1. Godley91

    This is a brilliant article and im sure it will spark up some form of debate.

    Since I got home from Brid all I have thought about is the potential demise of the scooters scene. You mentioned pubs stopping music at a certain time pushing people towards the main do which is a fantastic idea and a must in my eyes because if the main do is empty the atmosphere can be pretty poor. However no one really wants to pay in to the do unless they know that’s something good is happening, i.e a great band or the brid custom show and parts fair is always a given. Do VFM charge us too much? I always do a different rally each season as well as the usual ones. ( Mersea, Whitby/ Scarborough, Kelso, rttw and brid ) it’s good to try new ones. I don’t think I or my club could organise our own rally though, purely because there is that many. Some weekends this year there has been three different rallies at the same time so would anyone turn up to ours or would it be the empty atmosphere feeling.

    There is so much going on within the scootering scene at the moment with new parts , scooters and content coming out, new multi meets and ride outs going on. It’s brilliant and I don’t really want it to stop. I’d say most scooterist are 40+ so I’m worried as to when they all retire from the scene in 20 years or so and I’m 40 who will be left to attend the events or even put them on. Young guns sc I believe will help keep the scene alive and as will my club as we are a fairly young club too. The younger members of our club and myself hosted the YSA pre season ride out this year with a turnout of 700. We loved it and we’ll do it again and again. Will it still be worth doing in 20 years time if no one is about though?

    That’s my main concern. I want to keep doing this for as long as I can but worried it will die out as it doesn’t appear to have a large amount youth in the scene. With scooters being so expensive these day I don’t think many young ones will be getting involved. Maybe I’m blind to it and it’s all going to be okay because there’s more people out there like me.

    There’s not too much I would change just don’t want it to die. I feel like a keyboard warrior now so I’m going to stop.

  2. Cindy Nietz

    It’s easy for people to moan and quite frankly a lot of those who moan haven’t attended a national or any other rally for years or perhaps compare them to the ’80’s when everything was so much better?. A rally, any rally is what you make out of it and for those who think they can do better, I am sure SWSC, VFM and others would welcome a bit of the heat being taken away so they can enjoy scootering a little more.

    People seem to forget that those who organise the nationals do this alongside having a normal job so I certainly would understand if some one day will say ‘Sod that, why do I bother’ especially when outside promoters are being supported by scooterists, promoters who only want our hard earned cash.

    I hope nationals will continue for many years to come and I for one look forward to continue to put on some miles, break down, have a drink and lots of fun with like minded friends. Roll on 2017!

  3. a.j

    My ‘ONLY’ gripe with National rallies is that they do not really cater for Scooter riders. A broad sweeping statement you may say but let me elaborate. I drove up to Brid friday as I couldn’t get the whole day off work to ride the 270 miles, which I have done on many, many occasions.This is the second time in over 20 years I have driven to a rally, and I’ve done hundreds of the buggers. Felt crap about it as I enjoy riding but digs were booked & you can only work with the tools you’ve got. But…the sheer number locals or those within half a days riding at most, yet choose to drive to reach Brid & clog up the b&b’s is beyond belief!

    The main do. £8 is nothing to anyone in this day & age to see a decent band & have a choice of three rooms with different tunes to cater for all, yet the venue was half empty. I didn’t mind when I went to the bar as there was no waiting, but it was pretty dead which is a shame. I think that the suggestion that all music should be turned off in pubs at 9 pm is a great idea. Go for it. Anyway I had a laugh with my mates & that’s all that really matters.

  4. Goldie

    WOW what a read very informative and worthwhile reading . I know Cindy said it but we all know keyboard warriors slate the nationals are stale yet they then say thats why they stopped 20 years ago. HELLOO a lot has happened in 20 years the scene has grown the music has grown my belly has grown . But i still love what we do and the people we meet . I WILL POINT OUT the IOW is now better than ever putting it all back on site was genius i know the logistics behind it mean more work but it WORKS what a breath of fresh air in itself. The rallies are what we make them. DONT FOOKIN MOAN . Get out and make it better by standing by the scooterist idiots that have kept the scene alive even through the dark years when they could of walked away as well . It also amazes me how many people will not go north of the border kelso is a fantastic rally and well run but the sweaty socks have plenty of other fantastic rallies in beautiful places . Woolacombe still ranks as one of the best its a trek but well worth it. CMON people get on ya scooter ride to far away places get pissed have fun .

  5. Mark Big 7

    Great article, very informative and hopefully the moaners will take heed.

    I agree that it’s the pubs that can ultimately end up ruining a rally, as many people end up staying in the pubs and not supporting the main venue. The main venue then loses atmosphere so less and less people bother to go there. That results in the organiser not taking the amount of money on the door that he or she needs to pay for the venue and staff, resulting in the gradual demise of the rally. It’s fine for rally goers to use the pubs in the day and early evening, but by not going to the main venue afterwards is like shooting themselves in the foot.

    Town councils that appreciate the hire of their venues and the income a national rally can bring to their town, should take steps to enforce pubs to encourage their rally going customers to leave at a decent time in the evening, like perhaps not allowing live music or DJ’s after a certain time at night and also prompt closing of the pubs at 11pm. People will then head off to the main venue, resulting in busy venue and hopefully a great atmosphere.

    We’re lucky at the Hop Farm because nearest decent size town (Tonbridge) is a good few miles away, so not may people move off of the site all weekend. Of course that presents a problem in itself trying to keep everyone busy and amused throughout the day (hence the free Dyno, huge parts fair and live music throughout the day) and then there’s the other worry that the venues will become too full in the evenings and having to turn people away from a room, which is what happened with our live music venue in 2015 (hence adding the 4th music room in 2016).

    Whatever way you look at it, running a decent size rally isn’t an easy task, but I feel that some people don’t realise that and just expect it to be there for them year after year, without a thought for the organiser or the implications of not supporting the main venue in the evening. If that’s you, wise up and support the main venue!

  6. Mandy Farr

    I am not going to prevaricate and analyse each rally as I don’t feel myself qualified to enough to do so. I only go to potentially two or three rallies each year but thoroughly enjoy the scene and have met and made some wonderful friends. I appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes in to the organisation of each rally and realise that it is a full time job.

    My main issue lies with the consistency of pricing, especially this year at the Brid rally. With only an hour left of the evening / morning I enquiried the cost of entry and was told £7 per person. I chose not to pay £7 at that time and that was my choice, however, the next day it became evident that some people were charged £7, others £5 and now someone mentioned on here £8, with the cost bearing no relevance to the time that they went in to the Spa. I am happy to pay as long as the pricing is consistent, fair and applies to all. Flyers for many rallies clearly state the cost per weekend for entry in to the custom shows and evening events, such as Mablethrope – advance tickets £18 for the full weekend, but the flyers for Brid stated that advance tickets could be purchased from the Spa etc, but no details of the actual cost, advance, or on the door.
    I feel that clearer pricing, on flyers, websites, Facebook etc would help people to appreciate the events and know the cost of entry for advance tickets or exactly what they will be charged when they turn up on night.
    With thanks.

  7. Pottsy

    I make a point of supporting national rallies above anything else and everyone I travel with or meet up with is having a great time, however….I don’t want to listen to cover bands almost every weekend (most of my club and others we party with attend 15+ weekend rallies a year) I don’t want to pay to queue at a bar, pay over the odds or drink crap beer and most of all, more than anything I don’t want to be coerced into having to do something. If I attended a themed event at a venue, or a festival in a field I’d accept that was par the course but a ‘national rally’ in a town, no way. All the talk is about organisers and how we should all stop moaning but come on, what would happen if all the organisers stopped? We wouldn’t all pack away our scooters or disappear we’d just turn up somewhere with our mates and make the best of it doing our own thing, social media would facilitate that and enterprising souls would soon be putting stuff on all over the place. So who is it really moaning, is it the average rally going scooterist or is it the promoters feeling pissed cos people are voting with their feet and not spending in the main do? I’d also like to know who these big clubs are that decide on rallies? We have about 25 full time riding members, we ride & party with many other similar size clubs and collectively I’ve never heard of anyone being involved in any decision making process, maybe this should be a little more transparent too..

  8. foster

    In response to Mandy Farr
    Admission on the door at brid Friday was £7. Saturday night was £8. If you bought advance tickets it was a little bit cheaper. Tickets are made available primarily so we can express people in a lot quicker, in case the weather is a bit shitty. This covered two bands and three rooms of music, 4 Saturday.15 djs in total. As a lot of people may know who attend vfm, we always drop our admission price around midnight straight after the bands, and then around 1am let people in for nothing. This has always been the case at brid for the last 18 years or so. There is no conspiracy or random pricing.

  9. Mandy Farr

    Thank you Steve for replying and providing the pricing details. I appreciate that it can be difficult to ensure consistency on the doors, however we actually went to the Spa at 12.30am on the Friday, after the bands had finished, which you have said would mean the price was reduced, and I was clearly told the price was £7 each, the full entry price for the evening. We had friends who went in earlier in the evening to see the bands and were only charged £5 each, these tickets were not bought in advance. The purpose of my post was to suggest that clear, consistent pricing, before each event, and during the evening, would help everyone to understand the charges and know what price they were expected to pay in to each vfm event, there was no mention of conspiracy.

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