“We know that everyone expects the next show to be bigger and better, so we thought we had better oblige – but to make it really great we hope that you will all come back on board again,” said Dutch, one of the Bike Shed organisers.
“The big news is that we are moving to a larger premises. Much larger. While we dearly love the venue and the people at Shoreditch Studios, the scene has grown fast in the last 12 months, and so has the audience for the Bike Shed, and probably for all of you too.
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“The simple truth is that we can’t fit everyone in if we stay put. To put that in some perspective, we went into Event II last October with 19,000 Facebook followers, and we now have 178,000. Almost 10 times as many.
“The Bike Shed website is also five times larger, serving half a million pages to 100,000 unique users a month. But the other big change is in the mainstream bike press. The new wave custom scene (as everyone now describes it) has exploded, and we expect a lot more visitors from the mainstream. Let’s show them something amazing, and rewrite the rules on what it means to be a biker in the UK in 2014.”
The new venue, Tobacco Dock, is just two miles down the road from Shoreditch, beside Tower Bridge. The Dock is over 200 years old and has plenty of character, with brick arches, steel pillars, wooden beams and glass ceilings.
“It’s bigger,” said Dutch, “but it’s a space where we can preserve our laid-back, non-trade-show style. Other events held there have included Erotica and the Tattoo Convention. Right up our street. We will have around 12,000sq ft to play with, and that’s just the indoor exhibition space.”
It means there will be plenty of room for more bikes; pro-built, shed-build and punters’ bikes too plus there is parking for almost all the visitors on site, beside the docks.
Dutch added: “As before, we will feature art, photography, film, a barbershop, tattooing and there will be curated quality retail.
“Food and drink will be top quality too and we’ll make sure the space is comfortable for families, kids and for your non-biking better halves and friends. We’re also planning an official ‘Distinguished Gentlemen’s Lounge’, so start growing that beard now.”
Bikes will be displayed exhibition style – as before – with most bikes on plinths or somewhere where they can be looked at properly. Typically of The Bike Shed, branding will be kept subtle and low key, to suit the non-trade vibe on the event – even for the event sponsors. There will even be vintage and recycled furniture for our punters to relax on.
And in other good news emanating from The Bike Shed… The rumours that they are setting up a full-time permanent BSMC space this summer in Central London are 100% true!