One rally, two perspectives. Each rally has left its mark differently on those who attend. Sharing these experiences may bring back your own memories, but you, too, have a different story to tell. Enjoy!
This write-up is Written by PVSC’s Bryan McQuaid:
The dew fell, lay heavy upon the grass, and in soft unassuming whispers began to speak. It was Thursday, not yet the weekend. That’s when they came with camper, scooter and cooler in tow. Slowly at first, but with each arrival their fervor escalated. Through the night and into the next day in steady advancements, the sleepy site in somber New Somerset was set alight. Guests were checked in and weariness put aside at the gate. They came for one reason only… this is Bandcamp. Throughout the years, the product of hard work and reputation had spread. Most mark it on their calendar a year in advance and count down the days until the third weekend in June. We offer the escape they all crave: a vintage scooter-centric party where all are made to feel welcome and which all would relish by the end.
Few really get it, the cult of the vintage scooter: its sleek look and clean lines, how it perfectly molds form and function. They are true works of art. The Vespas and Lambrettas get unpacked before tents get erected. The building anticipation breaks as trails of blue smoke weave in and out of the site. They don’t just cut wind, they cut through conformity. They cut through macho B.S. They slice to ribbons conceptions about what riding a brand of bike means. We are all part of a different, vibrant American institution of scooterists. It’s a long way from Brighton beach and 1960s England, but some things just die hard. I could go on ad nauseam in bland, stream-of-consciousness lists and run-downs. How A leads to B and how B (though not totally related to A) was directly part of but also congruent to C; how the games ended, how dinner was, what time it all started and ended. The truth is it started in 1999 and hopefully it will never end.
I know what you may be thinking. “This one time at Bandcamp…”, right? Let me paint you another picture. Most of all, it’s the smiles: those bright, beaming smiles, and the laughs that follow are so joyous that the body can’t help but to convulse out of ecstasy. Everyone has their arms around one another, talking loudly and jubilantly while catching up on old times. The look of utter and total satisfaction as they hop on their vintage machines and make lap after lap around the field: this is what happens at Bandcamp. It must be seen. It must be felt. No ink on a page could ever do this meeting any service, especially none greater than the experience of being in it. Everyone’s good time comes as a result of collective efforts by all–from the staff to the sponsors and guests. You make your own good time, we just do our best to set the stage and watch it all go into action.
This one is written by Jordana Grodek of the PVSC
Post-Bandcamp Depression. Only the most lively and entertaining–if not mildly crude and boldly interactive–of rallies are deserving of their own International Classification of Diseases code or ICD-9. The weekend began a day early this year, as those representing the East Coast, Canada, and the Midwest all began piling in to Bandcamp in Toronto, OH on the Thursday before Father’s Day. Riders for the vintage smallframe-only race trickled in as attendees waited to hear the bell ring to start the race.
The theme this year was Scooter Royale: Lucky 13, with a nod to the James Bond series, spectators proudly donned their homemade or salvaged outfits of Bond girls as well as the many faces of Q. Pre-registrants were surprised with a clandestine game of Assassins that had them acting as undercover agents all weekend until the last agent was slain. Rally goers enjoyed Vespers served appropriately alongside PVSC’s mandatory Bloody Mary Bar while those who wished could participate in games of Craps, Blackjack, or Poker for raffle tickets. The club’s own Cigarette Girls pumped players full of ever-flowing PBR, miscellaneous snacks, and the best Indian cigarettes you’ve never seen.
These festivities bled on into the night against a backdrop of northern soul and ska permeating through the camp as the crowd of vintage scooter enthusiasts endlessly circled the infamous Bandcamp track lap; some clothes remained and some clothes were tossed to the wind. One dissident to the rally theme “Lucky 13” persisted, as he was unfortunately thrown from a friend’s scooter and into a concussion, requiring more than the handful of first responders present at the rally. A helicopter promptly appeared at the scene to bring the injured to safety at a nearby hospital. A helicopter. A fucking helicopter showed up at our Bandcamp.
As regretful an incident as it was, the crowd did not let even one good time escape. After an afternoon of lounging, making laps, shooting the shit with friends, or continuing with Blackjack, it was time for field games. This year involved slow races, water balloons, potatoes and hay, burritos, gin and olive shots, and hat tricks. There was even a water feature full of fake “crocodiles” that one Detroit Rover slew quite literally, as he pulled a dagger from his garter and sliced one in two before the field of spectators.
While the club’s beer, St. Louis hooch, and Marathon pepperoni rolls dwindled along with the daylight, the group kept on dancing until it was time for the raffle and awards. Many, including the Turnbull DC’er who held the winning ticket for the coveted 1959 LI150 Series 2 Lambretta, retired to their tents late that night (or early that morning) exhausted, pleasantly tipsy, full, and happy until it was time to make the reluctant trip home in the morning.
As any rally goer will tell you, Post-Bandcamp Depression sucks.