Three cheers to ABR Festival 2022
Three weeks ago, Merlin rolled up to Ragley Hall, Warwickshire for the 2022 installment of the Adventure Bike Rider Festival.
Our minds have been blown since we launched the Explorer Collection earlier this year, but we knew we had to take things one step further. As Explorer appeals to the adventure riders among us, we wanted to take it to them to gauge reaction… and we weren’t disappointed.
Set in the vast land under the shadow of the beautiful Ragley Hall, ABR Festival has gone from strength to strength since its inception. A three day celebration of everything adventure bike related, ABR Festival also features live music, talks from inspirational figures in the industry, more food than you could shake a stick at and plenty of opportunities for a good time.
So here’s a rundown of Merlin’s time at this year’s edition…
Starting with a plain white shell, we wanted to inspire people within. Situated opposite the Yamaha Tenere speakers tent within the exhibitors village, we were in the ideal spot for welcoming riders.
Inside the Merlin marquee, the entire Explorer Collection went on display for the first time. From Mahala to Mojave, every item was available for the public to touch, try on and ask questions about. There were even a few sneaky peaks at our upcoming Autumn Winter ‘22 additions, but we can’t show you those here I’m afraid…
Our two esteemed colleagues, Barry and Dave, sat atop a Triumph Tiger 900 and Honda Africa Twin respectively for the duration of the festival adorned in Explorer, while a chill-out zone in the middle offered the perfect respite for achy biker feet after a long day on the trails.
An iPad ordering point allowed visitors to purchase Merlin gear with an exclusive festival discount of 15% through one of the UK’s largest motorcycle clothing retailers, Sportsbikeshop.
Outside the marquee, the two Merlin-branded vehicles. Which brings us on to our next point…
The stars of the show
Attracting the attention of anyone and everyone who walked past – no, not the gorgeous Merlin staff who manned the stand all weekend – the two Merlin-branded vehicles were difficult to miss. The black and gold van and Defender sat side-by-side, truly stealing the show and attracting choruses of “wow! Is that paint or a wrap?”
In fact, many people stopped to snap pictures with them over the weekend, so if you were one of those people then please share your pictures with us!
There’s nothing better than thousands of people who all share the same passions and interests coming together in one place. Over the course of the weekend we met with hundreds of people who just wanted to talk – about the trips they were taking and the epics they’d already been on, about the gear they wore on said epics, and some simply just wanted to talk about us.
While Merlin has been on the bike scene for over ten years, this is our first foray into the adventure segment and while some of those we met already owned Merlin heritage gear, some hadn’t heard of us before. But you best believe they had by the time they left. We proudly introduced ourselves, and subsequently received great feedback from the die-hard adventure riders, with some even purchasing from our Explorer Collection there and then.
Everyone we welcomed onto our stand over the weekend was open to learning more about us and exploring the new range for themselves. Outlaw, our new smock, was undoubtedly the most popular item of the weekend, with many complimenting us on its unique styling and on our move towards a more sustainable future.
And what a buzz it was. From the set-up day on Wednesday to the take-down day on Sunday, the atmosphere was electric. Everyone was immersed in the live music, the food available and most notably, the seemingly endless amount of opportunities to get out and ride. Be it your own bike or a manufacturer demo, there was something for everyone to get their teeth into.
This is not goodbye…
We had such a cracking time at this year’s festival and feel we really had the opportunity to begin cementing ourselves in this category. Which is why we’re already making preparations for next year’s festival – we just can’t stay away!
If you came to visit us at this year’s Adventure Bike Rider Festival and have pictures you’d like to share, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Facebook or Instagram @merlinbikegear – we’d love to see them!
You can also check out our ABR Festival 2022 video on YouTube now.
Early bird tickets for next year’s festival are already on sale, get yours now so you don’t miss out!
Published on Friday, July 15th by Emily Macbeth