A bright but perky bank holiday brought the crowds down to Margate for the annual Ace Café Margate Meltdown – 60,000 of them to be precise!
Taking place on the bank holiday Monday, 25 May, the event is always a bit of a warm-up for the summer season, as the winter gear gets put away for another six months (hopefully!), and the summer outfits make their first appearances.
It’s the 8th year for the Meltdown and, like most Ace Café events, it gets bigger every year. Sponsored by Carole Nash (who else!), it has already grown into one of the biggest free-to-attend biking events and ride-outs in the country. The only limit is the number of bikers that can fit into Margate!
The seafront was chock-a-block with everything from classic Harley-Davidsons to sleek racing machines. This being Margate, scene of some infamous rumbles between mods and rockers in the 1960s and 1970s – there was more than the odd scooter to admire, along with the usual mixture of vintage and modern, subtle and brash, bike and trike. There were stalls galore, too, selling the latest biker leathers, gadgets and essential (and not so essential) kit.
Carole Nash is a main sponsor of the event, and the Carole Nash Crew were kept busy all day handing out goodie bags, balloons and on-the-spot motorbike insurance quotes to make your wallets singe.
The ride-out itself, which left Ace Café London around 10:30, rolled into town in the early afternoon, by which time the place was already jumping, thanks not least to the rocking beats of Ace Café’s legendary DJ Billy Guntrip. There was live music on stage all day, as well as in many of the surrounding bars and pubs, and a surprising amount of country and western dancing in front of the main stage.
We’re already looking forward to next year – and to seeing how many more bikes can fit along Margate seafront!