The Festival Fort
IT’S PARTY TIME
At Hotchillee, we’ve come to realise that Ekoi Stone Circle is such a unique event, that it’s worthy of its own little festival.
So, we’re super excited to announce that with the help of our amazing partners, we’re throwing a cycling party at the Festival Fort which will be open to all at Old Sarum before and after the gravel ride.
A bit like Stonehenge, nobody is really sure how we’ve managed to put this together, but here’s what you can look forward to at the Festival Fort.
FESTIVAL FORT FRIDAY
Gates open on Friday June 23rd at 13:00 so, if you’re riding, you can come and Sign On nice and early, then relax and enjoy the festivities and the incredible view at this historic Iron Age English Heritage site.
Allay any pre-ride nerves by hanging out with fellow entrants and swap tips for how you plan to tackle the big ride at daybreak.
Grab some food and drinks, pick up some last minute supplies, or if you’re feeling competitive, test your legs on one of the Wattbike Challenges with great prizes on offer.
If you’re camping you can head over to the campsite and pitch your tent or if you’re one of the lucky ones, you can access your VIP bell tent from 17:00.
FREE BEER & PIZZA – WITH LIVE DJ
On Friday evening we’re throwing a pizza party! From 18:00-19:00 there will be free pizza available and free beer courtesy of our friends at Stohk and Komoot.
What’s a party without music? We don’t want to find out, so we’ve got DJ Lisa E to bring the pre-ride vibes and get you in the mood for an unforgettable 24 hours.
All are welcome, we’re a friendly bunch – come say hi.
“REST. FOR AT SUNRISE…WE RIDE”
Anonymous Druid, 3000 BC
THE BIG DAY
At daybreak, there will be coffee and breakfast available to buy from G!RO and other locally sourced providers.
You’ll set off from the Festival Fort where views of the Salisbury Plain at sunrise will stretch to the Horizon. You’ll be well looked after on your adventure with roaming Hotchillee Ride Captains, mechanics, and well stocked feed stations.
Upon completion of your ride we’ll welcome you home to the Festival Fort with some finish-line refreshments. There will be hot food available from our vendors too. Then you can relax, recover and enjoy the atmosphere until the sun sets on the Festival Fort of 2023 at 21:30.
WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR...
Throughout the weekend, our partners are at hand for all of your last minute necessities.
Top Quality Kit
The Ekoi stand will have their latest helmets and eyewear and their new gravel range for you to browse or purchase. If the sun shines on the longest day, you’ll be glad of the lightweight ventilation offered by the Gara, or the aerodynamic AR14 could be your ticket to getting back to the Fort ASAP.
This is the same kit the Hotchillee Ride Captains are wearing, so do yourself a favour and find out what they’ve been raving about.
Zero Plastic, Zero Waste
With their edible wrappers, not only are Nurhu Energy Bars a fantastic fuelling option, they’re also perfect for keeping the environment rubbish-free. Our Druid and Neolithic ancestors lived that way too, don’t forget.
Ride the Lauf Loop on the new Seigla
A flagship gravel bike needs a proper test ride, so the guys at Lauf are taking their fleet of demo Seiglas and setting up a purpose-made test route. This will operate on a first come, first served basis – the early bird gets to worm their way around a test track on a nice bike in this case.
For all your event essentials, Sigma Sports have your back. The UK’s best-loved cycling retailer will be on site with a selection of their very best gravel products available for purchase. Their mechanics will be on-hand to offer support at the Festival Fort and the water stops. Don’t forget Sigma Sports are at your fingertips on the Hotchillee app, as well as with us in person over the weekend.
It’s Competition Time
Keep your gravel bike dirty and your living room clean by training for your event with Wattbike. If you’re new to Wattbike come check them out, chat to the guys, and have a play. And if you’re feeling competitive, take part in one of their competitions for a chance to win great prizes.
Saddleback has been a leading supplier of premium cycling products since 2004, and they’ll be on site with a selection of their top brands: Enve Composites make some of the very best gravel hoops available, Sportful’s Giara and Supergiara gravel kit is perfect for this type of long distance gravel event, and you’ll be drooling over the craftsmanship of their beautiful Moots titanium gravel framesets.
Did Someone Say Free Beer?
We’re stohked to be working with Stohk on this one. They’ll be selling beers over the weekend – but heads up … don’t miss out on the free beers at the Pizza Party. You’ll also be handed a cold one as you finish. Let’s face it – you’ll have earned it.
Also at the Festival Fort, we’ll have proper coffee and delicious snacks available from G!RO, you can check out some beautiful 1816 Gravel Bikes and GRVL Gravel Kit. STOHK and KOMOOT will be there handing out a limited supply of free beers – additional beers will be available for purchase. And if the sun shines, you’ll be glad of the free sunscreen products from our friends at LIFEJACKET.