At the start of September, the annual European Bike Week® festival in Austria celebrates its 17th edition.
In August, Lake Faak in Carinthia in southern Austria resembles any one of numerous placid bodies of water in the Alps. Surrounded by quaint villages dotted with pretty guesthouses set in lush green pasture, it is serene, placid, idyllic. Something, however, is stirring around this pastoral paradise.
By the end of August, the area is positively abuzz with expectation; the hotels and guesthouses start to fill up, the orange and black Harley-Davidson® livery appears on roadsides, in the windows of houses and cafés, in trees… it’s time to wake the lake from its slumber.
By the start of the first week in September, the atmosphere is electrifying. Every bed in the area is taken, every pitch in every campsite is full, and the smell of barbecue smoke mingles with the sound of thousands upon thousands of thunderous V-Twin engines. This is European Bike Week®, and Harley® has landed!
The nucleus of the week’s activities is the bustling Harley Village, which features its usual plethora of activities – the Expo tent, Fit Shop, event merchandising, plenty of H-D® dealer stands, the Customiser Area and much more.
Of course, the focal point in the evenings is the main stage, where abundant entertainment will take place from Tuesday to Saturday. In addition, Choppers Bar, the Harley Bar and the Hot Dot Café will also offer a wealth of musical diversion for you to feast your ears on.
Other regular features will return in their usual slots; Friday’s Custom Bike Show is certain to wow the crowds, as dozens of the most remarkable custom builds from across Europe will descend upon the Harley Village in the hope of winning a prize in one of the many categories. From painstakingly restored antique bikes to modern, souped-up V-Rod® motorcycles, there is sure to be plenty of eye-catching chrome on display.
Saturday is, of course, parade day. A serpentine line of tens of thousands of motorcycles will stretch for many miles around the lake and its surrounding countryside; if you don’t feel like joining the ride, find somewhere to sit and watch the endless throngs of happy bikers roll past. Whether you’re participating or perusing from afar, it’s a sublime experience.
With more than 100,000 visitors expected to attend, and a colossal 70,000 bikes likely to populate the roads around Lake Faak, this end-of-season party is an essential date for your diary!