You don’t find too many bike fests these days that take over a whole town – unless you cruise down to Doolin, that is, where this year’s Harley Fest on 15-17 May saw the whole town decked out in its best biker gear!
The Doolin Harley Fest in County Clare, on Ireland’s rugged west coast, is still in its infancy. In fact this was only the second time it’s been held. But if this year’s proceedings are anything to go by, it’s certainly growing up fast.
Held in the grounds of the Hotel Doolin, the fest started off as a charity bash to raise money for the Marie Clancy McDonagh Foundation for cancer research. That’s still one of the main – very worthy – themes, and the success of this year’s do will hopefully see some much needed funds go to a fantastic cause.
You could probably sum up the event in three words: motorbikes, music, and grub – in that order! Starting with a BBQ on the Friday night, the food and drinks kept coming throughout the weekend, much to the delight of the hundreds of bikers (and locals) who descended upon the town.
The Saturday morning ride-out got a bit of wind in everyone’s hair, before the main event brought everyone back to the main stage for the custom bike show, with dozens of fantastic machines on display and a guest appearance by well-known Irish comedian and motorbike racer PJ Gallagher.
A charity raffle in the afternoon saw one lucky punter walk away with the main prize of a Honda CD175 (not bad for €10 a ticket!). On the subject of lucky, the guys on the Carole Nash stand were giving away €250 worth of bike insurance all weekend in our free prize giveaway, plus plenty of free quotes and goodie bags. And there were stalls, stands, and displays all around the venue selling the latest biker gear and accessories.
If there’s one thing you need to remember about Doolin Harley Fest, though, its music! Doolin is an internationally renowned hotbed of Irish music, and you can see why! From the first arrivals on Friday night to the finale on Sunday evening, the music (and dancing) just kept coming, not only at the Harley Fest itself, but across the whole town. So if you’re planning a trip to Doolin next year, make sure you bring your dancing shoes, as well as your bike!