Traditionally, bikers may not have the most wholesome reputations. They tend to evoke Sons of Anarchy style antics -- drugs, sex, violence. And while most of the nation's most popular motorcycle rallies might not be quite that dramatic, they are generally known for drinking and debauchery.
But Mitchell Abrams is hoping to change all that with his first annual Motorcycle Mayhem Rally, scheduled to rev its way into South Florida on May 3. The ambitious, family-friendly event will span three days and hit as far north as Fort Lauderdale and as far south as Homestead. Get your motor running, well-behaved bikers, because it's going to be an action-packed weekend.
Abrams, CEO and Managing Director for Heaven on Earth Productions, LLC, has a background in large-scale event production, and he's been an avid hog enthusiast for many years.
After awhile on the scene, he couldn't help but notice that the major motorcycle events were all about the booze, with not much else to entertain the masses.
"It all turned into an exercise in drinking and riding. It was all about the bars you're going to," he says.
In addition, towns like Daytona saw no real civic impact from the events, other than a temporary influx of (lots of) cash. The pop-up shopping options and other temporary businesses were gone as soon as the weekend was over.
Here in South Florida, Abrams wanted to create an event that would bring business to permanent, flagship establishments unique to our region, places like Schnebly's Winery and Zoo Miami. And that's what the Motorcycle Mayhem Rally is designed to do.
With Bike Week in Daytona raking in a cool $300 million in revenue, Abrams wants to see those millions flowing into our local businesses.
"We've got every kind of racing that motorcycle enthusiasts are behind," he says. "People don't know we have a winery, people don't know about the tracks and stuff in their own backyard, even bikers. This is encouraging the fact that you can come down here and race."
Abrams ended up partnering with five spots hand-picked to serve as the main venues for the rally including Mack's Fish Camp, Cafe 27, Miami Motocross Park, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Countyline Dragway.
They'll have major music acts performing on stage, both national and local talent, yet to be announced. Plus the Mayhem Tattoo & Body Art Expo and for late-night, Mayhem After Dark featuring Josepher's Electrolust Party, American Horrors Network, and live performances.
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The whole concept behind the rally is to offer attendees lots to do, besides just drink. Attendees can race at the tracks, hop on airboats at Max's Fish Camp, visit Zoo Miami, tour Schnebly's, get tattooed and essentially explore the length of Broward and Dade.
In addition, the event will be supporting Lupus, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Diabetes research.
As a prequel, now through April, the Mayhem Battle of the Bands is already in motion. They'll feature local original music at partner nightclubs throughout South Florida on specific Wednesdays. Earplugs recommended.