ORGANISERS of the Bulldog Bash are confident of a successful return.
After making the decision to take a year off in 2013, the festival – which has been held at Long Marston Airfield since 1987 and attracts bikers from all across Europe – revs up again from Thursday through to Sunday.
Rumours began circulating early last year the Bash could be in jeopardy and despite organisers being confident the popular festival would go ahead, just three months later it was revealed they would be rethinking things.
Now on a smaller scale and returning to its roots as an old-school bike show, organisers said they were looking forward to welcoming festival-goers again.
Bash spokesman Echo told The Observer: “We’ve had 4,500 likes on our Facebook page, we’ve sold almost 4,000 tickets and we would expect maybe another 1,000 people to come on top of that if the weather is nice.
“We hope local businesses and residents will benefit from the event as they have been very supportive of us in the past but really we just want everyone to have a great time and enjoy themselves. We’re delighted to be back.”
The Bulldog Bash has raised thousands of pounds for local charities over the years but hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in 2007 following the murder of Hells Angel Gerry Tobin, who was shot while riding home from the festival on the M40.
Seven members of the rival Outlaws biker gang were subsequently jailed and Warwickshire Police – who have long been against the event – massively stepped up their operation in the years following the incident.
Although the event has passed largely without incident since Mr Tobin’s death, the force have unsuccessfully attempted to get the Bash’s licence revoked by Stratford District Council on numerous occasions.
Echo added: “We’re disappointed the police still have concerns as we are keen to have a good working relationship with them.
“We have been working in partnership with both them and the local council for the past 25 years and we hope that will continue well into the future.”