Poole’s iconic weekly motorcycle meet, Dream Machines will take place every Tuesday from May to the end of August in 2017 instead of April till end of September.
The decision to run the event for 18 rather than 26 weeks has been taken by the organisers, Poole Tourism, due to a lack of new Volunteer Marshals coming forward to help at the event in 2017. This has meant that in order to ensure it runs safely, paid Marshals are needed which has a major impact on the self funding event. Since 2002, Dream Machines has been supported by a dedicated team of Volunteer Marshals, who as experienced riders, gave up their time to manage the safe, efficient parking at the event.
“Without dedicated Volunteer Marshals we have to look at other ways to deliver the event so it continues to run safely and smoothly. This means employing paid Marshals which adds significantly to the costs of the event. At a time when the Council is facing a significant financial challenge to protect frontline services due to funding cuts, it is vital that we keep unplanned costs for this event to a minimum.”
Whilst Dream Machines remains popular, over the past 3-4 years, numbers attending across the whole season have dropped whilst costs have increased. This together with need to employ Marshals means that the event can no longer sustain 26 weeks or make any future charity donation as has been done in the past.
Graham Richardson, added: “Shortening the season will help to reduce event set up costs and the demands on any potential Volunteer Marshals, whilst aiming to increase attendance at the remaining 18 weeks of the season. This decision has not been taken lightly, but having gone through all the options, it is the best way we can provide a safe, well run event. Our thanks go to everyone who has played their part in helping at the event over the last 15 years, they have been brilliant.”
As a result of the changes, the first night of the season will begin from 6pm on 2 May, running every Tuesday evening until the 29 August 2017. Whilst the regular bike of the week competition will continue, it unfortunately means that there will be no Bike of the Year finale held on the final night of the season.
The delayed start of the event will also reduce the impact of essential working being carried out by Poole Harbour Commissioners to strengthen the Quay edge as well as refurbishment work on the Sea Music Sculpture which means less parking is available on Poole Quay until mid April.