SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Not even a pandemic could keep Arizona bikers at bay.
WestWorld in Scottsdale is hosting the annual Arizona Bike Week rally, which began Wednesday and ends Sunday. But things look a little different in 2020 than in years past: masks are required unless guests are sitting at a table, and event officials are following local and state guidelines to keep people safe while they celebrate biker culture.
"The spectator-less version of sporting events and concerts, virtually streamed, to be watched from your couch, doesn’t work for us," Bike Week organizers said in a statement. "So we’ve come up with a version of our rally that meets all the health and safety guidelines that are currently in place."
Did someone say real bikers don't wear masks???
Refunds will be given to those who can't or choose not to attend. The family-friendly event is free for children under the age of 12.
The Scottsdale Fire Department, on hand to assist with the event, agreed with the mask mandate in a tweet, and reminded drivers to pay extra attention on the road while Bike Week continues.
"Be sure to social distance and wear your mask at the event," the Scottsdale Fire Department tweeted. "And for drivers in Scottsdale, be especially aware of your surroundings as there are more bikers in the area."
Bike Week was originally scheduled for March before the pandemic shut down live events and concerts. Its adherence to state and local guidelines means that the event will host Arizona's first live concert series since the state shut down in March, even if charity rides, bike shows and stunt shows were canceled due to crowd restrictions.
The concert arena will consist of small sections, all at least six feet apart. Each section will hold 9 people and include a high top table for socially distant viewing. Friday's concerts will begin at 5:30 p.m. with The Moonshine Voodoo Band, followed by Blackberry Smoke at 9 p.m. Saturday's line-up includes Drop Diezel and Night Ranger.
Between having a smaller workforce and cutting rates, organizers said the event won't be a huge moneymaker but is important in getting people back to work and getting live events back on track.
"This isn't about us," they said. "The cost of building a temporary village is tremendous but it employs a lot of people for the week. These folks have all been out of work since March and need to get back to it."