SIOUX CITY | In 2016, Awesome Biker Nights left its home of 16 years in the Historic Fourth District and moved its main concerts down the street to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City.
This year, it's planning to ride back to its roots, with what organizers have dubbed a "throwback year."
"We're trying to throw it back to its original spot, getting gate prices real low," said Awesome Biker Nights Board chairman Brian Hall. "We're getting the bands back to normal-size bands, getting it back to the biker event that it was to raise money for charities."
The annual motorcycle rally, which brings thousands to downtown Sioux City each year, includes several stages of live music from national and regional bands, a poker run, a bike show, poker tournament and a bike raffle. This year will also feature stunt and trick riders.
All proceeds generated at the rally benefit charity organizations. In the past 17 years, Awesome Biker Nights has raised more than $1 million for charity.
Charities this year will include Mid-Step Services, Sioux City Special Olympics, Crossroads Shelter for Homeless Women and Children, S.T.A.R.S. (Special Troopers Adaptive Riding School), St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation, the Crittenton Center and Three Rivers Cosmopolitan Club.
Additional charities will include the All Start baseball team, Knights of Columbus and American Legion Riders Post 241 in Le Mars.
Last year, Awesome Biker Nights moved its main concerts to the Hard Rock's Battery Park. The event area encompassed a five-block area in downtown Sioux City, including bars and restaurants along Pearl Street.
Acts included ONE, In This Moment, Pop Evil, Edgar Winter and Cheap Trick. Local bands performed throughout the weekend.
While the event sold several wristbands, attendance was hampered by late Friday evening storms that prompted organizers to clear Battery Park during a concert that was at least temporarily postponed.
The Awesome Biker Nights board announced in mid-January its plan to return the event to its original location for 2017.
"We're hearing a lot of positive," Hall said about the move.
This year's rally is scheduled for June 15-17. Gate prices are $20 pre-sale for the weekend wristband or $15 per night at the gate.
In early March, organizers announced Black Stone Cherry and David Lee Murphy will headline the roster of main stage acts at the 2017 Awesome Biker Nights.
Rock band Black Stone Cherry will headline the main stage the night of June 16 with opener Black Oak Arkansas and "Special Guests." Country music artist David Lee Murphy will headline June 17's main stage concert, with openers Casey Muessigmann and Ben Grillet.
Hall said he's personally excited for the band 35th and Taylor, which will headline Saturday on the Court Street stage.