Kelvin Halloran Explains Why BMAD Is More Much Than Your Typical Bike Festival
Kelvin Halloran and his wife have turned a casual meet-up with other bikers on Paignton seafront into one of the UK’s biggest festivals of its type - alongside donating over £500k to local charities - BMAD Festival is much more than your typical bike festival! We met up with Kelvin for the inside track on BMAD and what to expect this 3rd-5th May 2019. Watch the video and read this 👇
BMAD Festival - Bikers Make A Difference - is a Community Interest Company in Torbay which started back in 2005. The annual event takes place on Paignton seafront, welcoming the local community and bikers from around the world, some as far as Australia, to come enjoy bikes, beers and live music across the weekend. Since starting, the festival has generated an amazing £500,000 for Torbay charities with their main focus to support sick and disabled children and their carers, as well as charities like the Blood Bikes.
“The Blood Bikes, they transport organs and things like that - but they transport it by motorcycle. How many lives have they saved over year? Now Dan said to me, Kelvin if it wasn’t for BMAD we wouldn’t be where we are today” - Kelvin Halloran, Founder of BMAD Festival.
Being carers for their two disabled sons, Kelvin and his wife have merged their passion for bikes with a cause that’s close to home. They rounded up a team of volunteers and together have built a festival for up to 7000 people each year.
All the money raised is distributed to charities and families that need support in Torbay. The stories of those they help are overwhelming to hear. BMAD has helped families live each day better and even to come together to enjoy their last holiday together during terminal illness. It’s it a tight rope between celebration and grief, but Kelvin is proud what they’ve achieved so far.
It’s not all plain sailing as the event gets bigger though, as so to do the event costs. Kelvin and and the team are desperate for local sponsors and businesses to help fund the event, so that the money raised at the events goes to the families that need it.
“We have raised over £500,000 now which goes back into our local community, but we can do an awful lot better than that as well. BMAD raises money from the festival, but we’re having to transfer some of that money which we get from donations to pay for the event; that is not right, the event should be paid for by the traders, and the sponsors and the local business to make it happen” - Kelvin Halloran, Founder of BMAD Festival.
Now, you can’t have a bikers festival without some rock or metal music and don’t worry, BMAD has plenty. From mostly original bands to massive tribute acts, the festival has become a platform for emerging artists. It’s not all about Rock music though, there are acts from other genres performing, as well as BBC Introducing making an appearance this year too.
“A success story to BMAD as well is that we’re actually promoting bands, and giving a platform for young bands to play” - Kelvin Halloran, Founder of BMAD Festival.
Kelvin isn’t shy of the stage either, after singing out loud while riding his bike, he picked up a guitar just 8 years ago and has now written over 50 songs for his band Sonic Kingdom; who are set to play on Saturday at BMAD.
“Before I started to write music, while riding my bike, I have a tune in my head and going crazy singing to it. When I drive past people they’re probably thinking… wow is he alright? [laughs]. About 8-years ago I picked up a guitar, for the first time and I play by ear and work out if that’s a nice sound, and I put lyrics to it; and I’ve written 40 to 50 songs” - Kelvin Halloran, Founder of BMAD Festival.
Let’s not forget the main attraction - motorbikes - this year some of the world’s most renown companies are setting up stands and making their way to Paignton seafront. From the likes of BMW, Harley Davidson to Indian Motorcycle, and that’s just to name a few. BMAD is an opportunity to see what being a biker really means. Look past the stereotype and go meet a community of people who are driving to make a difference.
Kelvin believes the festival is only 30% of it’s true potential, the passion and drive from him and the fellow volunteers is keeping one of Torbay’s biggest events going. If you want to support BMAD by attending the festival, sponsor or donate to the event, just head over to BMAD’s website: http://www.bmad.co.uk or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BikersMakeADifference/