On 4 September a group of event industry professionals will take part in a fundraising bike ride from AV equipment supplier SFL’s headquarters in Reading to PLASA Show at Olympia London in order to raise funds for industry charities and mark the return of live events.

As part of PLASA’s (Professional Lighting and Sound Association) #WeMakeEvents campaign, all money raised from the bike ride will go to the technical entertainment charity Backup, which will then channel the funds to Stagehand, Music Support, Acting For Others and #MakeItBlue.

The organisers of BikeFest are calling for fellow cyclists to sign up and follow them on one of two routes: a 40-mile ride direct to London via flat roads and cycle paths, or a more strenuous 80-mile ride traversing the Surrey Hills.

Organisers said the two routes will cater for all levels of cyclists, from casual and commuting cyclists to serious road bikers. London-based cyclists are also invited to join for the last leg through the capital.

To join BikeFest a donation of at least £50 is required which is payable upon booking a place. Places are limited to 24 cyclists per route.

In 2019, ten cyclists covered 100 miles raising over £1,600 for Backup. This year BikeFest organisers said they are aiming to exceed that figure while facilitating “much needed in-person community spirit.”

PLASA managing director Peter Heath said, “BikeFest will contribute towards the essential work of our chosen industry charities, so the more people who sign up, the more we will achieve. New for this year we’ve devised a more accessible route to allow for more people to join us. We hope you will, and we look forward to seeing you on the road on 4 September.”

AV suppliers White Light head of business delivery and Production Services Association (PSA) council member John McEvoy said, “I’ve seen the impact the lack of work during the pandemic has had on our freelancers, combined with the absence of state support. Events like these are a great way of giving something back to the industry and raising much-needed funds, while having some fun at the same time.”

Backup trustee Lee Dennison said, “With so many of us not being able to meet up and see each other, this is a great opportunity for the industry to come together and raise some much-needed funds for our family members. I’m looking forward to the day and seeing some friendly faces.”