THUNDER BY THE BAY – 22 YEARS OF GIVING! | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine – Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog


Published on February 4, 2020 under Blog

I’m at that age where I can’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago, let alone, 22 years ago! When it comes to pulling off outstanding and memorable biker events, Lucy Nicandri, the force behind Thunder By The Bay, can remember every detail on that first planning day; where the first Thunder By The Bay was planned out on a restaurant napkin!

Who would have thought that you’re on your 22nd year with Thunder, Lucy? “Oh, Susan! You remembered the napkin story!” Yes, it is hard to believe that we have been doing this for so long!”

“I try to remind people constantly that this fundraiser is to benefit Suncoast Charities for Children. The many changes we’ve made over the years have only increased the funding Suncoast Charities can provide to 5 local non-profit agencies that provide services to over 5,000 children, teens, and adults with special needs. When we moved from downtown to the Sarasota Fairgrounds, it was a win-win in many ways. Our vendors were thrilled, freestyle acts and a burnout contest could now take place, camping became available, and the Festival is now able to raise more money for the charity, which is what it is all about.

How do Lucy and her amazing group of volunteers pull this event off year after year? After 22 years, does all of this planning and arranging happen automatically? “We do have many instances of “click-throughs” where we have our checklists that we go through weekly. Sixty days out we are in the office seven days a week. In addition to TBTB, there are other festivals that I’m working on. I have a huge whiteboard that I actually do triage with for the event. What’s time-sensitive every week? It’s a balancing act that works.” Lucy also shared with me that there are at least 100 meetings total that occurs

from the initial planning stages to the week of the event! “These meetings are with sponsors, volunteers, police, fire, City and County officials, etc. It’s non-stop.”


Thunder By The Bay has a jammedpacked weekend where there will be something for everyone! “A week before the actual festival, there will be our “Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party. This will be held at the White Buffalo Saloon (5377 McIntosh Road, Sarasota); $75/per person includes an open bar, various food stations, a silent auction, and 50/50. “New this year is mobile bidding for our silent auction! If you can’t make it to Sarasota for our event, you can bid now via your mobile device or online for various items. So, if you’re in California or the UK, you can bid for that favorite item in the comfort of your home!” The website is:

As many of you know, I’m all about the music. And this year does not disappoint! Lucy was excited to share her joy that WARRANT is the headliner for Thunder by the Bay! “I want to thank Rich Rubin of Maximum Bands for all his help. The band became popular during the late 80s/ early 90s the band selling over 10-million albums worldwide throughout their career. What a lot of people don’t realize is in 2017 the band came out with “Louder Harder Faster” landing them in the Top 20, Top 30 and Top 100 on Billboard’s Independent, Current Rock, and Top Current Albums charts. They have been pretty solid over the years. We are so excited! Bring your lawn chair, camp, enjoy continuous live music for only a $5 gate fee, you can’t beat that!”

In addition, to WARRANT, there will be many outstanding Tribute Bands such as Love Alive (Heart Tribute), In The Light of Led Zeppelin, Nobody’s Fool, U.S. Stones, Green River (CCR Tribute), Ultimate Def Leppard, Rebel Heart, Bad, Inc., 4NR2 (Foreigner Tribute Band), Supernatural (Santana Tribute) and 37 Special (38 Special Tribute).

Speaking of gate fees … did you know that every dollar given at the gate goes towards special needs children and the agencies that support them? Lucy explained, “Last year, the gate fees brought in an additional $50,000 for the charity. Over the last two years, from net proceeds raised during Thunder By The Bay, we have been able to provide over $200,000 in grant money to the agencies we support. We had an immense amount of motorcycle clubs and organizations donating more at the gate than the $5 entrance fee!” If you are interested in getting a good deal for the 3-day festival, $12 will get you in all three days! “You can purchase your gate tickets at either Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson or Sarasota Ford. If you can’t use one of the three-day tickets that you purchased, you can give your ticket to a friend. They are transferable.”

VIP tickets are also available online for $100 each day. As a VIP ticket holder, you will have tented seating with a great view of the main stage, freestyle act performances, a complimentary food buffet (provided by Sonny’s BBQ), access to your own private full bar offering you three complimentary beverages of your choice, and private restrooms.

Don’t forget the popular Finz Finds Motorcycle Charity Poker Run on Sunday, a “Light Up The Night” bike show on Saturday, and a 17-class bike show on Sunday as well! These events draw an immense amount of participants. Makes for another memorable time!

Winding down, Lucy shared her 22-year success with Thunder By The Bay. “It’s having folks like you, Susan, Born To Ride, our devoted Sponsors, and league of volunteers that make this happen year after year. Every year we want to change up the acts so that it’s something new and different. Our charities benefit from the thousands of people that come every year. And that is why we work so hard to make this event so successful!”

All of us at Born To Ride magazine look forward to seeing you at Thunder By The

By Susan Hurst