Nashville Rally Hiccups

February 9, 2017

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Nashville Rally Hiccups

If you are one of the 4,700, or more, motorcycle enthusiasts who have already bought tickets to attend Nashville Bike Week next fall, you might want to reconsider your travel plans and take a shot now at cancelling that charge on your credit card.

The event had been scheduled for Loretta Lynn’s Ranch and Camp Grounds in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, from September 14 through September 24. Last May, event “promoters,” which as it turns out is a guy named Michael Lewis Leffingwell, promised: “After over five years of planning, we are excited to announce the newest 10-day rally in over 60 years.”

“The scenic state of Tennessee is within hours of more than a dozen other states and with so much to offer, Nashville Bike Week is more than just a rally; it’s an experience.” Leffingwell also promised “101 bands on four stages with nine stunt shows daily.”

Warrants

The event ran into serious headwinds Monday when Loretta Lynn’s Ranch announced it was “cutting ties with Nashville Bike Week” for failing “to meet the financial terms of the agreement.” The same day Humphrey’s County Sheriff Chris Davis announced he had been fielding calls from throughout the East questioning the legitimacy of the event. And the conjunction of those two events set off a press frenzy in East Tennessee.

The Sheriff told WZTV in Nashville that ticket holders had been asking about the  event. “Can we still come? Who do we need to contact? We’re not getting any information from anybody involved.”

The television station tried to interview any of the “promoters” on camera but Leffingwell declined – maybe because he has warrants. According to Nashville’s WKRN, “multiple convictions for fraud and theft, including a federal conviction in Missouri.” WKRN also reports, “authorities have active arrest warrants for Leffingwell for probation violations in Georgia and Missouri. He also has an active warrant in Maury County (Tennessee).”

The event speaks to its customers mostly through its Facebook page. A post on Tuesday claimed Nashville Bike Week had met “all financial obligations” and that the event had fired Loretta Lynn, not the other way around, because the venue wasn’t up to state health standards.

The campground told television station WTVF that Nashville Bike week had never applied for the state permit required for large gatherings.

The numbers for this rally do not add up.  The proposed event has bragged that it might attract 150,000 bikers. Leffingwell told WTVF that he doesn’t need a permit because he has only sold 4,700 tickets so far.

Hiccups

Leffingwell has promised to announce a new location for the event tomorrow. Yesterday and today he published two lengthy press releases on Facebook that said in part:

“Launching a first year event this large is a monumental effort. Naturally there are going to be hiccups and bumps in the road that need to be overcome and we are working hard to make sure they are.”

“Nashville Bike Week, the event, is being organized by a corporation not a person. It began as the dream of one person, but one person couldn’t possibly organize an event of this size, so when the dream started to become reality the corporation was formed to protect everyone involved including our customers, vendors, and the entertainers coming to the event. The corporation has officers, employees, attorneys, accountants, an HR department, and bankers just like most corporations. Everyone at Nashville Bike Week is a salaried or contracted employee. Putting on a major event for the first time from the ground up is a monumental undertaking, and we are bound to make mistakes along the way. There is more to the recent news of our relocation than we can elaborate on for legal reasons, but we aren’t letting that slow us down.”

“We have a secured a new venue and have agreed in principle to the terms of the lease, it is approximately six miles from the previous venue. It is larger, with more usable flat ground, and much better suited to hosting an event of this size with room to grow and some freedom to add infrastructure in the years to come. It is more convenient to hotels, restaurants, and the interstate, and it will be easier to get in and out with multiple entry and exit points and full 4G wireless service from every major provider, something the previous venue was lacking. It has both river access for canoeing, and a creek for tubing, stocked lakes for fishing, and we are excited that as soon as all parties have signed the lease we will be able to announce it complete with maps to show the layout and vision for the new long term home of the event. If you have purchased a wristband it is still valid at the new venue, if you rented a cabin you will still have a cabin at the new venue, if you rented an RV or an RV site you will still have the same level of service you rented at the new venue.”

“We are answering the phones and messages as fast as we can to answer your questions, and if you haven’t gotten through keep trying, we will get to you but in the meantime, get ready, Nashville Bike Week is coming and we are in it for the long haul.”

While you are waiting for one Nashville Bike Week’s many officers, attorneys, accountants or employees to answer your phone call you can stare at the event’s website here.  If you stare at it long enough, you might actually see it catch fire.

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23 Responses to “Nashville Rally Hiccups”

  1. rollinnorth Says:

    “State of Tennessee orders Nashville Bike Week to stop selling tickets

    NASHVILLE, TN – The State of Tennessee has ordered the promoters behind Nashville Bike Week to stop selling tickets immediately, according to local reports.

    The state says the promoters have failed to obtain a mass gathering license, required by the state before a promoter advertises the event or sells tickets. News Channel 5 said an attorney for the event acknowledged that the promoter has not yet filed for a license.

    Nashville Bike Week promotes the event as the world’s largest motorcycle concert, spread out over 10 days. The event is slated for September, but a new venue has not been announced. The original site, Loretta Lynn’s, cut ties with the promoter in February.

    Separately, the Better Business Bureau reports that it has received thousands of inquiries from people who purchased tickets, or bought booth space or sponsorships for the event. The organizers have reportedly said no ticket refunds will be issued.”

    http://www.dealernews.com/state-tennessee-orders-nashville-bike-week-stop-selling-tickets/

    Respect.

  2. Sieg Says:

    BIG V!!!

    Damn, boy…good to see yer still alive n kicking…but if yer seriously thinking about the rally thing, I’d suggest renting a hundred acres of pastureland to “finish your stock” and doing it on land don’t belong to you. Just sayin’…

    FTF/FTP
    TOSIAR

  3. BigV Says:

    If I could guarantee the fucking feds wouldn’t infiltrate and start a war, I’ve often thought about allowing free entrance to any KY, OH, TN, GA, NC, FL, SC CoC member in good standing. I’ve got long run generators(MEP) and I know how to set up a stage.

    I’ve looked at buying the liability bond, contacting the bands I know that would play for free but aren’t shit, but the liability bond got off the ground and then I mentioned it to a patch to run by his boss. Within 24 hours the bond company called and asked if it was a “biker” event. I told him no, just motorcycle enthusiasts. I got a registered letter sent FedEx Overnight saying- OH HELL NO, FORGET IT.

    Rough camping, 500yd gun range, no dope, BYOB or donations.

    And then if it went off without a bazillion arrests- do it next year and only charge enough to cover the liability bond.

  4. Steel Says:

    Sounds like a scam and even if it goes on, with the ticket prices, sounds like a yuppie wannabe convention not a real biker rally.

    Respects

    Steel

  5. Dino Says:

    @Deuce
    Right on.

  6. Shep Says:

    @Phuquehed Iron City Beer is a good place to start with a shot of Jack of course

  7. Whitepride Says:

    I started going to bike rallys in the 80s. Laconia used to be a good time along with Daytona. They haven’t been fun in years. My last hold out was Harley Rendezvous in upstate New York and I haven’t been to that in a few years because that changed too. Gone are the days of doing a line off of some chicks ass without anyone hassling you. Pretty damn sad!

  8. Kenny 1%er Says:

    What a crock of shit. Another scam to take your money. There is alot to do around Nashville. U dont need this event to ride and have a great time.

  9. deuce Says:

    Enough of the “bike week” bullshit. That ship sailed in the 80’s. Me and Mrs. deuce saddle up and take a nice 2 week road trip. We mostly camp out, and grab a hotel for a shower when we start to stink and our old backs start yearning for a bed.
    Better than any “bike week”.

  10. LoneWoofWoof Says:

    Is this going to be an Iron Order sanctioned event?

    ……..ease up guys, I’m just screwing with you.

  11. Mercyful Fate Says:

    I took a quick look at the website. Pretty ambitious. Cheapest ticket is $175 and that’s just a 3 day pass to enter the venue for 1 person. And here I am still bitching about the $60 bucks it cost me and my old lady for WV Mountainfest (although I’d say the combination of seeing both Buck Cherry and Montgomery Gentry made it worthwhile – the rest of the event was lame, however).

  12. neverwaz Says:

    Dear Jimmy Joe and anyone else who cares,
    The logo has faux panhead rocker boxes by Xzotic on a Twin Cam lower end. I saw a setup like this once and it is as useless as it looks.

  13. Grimey Says:

    Yup. More of the same old same old. Too bad they can’t come up with more original ideas.

  14. popeye Says:

    Another missed opportunity to buy do-rags and overpriced sunglasses.
    Jimmy Joe – the cone panhead. Comes with a fake kicker

  15. Shovelhead Says:

    I no longer go to any “Bike Week” events anywhere in the US. I just get disappointed time and time again. So, no more. Smaller Club swap meets, anniversary parties, bike shows. That’s far more fun than any Bike Week event I’ve gone to in the past 10 or so years.

  16. Phuquehed Says:

    I’d have been only 20 miles away, and yet my own rally would have been better, less crowded and not cost me anything except the food we cooked on the pit and the beer.

    Speaking of beer…read somewhere that fucking Budweiser (the beer, not the dipshit whiner) got a little bit too political in their superbowl ad, and not in a good way, so now I gotta figure out what the fuck I’m going to drink to punish Anheiser-Busch for a while for their stupidity. Fuck, I might as well go back to drinkin’ hard alcohol and staying a mean drunk. {mutter, grumble, mumble, bitch, moan}

  17. Sieg Says:

    Soon as you see a corporation is putting it on…

    FTF/FTP
    TOSIAR

  18. Largeandy Says:

    The promoter is obviuosly a proven flake and con artist. DEAL IN SHIT, YOU GET PAID IN SHIT…
    Good rule to remember at all times!

  19. IronRider Says:

    It never cease to amaze me that there are always people who love to toot their own harm even when the fact speak against them and what they are saying. In this case I would say Get your money back while you can because chances are it is all going to be gone soon ( eaten up in various costs and deposits and promotional costs ~wink wink~ )

    There is always someone looking to make a buck off someone else with good intentions and not good intentions. The fact that the Campground is saying that financial obligation weren’t met and no permits had been pulled say’s to me that dude either failed to meet the financial deadline for a payment/deposit or couldn’t come up with the cash. There is no way your going to have an event that size without permits in place, security measures, sanitation and vendor commitments, not to mention deposits and contracts for bands that would have been playing along with stage, lighting and sound equipment and folks contracted to do all of that..

    The fact that guys has a past history with fraud wouldn’t exactly instill confidence in me either. I would be willing to bet a lot of folks are going to be out money that they put out in tickets reservations etc etc etc.

    It’s shit like this that will make the next person who wants to put together something like this in Tenn come under intense scrutiny all due to one guy.

  20. Union proud Says:

    Seems pretty boring and a waste of time and money.

  21. Paladin Says:

    Fools and there money are soon parted.

    Paladin

  22. Jimmy Joe Says:

    I just noticed their logo has a Pan top end on an alternator motor. For bikers by bikers. Bikers who don’t know basic things like what an engine looks like?

  23. donny brasco Says:

    This sounds like the “Official Sturgis Rally Sanctioned Campground” in whitewood SD for the 75th rally 2 years ago {that was a slab of Cement in the hot sun}! That had a Christian Rock band playing on Sunday! It went Bankrupt!

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