2022 - Helter Skelter, Giebelstadt, D
It’s been 4 years now that a bunch of people were terminally fed up with over styled bike shows with that "curated" gallery vibe, as if they were next in line for a UNESCO world heritage nomination. The real fun in bike shows are the pre show parties, they were sure. So they got their act together and started a tradition of "hop on your bike, ride over, listen to really loud music and have fun" events named Helter Skelter. If we want we can eyeball our scooters later, they decided.
The spirit is still the same, the thing has grown somewhat, but not too much. The venue itself would have acommodated a few 10.000 people more: Helter Skelter 3 was launched at the former US airbase in Giebelstadt. The address is "Panzerwerkstätten 1-3" if you have to know, but what they did with tanks on an airbase remains a mystery. Or are there flying tanks now?
So that no-one got lost looking for the place they parked the Magic Bus as a landmark early on, erected a few hundred feet of mobile fencing around it to keep everything nice and cosy, set up a band stage and a matching high octane sound system, deployed a few fridges (let’s do a little quiz here: were these fridges for a, keeping the oat milk for the USB powered barista pumped hand curated breakfast frappuccino or b, for beer?), filled a small pool with cool water to play in and had a marquee for some safe chatting space out of the scorching sun.
Come Saturday noon the first riders
from Regensburg had made their way to Giebelstadt. Rumbling in from places like München, Landshut, Hannover, Bochum, Texas, etc, wherever they had heard Helter Skelter’s call, the rest of the party arrived one by one into the night.
Before the sun set, long rows of choppers had formed in front of Panzerhallen, most of them built on the foundations of Panheads and Shovelheads. Added to this were an assortment of travelling mopeds of the "Mofa to Fakie" gang, passing through the lovely Frankenland at this time.
The big inchin’ and small-cc’d ironmongery was the center of much happy banter and the expectant mood grew noisier when the bands started doing their thing. Opening act was the local band Dryad, getting the afternoon’s crankshaft into solid rotation with heavy stoner riffs, tightly interwoven with emotional melodies, setting the noise level high for the evening’s main act, post psychedelic Mars Red Sky from France, who had come thundering more or less directly from the French MotoGP, with a light show of speeding motorbikes.
Inspired by their mighty sound waves,
their lightshow, or maybe by the consumption of cool, but slightly mindbending liquids, riders filled the space in front of Panzerhallen with burnouts and donuts, and everything melted into one big feel good cloud of awesomeness, as testified by the bands, who declared the Magic Bus one of the top three backstage areas worldwide.
Helter Skelter 3 took off like a rocket into the night and into the question if there will be Helter Skelter 4. And, how this night to remember could ever be topped.