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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Biker Festival: Leather, Hogs, All-Night Music

Moscow's biggest motorcycle gang is throwing a three-day festival of music, beauty contests and feats of biker prowess starting Friday at a former Pioneer camp.

"We decided to create a reason for a party and to add one more holiday to what our youth already has," said the "Surgeon," Sasha Zaldastanov, 33, president of the Night Wolves, the group organizing the event that last year drew 5,000 people.

For motorcycle enthusiasts, the centerpiece of the festival will be competitions ranging from best custom motorcycle to the best artwork on a motorcycle to a contest for the person who can ride a motorcycle the slowest without tipping over.

For the non-biker crowd, festival organizers are promising an impressive musical line-up of some of Moscow's hottest bands, including Neprikasayemye, X-Roudz, Chyorny Obelisk, Tsvety and Korrozia Metalla. Each evening's live concert will be followed by an all-night dance party, after which revelers may retire and avoid sunrise in a 50,000-ruble-a-night bed or pitch a tent.

The festival, which organizers expect to draw 10,000 people and bikers from as far away as Canada, is being held on the grounds of the former Mir Pioneer camp, 40 kilometers north of the center of Moscow. A shuttle bus service from Moscow to the Pioneer camp is being set up. Details about transportation and the program of events are available by calling 148-9732.

Admission is set at 80,000 rubles ($15) for non-bikers and 50,000 rubles for bikers. Female bikers pay nothing, perhaps to encourage their participation in contests ranging from Miss Bike Show-96 to Miss Breast to an all-leather fashion show.

Men, for their part, will have a chance to wallow in their masculinity. Khirurg said the main reason for his passion for motorcycles is to be reminded of the time when "men were still men."

Pavel Frolov, a leader of the Night Wolves, said that despite bikers' reputation worldwide for sometimes consuming vast quantities of drugs and alcohol, organizers will be discouraging overindulgence.

"We are for a healthy way of life. Someone drunk or on drugs cannot drive anything, especially a bike," said Frolov at a recent press conference, prompting a journalist to ask about the availability of beer at the festival.

"Of course there will be beer. Miller. But not in bottles like last year," Frolov responded. "There were too many injuries."