Freak Show and HOG rally cancelled

Freak Show and HOG rally cancelled

The organisers of the Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles to run alongside the national Harley Owners Group (HOG) rally in Walcha, NSW, have gone into liquidation and the events cancelled.

UPDATE: Both events have been cancelled, but Walcha is still putting on  show for those who arrive. Click here for full details.

We are yet to learn if refunds are guaranteed for those who have paid for tickets and accommodation for the event scheduled from November 15-17, 2019.

The event was being organised by Inside Line Events International who was behind the aborted TT events planned for either the Oxley Highway or the Sunshine Coast.

Freak Show Festival organiser David Rollins sent us this formal statement:

The organisers of the Freak Show Festival of motorcycles regret to inform that the event has been forced into voluntary liquidation due to difficulties maintaining ongoing support from sponsors

The organisers are personally and financially devastated by this outcome, having poured considerable money into the event as well as time.

A liquidator has been appointed. All ticketing and trade enquires should be addressed to Wexted Pty Ltd, Level 12, 28 O’Connell Street, Sydney NSW 2000. E: fsfom@wexted.com

He says there is “not much I can add to it for legal reasons”.

More than 1000 tickets had been sold and they claimed they were expecting about 5000 to attend.

HOG rally also cancelled

National HOG rally to return in 2019
HOG rally axed

The associated HOG Rally has also been cancelled.

Harley-Davidson Australia issued this statement:

Harley-Davidson Australia has been informed that Inside Line Events, event organizer for the “Freakshow of Motorcycling”, is in voluntary liquidation and will cancel the rally. The event was scheduled for November 15-17, 2019 in Walcha, NSW.

As a key sponsor of the event, Harley-Davidson Australia is extremely disappointed with this outcome. We are committed to delivering the very best experience for our H.O.G members and we’re focused on delivering an alternative event in 2020,” Keith Waddell, Marketing Manager for Harley-Davidson Australia, commented.

We are working with the event organizer on the refund process.

H-D will be looking to arrange an alternative in the coming year.

The loss of the HOG national rally will be difficult for members to take as the last was held in 2015 at Tamworth.

It was followed by open Harley Days rallies at Wollongong in 2016 and 2017 which did not impress HOG members unhappy with the open format.

There was no 2018 national rally.

Freak show

The Freak Show Festival was to include a flat track, a dirt hill climb, custom motorcycles, the Globe of Death, wheelies, stoppies and burnouts, a ride-in cinema playing motorcycle-themed movies, live music and food and beverages.

It was scheduled for one weekend after the Australian Motorcycle Festival (formerly the Sydney Moto Expo) in Wollongong from November 8-10.

The show and rally were also sponsored by NSW Tourism Department who expected it to deliver more than $1.7 million in visitor expenditure to the region.

Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes had said the town was “100% behind the Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles”.

Protestors line up at Walcha Royal Cafe business on the Oxley Highway
Riders in Walcha at the Royal Cafe

4 Comments

  1. I have know David Rollins for many years and regard him as a man of honour and integrity. He has worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever know to get this event up and running and it concerns me deeply that anyone would publish the comments listed above. Dave is no “cowboy” and certainly knows a thing or two about what motorbike enthusiasts would want to take part in.

    1. I must say as a sunshine coast resident i was more than a little supprised
      that the ‘maleny TT’ ever reached the seriously considered point. Anyone
      who looked at malenys past history..they demonstrated long and hard against
      a woolies would have realised it was a non starter

  2. HomeNewsLatest News
    OCTOBER 24 2019 – 5:00PM
    George Spring explains why he cut ties with Inside Line Events and the Walcha Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles
    Vanessa ArundaleVanessa Arundale
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    GOOD INTENTIONS: Walcha grazier and event management stalwart George Spring addresses the crowd at the Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles in Walcha last February
    GOOD INTENTIONS: Walcha grazier and event management stalwart George Spring addresses the crowd at the Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles in Walcha last February
    The former voluntary operations manager for the recently cancelled Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles has come out to explain why he left the role just a few months after the event was officially launched.

    Walcha grazier George Spring is an experienced sporting event operator – he has been Wimbledon’s court services manager for more than 19 years, worked at five Olympic Games and run numerous events similar to the proposed Walcha motorcycle event, both in Australia and overseas.

    Keen to bring an international standard event to his home town he began working with David Rollins in 2015 on a motorbike time trial hill climb on the Oxley Highway, but despite strong local support, it proved too difficult to gain regulatory approval for.

    Mr Spring and Inside Line Events then focused on developing something else to appeal to the valuable motorcycle touring market, and the Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles was born.

    My suggestion that we conduct a community consultation about the name was flatly rejected

    “The first indication that Walcha’s interests were not the Sydney based promoters priority came with the name – Freak Show,” Mr Spring said.

    “This might be a trendy name in inner Sydney; however in a conservative district like Walcha, the name is probably something a majority of the town would not like to be associated with.

    “My suggestion that we conduct a community consultation about the name was flatly rejected.”

    Privy to the financial management discussed at festival development meetings Mr Spring said he began to feel uncomfortable with the allocation of funds.

    “I was involved in a voluntary unpaid basis for over four years helping the Sydney based promoters get an event up and running that would inject tourist dollars into our district,” Mr Spring said

    “It became apparent early this year that the promoters were more interested in making a profit than growing an event that our district would be proud of.”

    The objective of injecting money into local business through the event was also not being met as non-local contractors started to be appointed by Inside Line Events according to Mr Spring, so eight months ago he decided to quit the project.

    It became apparent early this year that the promoters were more interested in making a profit than growing an event

    “An event will only benefit a town if as much of the money stays in the town as possible,” he said.

    “When the suggestions of using a local to design and build the web site and having locals involved in the food and beverage fell on deaf ears, I decided that I did not want to be involved. ”

    Mr Spring says he voiced his concerns privately within specific sectors of the community but did not go public as, like his fellow locals, he did not want to risk damaging the success of the event and any potential benefit to Walcha.

    “But it seemed to me that the only people that would benefit from the event were the promoters,” he said.

    Last Tuesday, Inside Line Events announced it had gone into voluntary liquidation and that the Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles was cancelled – just weeks before the event was scheduled to begin.

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