High-energy meets high-octane this weekend in what promises to be a high-profile event.
The inaugural Vette City Motorcycle Music Fest, presented by the Daily News and radio station WDNS-FM (D93), comes to Bowling Green's National Corvette Museum on Friday and Saturday with a lineup of entertainers and motorcycle-themed activities that promise to provide fun for locals and fuel the city's tourism industry with plenty of visitors.
"Bowling Green has been in need of a multiday event like this," said Vicki Fitch, executive director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This totally fills a void. It can draw more interest from the automotive crowd and to our music scene."
The two-day event features 14 musical acts, including Friday headliner and Grammy Award-winner Gretchen Wilson and Saturday headliner Bret Michaels, a heavy metal star with the band Poison who has also had a successful television and film career.
"It's a great lineup of artists," Fitch said. "I'm just so appreciative that the Daily News has branched out and is putting on an event like this. It's a big step for our community."
The musical acts – which include the likes of the Kentucky HeadHunters, Foghat, the Georgia Satellites and Pat Travers – will perform in the museum's amphitheater that is known mostly as the venue for the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club's Thunderfest event each July. National Corvette Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode is happy to see the amphitheater utilized for the music fest.
"We have always thought that the amphitheater needs to be more of a community resource than a museum resource," Strode said. "We're thankful that the Kiwanis Club uses it for Thunderfest, and we're delighted that the Daily News is using it for this event."
The event is part of a Daily News initiative to organize more activities in the community, including the Kentucky Super Preps awards for local high school student-athletes and periodic job fairs. Larry Jobe, hired earlier this year as the newspaper's director of new business development, has called on his experience organizing similar events in other communities as he led the committee that put this one together.
Jobe, who organized events while working for newspapers in Elizabethtown and in Longview, Texas, said events such as the Vette City Motorcycle Music Fest are natural outgrowths of the newspaper's mission.
“I think the newspaper has a role in helping facilitate events that contribute positively to the quality of life," Jobe said when the Vette City Motorcycle Music Fest was announced. "That’s the vision.”
In addition to the entertainment in the amphitheater, the Vette City event will include many family activities and free admission to the National Corvette Museum for a general admission price of $40 in advance or $50 at the gate for the two days.
Events begin at 11 a.m. Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday. Included are dyno drag races, a burnout contest and performances by the Insane Obando Riders' "Globe of Death" and Torch's "Rock & Roll Inferno." Poker runs will be held both days, and the Bikers Against Child Abuse group will have a charity ride Saturday morning.
It will provide plenty of entertainment, and Fitch believes the Vette City event will provide much more.
"People from out of town will be going to our gas stations, staying at our hotels and buying a thing or two around town," she said. "All that does is fuel our economy."
Likewise, Strode sees great potential in the event.
"I hope it's successful and that we have many more events like this," he said. "It's a huge undertaking. I admire Larry Jobe for everything he has done on this event. I'm still not sure what the impact will be on the museum, but I certainly hope it has a big impact on the community."
More information about the Vette City Motorcycle Music Fest can be found at vettecitymotorcyclemusicfest.com.