Africa’s premier motorcycle enthusiast and music festival – the South Coast Bike Fest – attracted massive crowds to the coastal town of Margate last weekend (27 to 30 April). Visitors from near and far were overwhelmed by the extreme motorbike displays, incredible musical line-up and fantastic food offerings at the 2018 South Coast Bike Fest, sponsored by UGU South Coast Tourism, Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and Tourism KZN.

“This was a magnificent festival which celebrated the diverse cultures and unification of communities through outdoor activities and family-friendly entertainment,” said Ray Nkonyeni Municipality’s Mayor Cynthia Mqwebu. “The overall feedback about both the event and the South Coast region was overwhelmingly positive, with many visitors extending their stay for the entire long weekend. Events such as these are a really great economic boost for the South Coast and we looking forward to another well-planned South Coast Bike Fest next year.”

Justin Mackrory, Ugu South Coast Tourism chief execdutive, said: “We are so thrilled with the outcome of the 2018 South Coast Bike Fest™ and we’re pleased to continue the fantastic legacy of this great motorcycle event.”

The musical line-up, which rivals any musical festival countrywide, boasted more than 30 South African artists who played to massive crowds at the Budweiser Beach Stage and Jack Daniels Rock Stage. These leading musical acts included Francois Van Coke, Karen Zoid, Matthew Mole, Springbok Nude Girls, GoodLuck, The Kiffness, Timo ODV, Chunda Munki and many more.

In addition to these performers, the South Coast Bike Fest arranged for a third line-up of artists featuring on the jazz decks, as well as street busking, marching bands, street hip hop, dance and even acapella.

Festival-goers who attended the Party on the Move were treated to music by legendary DJs including DJ Fresh, DJ Bruce and Michael Zuma while those making it to the Midday Shandis Nton Nton were entertained by Gagasi FM anchors – DJ LeSoul, Felix Hlophe and FlyMotion.

Musical entertainment continued through the weekend where renowned South African musician, Milano Singh put on a dynamic one-hour, high-energy set, followed by KwaZulu-Natal radio DJ, Deon Govender, who showed his superior knowledge of the latest club beats. This vibrant Bollywood programme included the fun Colour Fest at the Budweiser Main Beach Stage.

The Full Throttle Staging Arena was the chosen venue for some serious high-octane motorcycle action. This included some legendary moves performed by Alfred Matamela, AKA King Donut, who displayed his technical skills on his Yamaha R1 and MT10, sponsored by Yamaha SA with tyres sponsored by Shinko SA.

Monday, saw the culmination of extreme with the Southern Africa Endurox Series. After a full day of intense extreme biking thrills across an obstacle-laden course, Blake Gutzeit took the Pro Class title and the R10 000 Gold Prize. He had to tackle two non-timed practice sessions and one practice session to move to the Superpole after which he dominated all three finals before taking the top prize.

The adrenaline rush continued at the Bounce Vibe Tribe Stunt Show where experts demonstrated some off-the-wall free-jumping tricks. Participants were also invited into the gravity-defying trampoline where they took on the ‘Great Wall’ and slam dunked like basketball pros.

Another hit in the Full Throttle Staging Arena was the unmissable show by trials’ bikers, Matthew Wegner and Devon ‘DMAck’ Mackenzie, who put on a death-defying performance at the Trials Bike Stunt Show. The two experienced riders navigated their way over a series of obstacles, showing off their precision balance and riding skills and even invited some spectators to try the stunts.

In addition to the numerous corporate dealership decks, visitors were overawed by the stunning works of art that featured at this year’s Classic Open Stand. Here, no less than 50 of the province’s best classic motorbikes were on display, among them Hank Raatgever’s 1931 Norton as well as Andrew Mather’s 1908 Triumph and 1955 Sunbeam. Several other members of the Classic Motorcycle Club of Natal made the effort to bring their favourite motorbikes to share with fellow enthusiasts.

The Classic Motorcycle Club of Natal was one of the many motorbiking clubs and organisations that descended on Margate for this unifying event which provided a platform for bike lovers to compare and discuss their favourite machines.

One notable biking leader who attracted attention arriving on his Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle was Max Rabalago, chairman of the Rainbow Mzansi Bikers Organisation (Rambo). Rabalago engaged with people on the work done by RAMBO – a primarily black biking organisation that represents the interests of motorcycle clubs across Gauteng, the Free State and North West.

Also in attendance was the all-female biking organisation, ShredBettys, who showcased their incredible biking skills interspersed with discussions on the biking lifestyle, including fitness, nutrition, safety gear, bike care, maintenance and the riding clinic.

A notable trait that connects all biking communities is the dedication to charity drives and the South Coast Bike Fest had chosen to celebrate this passion with the Mayoral Mass Charity Parade in support of the non-profit organisation, “1 Million School Shoes”.

Early morning weather conditions forced the cancellation of the Mayoral Mass Charity Parade for safety on Sunday, but a large group of enthusiastic bikers and pillions still brought either pair of school shoes or a donation to the starting point at St Michael’s Beach and had an informal charity ride. The donations received will go towards the overall 100 000 shoes campaign for 2018, in celebration of ‘100 Years of Madiba’, with all shoes donated to children in disadvantaged communities.