TweedLove’s award-winning bike festival is undergoing major changes for 2019, with a new name, a new location and partnerships with local businesses which aim to create a new event with the potential to attract thousands of bike and festival fans to the area.
Peebles-based event organisers Hillside Outside Ltd have teamed up with Tempest Brewing Co from Tweedbank, and Innerleithen’s bike uplift business Adrenalin Uplift to create a unique festival experience for the UK. The event will be based on a beautiful farmland site just outside Innerleithen, Nether Pirn Farm, another of the local businesses which will host Transcend Bike Festival from 7-9 June this year.
“Our aim is for this to become the biggest and best bike festival in the UK,” says event director Neil Dalgleish. “It’s in a beautiful site, right next to some of the best mountain biking in the world, and we have all the ingredients to provide an unbeatable weekend of fun, on and off the bike. Working with other like-minded, forward-looking local businesses, we can now offer camping on site, uplift to the trails, a beer-fest-style friendly atmosphere and a weekend of bikes and good times which is truly different from anything else in the UK.”
TweedLove has a reputation for hosting some of the most popular mountain bike racing in the UK, but the new festival clearly aims at something different. “We love all the excitement and fun of the races, but extensive research with the bike industry and customers all pointed to the same thing. Everyone wants an event weekend with entertainment, a real festival experience and bike riding for everyone, all weekend – so that’s what we’re providing,” says Dalgleish.
Transcend Festival’s programme will feature a wide variety of bike events and races, for all kinds of riders and their bikes - from children to professionals and from e-bikes to the latest carbon superbikes. “People can come and enjoy a weekend here riding their bikes or trying out new ones on the fantastic Tweed Valley trails and routes. You don’t have to race or sign up for an event – you can just come and enjoy all the goodness of the festival – the bikes, the bling, the beer, food and fun - and nip out onto the trails whenever you feel the urge. There’ll be loads to do both on and off the bike.”
Working with local businesses is an important step forward for the organisers. “The potential for the Tweed Valley is starting to be realised and we’re proud to work with other businesses in the community who share the enthusiasm for taking things forward.”
The venue for the festival is farmland – set to be transformed into ‘Transcend Farm’ for the big weekend – is owned by dairy farmer David Hamilton. Like many local people he has a connection with the valley’s bike scene too, and his brother Dik built many of the famous forest trails which have helped to transform the valley into a tourism magnet, while the traditional Tweed mill industry has declined.
Tempest Brewing Company are based in nearby Tweedbank and already have bikes in their company DNA. Director Gavin Meiklejohn and many of the staff are keen riders and racers and Tempest have been supporting the bike scene for the past few years. “We’re keen to put something back in to the community and are super excited about partnering up with Neil and the TweedLove team to deliver a truly world class festival experience to the area” said Gavin
“Having a top craft brewery partner with us puts out a clear message about the nature of the festival and about the willingness in the business community here to make things happen. We want to take the concept of a bike festival forward and to welcome people who just want to come and enjoy the atmosphere as well as the athletes at the top of their game. We all ride bikes to put smiles on our faces, and ultimately that positivity is the whole point of this festival – we just want to share those good times with people from all over the country and beyond”, says Neil.
The organisers are keen to point out that having bike and rider uplift – direct from the festival site - is also something unique for the UK bike event scene. “Adrenalin Uplift have revolutionised the bike uplift service here”, says Neil. “It’s a great service which allows riders to have multiple descents on the trails without any stress or hassle. We’re delighted to be able to include it in the events and in the festival – it’s going to be awesome fun.”
Gordo Hodge, director of Adrenalin Uplift said, “we are stoked to be involved in the Transcend Festival being delivered to the ride community by Tweedlove. A lot of work is being put into the uplift logistics to help shuttle riders to each stage across the Tweed Valley. Our team will be aiming to do what we do best, 'buses and trailers, bro fists and banter', June cannot come quick enough.....It is going to be Epic!”
The festival will also feature local food and drink companies, bike guides, accommodation providers, clothing manufacturers and more. Forest Enterprise Scotland, Scottish Borders Council, the local school and community council are playing major parts too. As Neil explains, “We all want to give everyone a big Tweed Valley welcome – it’s a privilege to be part of the growing bike industry here and to help push the Tweed Valley’s success story forward.”
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