4-12 December 2021
NEC Birmingham

Year after year, Motorcycle Live is proud to offer visitors access to live entertainment as part of their ticket price and someone who has been working hard in conjunction with show organisers in order to do this is Matt Bates, Managing Director of Arena Sports Live.

Matt has been producing shows for Motorcycle Live for over two decades and each year improving and enhancing the experience for the thousands of visitors to the show.

“The show has changed dramatically – the ticket now buys you the ability to be active in the event, experience and ride the bikes as well as spending the whole day around motorcycles and people that enjoy them. I believe this is one of the main strengths of Motorcycle Live.

“I’ve been so lucky to be part of Motorcycle Live over the years and every year I enjoy putting together a show for the audience. One highlight for me was in 2013, when we had the idea to create a cinema – which we did – and built it inside the hall. And not only that, but we made a film which gave an insight into the lives of some of Britain’s top racing stars, called ‘Behind Bars’.”

The movie features 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness, 2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes, 2013 World Supersport Champion Sam Lowes, 2013 British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes, 2013 Speedway World Champion Tai Woffinden, World Motocross rider Tommy Searle and three-time British Superbike Champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Bryne.

“Without a doubt, the other high point for me was Moto Cirque. The complexity, the technicality, the sheer scale and the danger of what we did, the intricate choreography made 2018 a big year for us. It was definitely the most difficult show we’ve produced.”

“We always start the conversation for the next show roughly 10-12 months prior to the show – so effectively we discuss at the show the year before. Moto Cirque was certainly something that consumed my mind!”

 “They are just two of my absolute highlights in what is a partnership that’s had hundreds. My ultimate ambition is to put bums on seats and enable people to ride bikes. For many years I’ve been involved in projects that get people of all ages onto two wheels and we’ve done that with thousands of people – and hopefully made hundreds of riders from it. When you see a five-year-old riding a bike for the first time and know you’ve made their day, that’s a great feeling.”

As a live event producer, Matt’s business – along with many others – has been hit hard by the restrictions imposed due to the current pandemic. But better times are coming…

“We couldn’t be more impacted but we’re fit, healthy and still in business. Live events may have to have stopped currently, but we people are missing meeting with others, being entertaining and going out so we’re positive that there will be even more appetite for people to go out and have fun when they can.”

What’s been your favourite feature at Motorcycle Live over the years? Be sure to head over to the Motorcycle Live social channels to tell us about it…