May Day Run to return to Hastings this weekend

May Day Run, Hastings. Photo by Frank Copper
May Day Run, Hastings. Photo by Frank Copper

One of the biggest free-to-attend motorcycle events in the UK will be returning this bank holiday weekend.

bike1066 has teamed up with Swinton Insurance to put on a whole weekend of family-friendly motorcycle and music entertainment to celebrate the 40th May Day Run.

It will take place at The Stade Open Space, in Hastings, from Saturday to Monday, providing bikers and families the opportunity to enjoy biking entertainment and food by the sea.

One of the oldest stunt shows in Europe – the Ken Fox Wall of Death – will take place on Saturday, between 6pm and 7.30pm, with gravity defying motorbike stunts around a vertical wall. Visitors will also be given the opportunity to meet the team who trained motorbike racer and television star Guy Martin to break the world Wall of Death speed record.

There will also be an Isle of Man TT race simulator where visitors can ride the world-famous race as if they were on the bike with lap record holder Michael Dunlop.

A big screen proving an outdoor motorcycle cinema experience will be on show throughout the weekend. Visitors can pull up a deck chair and watch live British superbike racing from Oulton Park and a whole programme of top biking entertainment.

The Rooster Street Custom Exhibition will also display some of the finest shed-built bikes from around the region.

The May Day Run has been running every year since the first May Day bank holiday in 1979. Before then, motorcycle enthusiasts had been visiting Hastings for more than a hundred years, but it was not until 1978 when the Labour Government introduced the first Monday in May bank holiday to celebrate the international workers’ day holiday that the May Day Run was born.

On Saturday, between 11am and 2pm, Morris Men and Motorcycles will be performing in the open space and the Stade will remain open until 9.30pm with live music in the Sea Angling Club.

The rock music marathon will run from noon until midnight at the Azur Pavilion. All day tickets for the event are priced at £15 and allow visitors to come and go as they please. Together for the first time ever will be Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, re imagined by CODA – the most authentic Led Zeppelin tribute in the UK – and ECLIPSE – who will be channelling Dark Side of the Moon and other Pink Floyd tracks.

There will also be an amazing day of great rock music from a whole army of top musicians and DJs from around the area including Cushty, Black River, Vexed, and The Wingmen brought together by the team from Beatles Day and Fat Tuesday.

On Monday, the 40th May Day Run will take place with tens of thousands of motorcycles expected to invade Hastings. Although the traditional route is from Locksbottom, in Kent, to Hastings the bikes will come from all over the country and even Belgium, Germany and Holland.

For the first time, there will also be a town centre market to support local traders, who will be selling jewellery, fashion, fishing gear, tools and engineering equipment in celebration of the 40th May Day Run.