Fira Barcelona, Gran Vía
31 Jan - 03 Feb 2023

ISE supports BikeFest charity ride to Barcelona

An intrepid team of ten industry professionals cycled 400km along the Mediterranean coast in early February, to raise awareness of the difficult conditions still faced by the live events industry and to raise funds for charity.

Organised by #WeMakeEvents in UK and Spain, BikeFest Spain 2022 has so far raised €6000, 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.

The ride was originally conceived to lead up to ISE’s originally scheduled dates in February. When the show was rescheduled to May, it was decided to continue with the ride as well as organise another one around ISE’s new dates. This means there are further opportunities to get involved as a cyclist or sponsor.

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, commented: “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.”

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. Four hundred kilometres 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 itself 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, said: “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.”

#WeMakeEvents in the UK and Spain are extremely grateful for the sponsors, the cyclists, and the donators.

More information on sponsorship packages and promotional opportunities around BikeFest in May will be shared soon.

Juan Jose Vila of Equipson and #HacemosEventos, who conceived the idea and co-organised the event, commented: “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!”

Those who took part in the ride were:

  • John Lunt, representing Britannia Row
  • Christopher Myatt, freelance sound engineer
  • Peter Heath, MD of PLASA, founder and steering group member of #WeMakeEvents
  • Andrew Bishop, MD of Bishop Sound
  • Nicky Greet (support van driver), Director of PLASA, founder and steering group member of #WeMakeEvents
  • Juan Jose Vila, COO of Equipson, board member of AFIAL and #WeMakeEvents – Spain
  • Juan Jose Conca, designer
  • Federico Haba, Head of Sharp/NEC Display Solutions Ibérica
  • Francisco Javier Blanco, medical surgeon
  • Shane McGreevy, FD of PLASA, steering group member of #WeMakeEvents
  • Mike Codling, freelance project manager

Find out more about BikeFest Spain 2022 at www.bikefest2022.com