The 23rd Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival will take place Feb. 19-21at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, with new safety measures will be in place. Some of these new safety measures include daily temperature checks for everyone coming onto the property, multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the grounds, sanitization of all restroom facilities and port-a-potties after use, pre-marked seating areas to view the stage, specified restrictions for all vendors and face masks will be required when social distancing is not possible with disposable masks available for purchase on site.

The southern rock band Molly Hatchet is scheduled to perform as the featured headliner on Feb. 20. Molly Hatchet cemented their place in music history in the late seventies touring with Aerosmith, Bob Seger, The Rolling Stones and others. Other bands performing during the Festival include Maiden Cane, One Night Rodeo, The Tucci Project, Nobody’s Fool, Twinkle Rock Star Radio and The Lost Boys.

New additions and changes to the Festival include a “United We Ride – America Strong” charity motorcycle ride in honor of our country (Feb. 21), a motorcycle stereo “sound off” competition (Feb. 20) and the traditional “Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party to be held outside under a tent on the opening night of the Festival at the Sarasota Fairgrounds (Feb.19). Vendor displays, a 17 class bike show, craft beer garden, food court and more will continue throughout the weekend.

Festival attendees will be able to bring their lawn chairs to enjoy the live music, however, proper social distancing guidelines outlined in the Festival’s Covid-19 safety plan must be followed.

Festival Director, Lucy Nicandri, stated: “We are extremely pleased to be able to announce that the festival will be able to take place in February. However, new and enhanced health and safety measures must be implemented throughout the event to ensure the safety of our performers, vendors, volunteers, attendees and staff. A Covid-19 informational page was recently added to our Festival website as a resource outlining safety measures that will be in place during the event and will be updated as necessary.”

Proceeds raised from Thunder By The Bay provide financial support to Suncoast Charities for Children impacting six area local non-profit agencies serving over 5,000 children, teens, and adults with special needs. These agencies include: The Haven, Loveland Center, Children First, The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Special Olympics Florida/Sarasota County and Venice Challenger Baseball. Last year’s Festival raised $150,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children and generated an economic impact of $7.2 million. Over the past 22 years, Thunder By The Bay has raised $1.9 million for charity.

Gate admission is $5 (12 years and under free).

For updates and information, visit thunderbythebay.org.

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