Bike Shed London motors back into town

A high-octane celebration of motorcycling made for petrolheads

Bike Shed London returns to Tobacco Dock for its 10th festival from May 24 to 26
Bike Shed London returns to Tobacco Dock for its 10th festival from May 24 to 26 | Image: Amy Shore

Fans of the fast-growing custom motorcycle scene will be pleased to know that Bike Shed London will be back for a 10th edition at its traditional Tobacco Dock venue during the late-May bank holiday weekend this year (from May 24 to 26).

This year, more than 17,000 visitors are expected to attend the event near Tower Bridge, where visitors will find machines for sale, many from professional custom builders
This year, more than 17,000 visitors are expected to attend the event near Tower Bridge, where visitors will find machines for sale, many from professional custom builders | Image: Amy Shore
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The show emerged from the original Bike Shed blog co-founded in 2011 by a group of two-wheel enthusiasts led by Anthony van Someren (better known simply as Dutch) and has grown from being a fringe happening to become the largest independent motorcycle show in the world. This year, more than 17,000 visitors are expected to attend the event near Tower Bridge (standard tickets cost £22, while VIP weekend tickets allowing preview access on the Friday are £35), where they will be able to see more than 200 hand-built machines and celebrate today’s burgeoning independent motorcycle scene.

The festival includes live music from eight different performers –  including Jack J Hutchinson, Mike Dr Blue, Pistol Pete and the Shoreditch Surf Club
The festival includes live music from eight different performers – including Jack J Hutchinson, Mike Dr Blue, Pistol Pete and the Shoreditch Surf Club | Image: Amy Shore
A variety of international food stands, bars, coffee stalls, barber shops and tattoo artists will be available at the festival, alongside motorcycle-related artworks and parts
A variety of international food stands, bars, coffee stalls, barber shops and tattoo artists will be available at the festival, alongside motorcycle-related artworks and parts | Image: Amy Shore

Although Bike Shed London has attracted the sponsorship of major brands such as Bremont watches, Bell helmets and the Royal Enfield and Triumph marques, the organisers emphasise that it is not a trade show but one that celebrates “the creative culture and lifestyle” of motorcycling – meaning there is a great deal more to see than just bikes. In addition to a variety of international food stands, there will be bars, coffee stalls, barber shops and tattoo artists plying their wares alongside motorcycle-related artworks and parts, clothing and accessories. There will also be plenty of machines for sale, many from professional custom builders demonstrating their talents to anyone interested in commissioning a motorcycle for themselves.

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This year’s event will also feature live music from eight different performers – including Jack J Hutchinson, Mike Dr Blue, Pistol Pete and the Shoreditch Surf Club – as well as a 250-seat cinema showing a broad selection of motorcycle-related films. These range from the 1971 classic On Any Sunday, starring Steve McQueen, to TT3D: Closer to the Edge, which documents the celebrated Isle of Man TT races, and the recently released Oil in the Blood, a two-hour documentary feature film about the growth of contemporary custom motorcycle culture around the world.

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