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Friday, December 8, 2023

Leesburg officials hope to boost Bikefest revenue with more attendees and more beverage sales

Maggie Lyden
Maggie Lyden

The Leesburg commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with the 2024 BikeFest after hearing a presentation by Maggie Lyden, the city’s new special events manager.

Lyden at Monday night’s meeting told the commissioners that the plan for 2024 BikeFest would involve condensing the footprint of the event with the city managing the main stage and a secondary stage. She plans to upgrade the entertainment to bring in more attendees from the area. She is planning to help cover the estimated $500,000 budget for the event by attracting new sponsors and partnering with previous sponsors such as Gator Harley-Davidson which has always supported BikeFest. She also plans to partner with local media , iHeart Media and JVC Broadcasting .

Lyden indicated the cost of the event to the city would be $520,000. She told the commissioners that a combination of sponsorships, novelty sales, vendor registration fees and beverage sales should cover the city’s cost.

Commissioner Allyson Berry expressed some concern that there may not be sufficient time to put on such a large event. Lyden said there should be enough time if they begin as soon as possible. She stressed that she has has experience in putting on similar musical events. Commissioner Jay Connell questioned Lyden regarding security for the event as well as the sponsorship and financial projections. Lyden said the security was for the stage area and police costs. She indicated that some of the projections were based past BikeFest data from when the Leesburg Partnership was running the event.

Two residents came forward and urged the commissioners to back BikeFest. When the motion to move forward to put on BikeFest was passed unanimously the audience erupted in applause. BikeFest will be held April 26-28, 2024.

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