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What To Expect At Sturgis This Year

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a huge event — the largest motorcycle rally in the country, to be specific. Whether you’ve attended the event every year of your life or are planning your first visit in 2022, knowing what to expect this year — and what may be different compared to past years — can help you prepare accordingly.

High Attendance Numbers

If you think attendance will be low at the 2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally due to COVID-19, think again. The rally has continued to see high attendance in recent years, even through the heights of the pandemic.

While many concerts, festivals, and large-scale events were canceled in 2020, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held firm. More than 460,000 people attended the rally that year. Then, in 2021, over 555,000 motorcycle enthusiasts gathered for the annual event.

You can expect attendance to be even higher in 2022, as those who held off attending the previous years will be ready to flock to the rally in full force. You may want to begin planning travel accommodations now to secure a decent rate. You can also expect limited-capacity activities to fill up fast.

Rock, Pop, and Country Concerts

Sturgis Rally concerts are some of the biggest attractions of this large-scale motorcycle rally. Buffalo Chip hosts famous artists several nights of the rally on its massive outdoor stage.

This year, there will be a little bit of every music genre taking the stage at Sturgis. The event organizers have announced the following headliners so far:

  • Snoop Dogg
  • Buckcherry
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Bush
  • Lita Ford
  • Rob Zombie
  • Travis Tritt
  • Aaron Lewis & the Stateliners
  • Puddle of Mudd
  • Pop Evil

These concerts are included with your Buffalo Chip admission passes.

However, along with these major headliners, you can also expect to hear live music from local artists and smaller bands throughout the rally. These concerts take place on stages throughout downtown Sturgis. If you’d prefer not to purchase admission to Buffalo Chip, you can take advantage of these free concerts instead.

Beach Parties

If you’re combining your trip to Sturgis with your annual vacation, you’ll be happy to hear about the Beach Party event taking place at Buffalo Chip this year. Buffalo Chip’s Beach Party will happen August 1st through 4th, which is the four days leading up to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. This party will include fun activities like:

  • Lake inflatables
  • Beach volleyball
  • Bikini contests
  • And more!

Scenic Rides

If you’re planning to travel to Sturgis from out of state, you’ll want to take advantage of this time to visit South Dakota’s most scenic destinations. This year, event organizers invite rally attendees to travel to the following locations on scenic rides:

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Black Hills
  • Badlands National Park
  • Crazy Horse Memorial

You can feel free to ride to these destinations on your own during any downtime throughout the rally. However, if you enjoy riding with others, we recommend signing up for a scenic group ride. For example, a few group rides happening at the 2022 rally include the following:

  • Sturgis Mayor’s Ride
  • Gypsie Tour
  • Buffalo Chip’s Legends Ride
  • Pappy Hoel Ride
  • Peace Love Happiness Charity Ride

You can sign up for these rides in advance on the Sturgis website.

Activities and Events

The Sturgis Motorcycle rally includes hundreds of activities and events across the ten-day rally week. You won’t be able to attend every event, as many take place at the same time. However, glancing at the event schedule in advance can help you narrow down the activities that are important to you.

At the 2022 Rally, you can expect to see the following activities and events taking place throughout the week:

  • Rally races: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began as a small racing event, and today, the rally continues the tradition. You can watch impressive races and motorcycle stunts in various areas throughout the rally.
  • Contests and competitions: Watching, or even participating in, motorcycle-related competitions is a fun aspect of attending the rally. This year, the Sturgis Rally will feature competitions ranging from the Ultimate Rope Swing Contest to the Homemade Bikini Contest. You can register for competitions on the Buffalo Chip website.
  • Main Street: If you’re ever unsure what to do next at the Sturgis Rally, you can always head to Main Street Sturgis to see what’s happening. This area hosts the rally’s vendors and a range of smaller activities, such as concerts from local bands. Many attendees also park their bikes on Main Street. If nothing else, you can take a breather and people-watch while figuring out your next activity.

These activities only begin to touch the numerous festivities that will take place during the ten-day rally.


The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is known for hosting hundreds of vendors, many of whom set up booths along historic Main Street in Sturgis. In 2022, the Sturgis Rally will continue the tradition of lining Main Street with a wide range of vendors, selling items such as:

  • Food
  • Souvenirs
  • Motorcycle gear
  • Motorcycle OEM parts
  • Custom bikes
  • And more!

Many of these vendor booths will be open for business during the Pre-Rally Rollout, which will begin on August 1st.

Expansive Festivities

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began in Sturgis, SD, and this city still serves as the epicenter for the rally’s festivities. However, if you’re traveling from out of state this year, you’ll probably see Sturgis-related celebrations happening in the surrounding cities and states along your route.

The Sturgis Rally is such a massive event that neighboring areas have begun joining in on the fun. Sturgis celebrations span from Hulett, Wyoming, to Hot Springs, South Dakota, with many cities offering their own themed events and displaying festive decorations for the occasion.

Be sure to check for these local festivities on your way to downtown Sturgis.

Varying Weather

The Sturgis Motorcycle rally takes place in the heat of the summer. If you’ve never been to the rally, you may expect to experience beautiful, sunny weather throughout the ten-day event. But in reality, the weather patterns will vary dramatically throughout the rally.

Most days will be hot, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80s at this time of year. However, you can also expect rainstorms to pop up suddenly throughout the day and night. If you don’t like your bike to be exposed to the elements, you may want to find a covered parking lot near the rally.

Additionally, if you plan to camp at one of the many surrounding campsites, be sure to bring extra layers. The nights can get chilly in Sturgis, with nightly temperatures ranging between 45 and 55 degrees. Combine these cold temps with the sudden rain, and your campout can become uncomfortable quickly if you don’t plan ahead.

An Exhilarating Time

Altogether, the 2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be an exciting time for motorcycle enthusiasts and their families. Now that you know what to expect at Sturgis 2022, you can begin planning your visit. The sooner you start planning your Sturgis trip, the better prepared you’ll be for everything that awaits at this one of a kind experience.

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