Sturgis festival targets Spall speedway

Bikes and classic rock may merge this summer in Spallumcheen. - black press file photo
Bikes and classic rock may merge this summer in Spallumcheen.
— image credit: black press file photo

Motorcycles and music may be wheeling into Spallumcheen’s Motoplex Speedway this summer.

Organizers of the Sturgis North Music Festival and Motorcycle Rally, which made its debut in 2011 in Salmon Arm, are looking at moving the event to the speedway.

Sturgis North CEO Ray Sasseville made a presentation to Armstrong council Monday afternoon.

“He mentioned that it was ‘99.9 per cent sure’ they were moving to the speedway, they were just waiting for confirmation,” said Armstrong Coun. Paul Britton.

Sasseville declined to make a comment Tuesday.

The festival brings together motorcycle enthusiasts and classic rock acts.

Music legends Dr. Hook and Nazareth, along with Canadian icon Prism, were among the performers in Salmon Arm in 2011.

Britton told council Monday that Sasseville presented a package that contained a lot of information from last year’s inaugural event, and said Sasseville was quite forward about admitting there were some problems financially.

“He said he was going to make amends with this year’s program to try and pay those people off,” said Britton. “He said the event owed around $40,000.”

Sturgis made inquiries to council about using the IPE grounds as a back-up facility if plans with the speedway did not go through.

Sasseville told council that the dates planned for the 2012 festival are July 18 to 22, but the Sturgis North website is promoting the event as a week-long festival, July 15-22, on Neskonlith Indian Band lands outside of Salmon Arm, the same site as the 2011 event.

The Salmon Arm Observer reported in September that last year’s festival had just under 10,000 tickets sold including one-, three- and five-day passes.

Close to 4,000 free and complimentary tickets were issued.

Sturgis North officials estimated approximately 35,000 attendees for the five-day festival.

Salmon Arm RCMP reported to city council that 14 daily shifts were allocated during the festival with officers moved from other duties, as well as working overtime.

During the festival, there were 151 calls for service but not all of those calls were related to Sturgis.

Four Hells Angels chapters were reported to be at the Sturgis site, including the White Rock chapter, which was operating a vending booth.

But there was no trouble from any of these groups.

— with files from the Salmon Arm Observer



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