The 16th Burapa- Pattaya bike week culminated last night in a spectacular day of entertainment. Without exaggeration this special event attracted a conservative 20,000 visitors on Friday and well over 40,000 on Saturday making it the biggest event on the Pattaya calendar and the largest event of its kind in Asia. This year the organisers were forced to find a new venue from the Chaiyapruek stadium because of lack of space and unavailability.
The collaboration with the Silverlake company is a marriage made to last. Silverlake immediately related to the philosophies behind this event and the goals being strived for and stepped up. With City Hall and the area police still firmly on board the stage was quickly set for the event to be staged at Silverlake.
Worries about the event being staged out of town were completely ill founded. No-one, however, could have predicted how huge and simply spectacular this event would be. The Silverlake venue is a stunningly beautiful place with a cool breeze and clean air. The huge stage was set up on a raised natural platform and at height, when lit up, appeared to be suspended in space. The green area in front of the stage resembled Chaiyapruek stadium making everyone feel at home.
There were literally hundreds of shops and restaurants selling and serving everything imaginable; thousands of bikes turned up from hundreds of bike clubs from all over the world.
This celebration of bike culture is unique in the world. The theme for the event was “War is over” – a phrase coined by the late great John Lennon and was featured heavily on T-shirts and patches. The event is a “peace” festival echoing the feel of Woodstock or The Isle of Wight festivals of the 60’s, with a twist.
All bike clubs were represented and wore colours. There was no incidents of trouble and hardly any police presence. Quite simply, trouble making in the Pattaya biker world is considered “unfashionable” and any participant will be derided and lose status within his own club. Frankly, bikers here are too busy enjoying the perfect riding and freedom lifestyle, to be involved in daft behaviour. Bikers also enjoy the camaraderie of local police, government officials, businessmen, celebs and VIP’s who are also bikers and share a mutual respect for one another. Perhaps that is where it goes wrong in western society where a biker can be harassed just for being on the road in colours and gain little respect. There is good and bad in all areas and levels of society but it appears to me there are more criminal bankers than bikers!
Pattaya can feel proud of itself in hosting this fantastic event. The result of a huge amount of work by Burapa MC together with the trust and collaboration of independent businessmen and the local authorities.
This event is ready to be presented to the world and the interest is full on; for example, I did a number of interviews with Russian TV stations and an American film company. The American film producer and Harry Fryed of the Fryed Brothers band remarked that what has been created is something every biker in the USA dreams about. Maybe in some small way by example we can help to make that happen.