BIKING FESTIVAL: BMW's 'Pure & Crafted' Festival was a real family event, catering to everyone, writes Dries van der Walt. Image: Instagram / Dries van der Walt
Johannesburg - After setting it in Clarens in 2015, BMW Motorrad chose the Cradle of Humankind as this year’s venue for their Pure & Crafted Festival on the last weekend of November 2016.
Inspired by the German version of the festival in Berlin, the local event is a celebration of the burgeoning sub-culture celebrating motorcycle heritage, as well all things artisanal and South African in music, food and family entertainment.
Separate events, same infrastructure
We caught up with BMW Motorrad local GM, Alexander Baraka, and asked him about the thinking behind the event. He explained that although it was co-located with BMW Motorrad Days last year, the two are actually separate events.
He added, though, that they will in future be held in succession to use the same infrastructure for both.
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Baraka said: “The difference between the two, is that Motorrad Days is aimed more at existing BMW riders, while Pure and Crafted caters for riders and non-riders alike.”
Baraka said that although feedback from last year’s event was mostly positive, there were complaints that the ticket prices were too high. BMW listened, and this year saw a considerable reduction in prices, with tickets starting from R299, almost half of last year’s price.
Something for the family
Being a family event, the organisers tried to ensure that there would be enough entertainment to keep enough entertainment to keep everyone happy. This included a dedicated kids' area so the little ones could be kept busy and entertained with a parachute rocket, sand art, kiddies’ tables, a mechanical bull, face painting, spray tattoo artists, push bikes and loads more. Admission for children under 16 was free.
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The impressive list of musical acts included Mi Casa, GoodLuck, The Parlotones, Prime Circle, Suther-land, Rubber Duc, Bad Peter, The Rocketeers, Eva Morgan, Oompah Internationale and The Hashtags, as well as DJs Dean Fuel, Abby Nurock, Warren Bokwe, Kyle Worde, Michael Lesar and Martin Thomas.
For the motorcycle enthusiasts there were daily stunt shows by stunt-rider Big Jim, scenic outrides, off-road trails, and new and vintage motorcycle displays. Although organised and sponsored by BMW Motorrad, the festival was open to riders of any brand of motorcycle.
How success was it? Very, in terms of visitor numbers - the total number of visitors to last year’s event was exceeded by the Friday afternoon already. BMW SA is aware that it will take some time to grow the event to anywhere near the size of its German counterpart, but if the growth they saw this year is anything to go by, they’re on the right road.