A Nowendoc grazier and a sporting event stalwart have spent the last four years working on a national motorcycle event, and today they announced the inaugural Freak Show Festival of Motorcycles would take place in Walcha in November.
A motorbike time trial hill climb on the Oxley Highway, was first proposed to be held in the Walcha Shire by George Spring and David Rollins of Inside Line Events back in late 2015, but despite strong support from the local council and community for the event, it proved too difficult to gain regulatory approval for.
However, this didn't deter the pair from continuing to develop something that will appeal to the valuable motorcycle touring market.
"I feel that rural communities have done it tough lately," Mr Spring said.
"We've had a lot of industry leaving and a lot of mechanisation so there are not as many people working on farms, and on top of that, we've had a record run of bad seasons.
it will have a substantial financial impact in not only Walcha but the regionGeorge Spring
"I believe that events and tourism go a long way in filling that void in rural communities, and I thank council and the community for understanding that and getting behind this because it will have a substantial financial impact in not only Walcha but the region."
The three-day motorcycle festival is expected to inject more than $1.7 million into local business and will feature custom motorbikes and street parades, live music, competitions, trade exhibitors, an outdoor cinema, motorcycle events, jumps and displays and curious entertainments.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the festival has been secured by the NSW Government through significant financial support.
“Walcha is known for being popular with motorcycle tourists," Mr Anderson said.
"I can’t think of a better destination with local tourism businesses in the region also set to benefit when we welcome thousands of additional visitors.
to have this major motorcycle event hosted in New England for the very first time is a major coupAdam Marshall
“The New England High Country region is home to three of the State’s noted motorcycle touring routes including the Oxley Highway between Port Macquarie and Walcha, the Waterfall Way between Bellingen and Armidale, and the Thunderbolt Way between Gloucester and Walcha.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said the announcement confirms NSW’s place as Australia’s favourite State for hosting exciting new events.
“NSW is unquestionably Australia’s events capital and to have this major motorcycle event hosted in New England for the very first time is a major coup,” Mr Marshall said.
“The event is expected to attract more than 2,300 overnight visitors and deliver more than $1.7 million in visitor expenditure, so the festival will provide a significant boost to the local visitor economy while highlighting New England’s beautiful natural setting."