km. Two feed stations will be provided each day and participants who sign up for more than one day will have hotel accommodation provided. Everyone who completes at least part of the ride will receive a medal and have their name included in the Riders Directory.
Juan adds: “Even if you can’t take part, you can still support the event by buying merch such as a BikeFest 2022 jersey, or just by donating. And, of course, if companies want to sponsor the event they can as we want to raise as much as we can for this very worthwhile cause.”
Nicky Greet, PLASA membership director and co-founder and steering group member of #WeMakeEvents, comments: “It’s fantastic to see BikeFest grow and help our industry colleagues in Europe. Initiatives like this do so much more than just raise funds – they bring people together for a meaningful cause and strengthen cross-industry bonds. Together, we also remind the wider world that although the live sector is reopening, our ‘hidden’ industry still faces many challenges. So, let’s come together and raise awareness of the talented professionals behind live events, entertainment and AV!”
Mike Blackman, Managing Director of ISE adds: “Bike Fest is a brilliant way to get active and raise support for professionals within AV and Live Events industries – many of whom need help to get back on track after the pandemic. It is a stunning route along the coastline from Valencia to ISE’s new home in Barcelona, so if you are a keen cyclist please get involved and do something amazing. We look forward to seeing you back at ISE 2022 in Barcelona to ignite our great industry!”