Mayor: Hollister biker rally promoter to depart role

Hollister Freedom Rally 2015

The latest Hollister motorcycle rally promoter is not expected to return for the 2016 event, the mayor confirmed Friday.
Mayor Ignacio Velazquez in an interview with the Free Lance, though, did express confidence there would be a rally next July.
“He just sent an email in the last few days saying it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out,” Velazquez said, after recent disagreement over contractual issues between the city and promoter, Las Vegas-based ConvExx, which just took over for the 2015 event.
Prior to ConvExx overseeing promotion of the event contracted through the Hollister Downtown Association, North Carolina-based Worldwide Dynamics had promoted the prior two Independence Day rallies.
ConvExx following this year’s rally estimated a relatively modest attendance of 40,000 to 45,000 people compared with prior rallies where organizers’ estimates topped six figures.
“Things went great,” said Chuck Schwartz, from ConvExx, shortly after the 2015 rally. “We had no major incidents. We had no issues with the gangs. We think people had a great time and we enjoyed being out on the streets with them.”
Still, attendance figures were less impressive than recent years, and the promoter’s plans to hire big-name bands didn’t pan out due to smaller-than-expected crowds.
Velazquez, who has recused himself from official decisions on the rally with his ownership of The Vault building, mentioned how ConvExx wanted to renegotiate terms in the contract. He said that led to the promoter’s departure. The mayor also indicated that ConvExx still owed the city money for 2015, and that Velazquez was unwilling to consider committing to ConvExx for 2016 without payment.
Velazquez said there are interested promoters waiting for the opportunity to run the Hollister event, but could not provide further details yet.
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