More News

Rebel Rally is on for July

With the Hollister City Council at odds over a city-sanctioned motorcycle rally, business leaders will bring the 2019 Rebel Rally downtown and 47 Camp Ride to Bolado Park.
Florida promoter Brian Holt said there will be three separate yet related venues under the Rebel Rally banner in 2019. Art courtesy of Brian Holt.
Brian Holt (right) promotes motorcycle rallies across the country and is working with local businesses to bring the Rebel Rally to Hollister. Photo by John Chadwell.
Mike Corbin opens his manufacturing business to the public during the 2018 Rebel Rally. Photo by John Chadwell.
Corbin is hosting Mondo Porras of Denver Choppers at his 2019 event. Art courtesy of Corbin.
47 Camp Ride will feature live bands, biker camping and the Wild One Saloon at Bolado Park. Art courtesy of 47 Camp Ride.

While city leaders are stewing over whether an official Hollister Independence Rally can take place in 2019, community members are teaming up with Brian Holt, owner of The Official Gear Company out of Daytona Beach, Florida, to launch the Hollister Rebel Rally and the 47 Camp Ride at Bolado Park. The event is expected to take place July 4-7.

Holt’s local partners include Mike Corbin, owner of Corbin Motorcycle Seats and Accessories, Peter Lago, owner of iconic biker hangout Johnny’s Bar & Grill, and Rey Sotelo, general manager of Hollister Powersports and owner of the local Indian Motorcycle dealership.

The upcoming rally will feature the theme, “It’s all about the ride.” That’s the promoter’s way of saying, “Come and check out Hollister, stop in at Johnny’s for a beer, visit Hollister Indian Powersports or Corbin’s,” said Holt. “But then there are hundreds of miles of roads to ride and a lot of great country to see.”

Holt spoke with BenitoLink on Feb. 5 about the upcoming biker events. He said the Rebel Rally, Corbin’s Open House Party Bike Show and the 47 Camp Ride are three different, yet connected venues and that organizers are cross-promoting them under the umbrella of a single motorcycle rally.

“The bikers will go to Johnny’s and drive downtown, buy Rebel Rally t-shirts, and then take a ride,” Holt said. “We want people to support downtown, but bikers want to ride. Peter [Lago] is making some videos to show various rides through the hills, out Panoche Road, and even Big Sur. We’ve got guys on bikes videotaping those rides to promote the area.”

The Rebel Rally welcome center is expected to be at the Veterans Memorial Building in downtown Hollister. Holt said the center will have vendors, food, motorcycle artwork, display motorcycles and information about the other rally events and rides. He said there will be no alcohol sales at the welcome center, but he hopes people will go to either Johnny’s Bar & Grill or the Wild One Saloon at Bolado Park for drinks.

Corbin will hold its annual event at its facility across from the airport. Rey Sotelo will not only be showing off the latest in Indian motorcycles, he has also secured Bolado Park for the 47 Camp Ride.

“There will be bands, biker camping, races and the Wild One Saloon,” Holt said. “They were in the Vets building last year, but they felt it would be a better fit to move out to Bolado Park, so they could do some camping and other events without the limitations of being downtown.”

While there are grand plans for the Rebel Rally, the ever-troubled Hollister Independence Rally came up during the Feb. 5 Hollister City Council meeting. City Manager Bill Avera said the rally could not go forward because no promoter would agree to do it longer than a year or two. He said workers’ compensation insurance for security personnel remained a key sticking point.

Councilwoman Carol Lenoir said she cannot support the rally if the city is on the hook for workers’ compensation.

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, a perennial rally supporter, said he spoke to previous promoter Randy Burke about returning to run the rally downtown. According to Velazquez, Burke said he would be willing to come back, but wanted a long-term contract in order to be able to attract potential sponsors.

Vice Mayor Marty Richman said even though he loves the motorcycle rally, Hollister is not in the entertainment business.

“We need to find a nonprofit organization to run it,” Richman said. “If we run it through a nonprofit organization it would run like clockwork.”

The clock is ticking as business owners take the lead to attract motorcycle riders to what they all know as the “Home of the American Biker.”

Holt said even though it appears some of the new Hollister council members seem to be in favor of holding a rally downtown, it isn’t going to happen this year and that’s why he and the others wanted to start promoting the Rebel Rally now. That way, not only locals, but bikers worldwide would know it’s going to take place.

“We want to keep the rally going,” Holt said. “It’s good for us and it’s good for the town.”

Other related BenitoLink articles:



BenitoLink Logo

Become a Member Today

Support your local independent news.

We work hard to give you the news and information you need. By becoming a member, you will be part of something bigger; BenitoLink, your community-supported news source.


John Chadwell's picture
John Chadwell (John Chadwell)

John Chadwell is an investigative reporter for BenitoLink. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to:


This event sounds like fun. I hope riders come, have a great time and that all return safely to their homes. My dear old dad, Dick Renfrow, would have loved to ride the 47 Camp Ride. I like to think he will be there in spirit. Ride safe my friends. Please try to understand that I have a responsibility to look out for the whole City’s liability. I’m not against any rally, as I stated at the public hearing but the exposure of liability weighs heavy on my mind and it should.  See you downtown!

Add new comment

Add Facebook comment

Comment using your Facebook account. Facebook comments will be published on this page, and on Facebook. It will not be posted to the "Recent Comments" list on the BenitoLink front page.