THE Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island kicks off this weekend, and if you’re missing a ticket, or are not keen on the excitement at the track, there is still plenty going on to make this weekend a good one.
Cowes will come to life during the Moto GP with free entertainment activities over the extended weekend.
The bottom part of Thompson Avenue will become a licensed festival zone on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. A super screen in this area will host live music performances and race highlights. In addition, the ‘Classic on Cowes’ vintage motorcycle display will be on display in the Esplanade.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield encourages residents to get on board with the event and activities.
“There are many free and family friendly activities happening over the weekend, and I encourage the community to come out and be a part of the fun,” Cr Rothfield said.
“The warm welcome that visitors experience and buzzing atmosphere in Cowes is a big part of the total experience the event creates.”
The free activities kick off on Thursday, October 19 when the community can come out and welcome an anticipated 500 riders as part of the 15th annual Barry Sheene Ride.
The ride, from Bairnsdale to Cowes, will pass through Wonthaggi at around 12.45pm and stop in at San Remo at approximately 1.30pm.
Bass Coast residents can receive free general admission tickets for Friday, October 20 by showing proof of residency at Gate 1 ticket box.
After a day at the track, there will be live entertainment at the main stage in Cowes starting with The Lang Brothers Trio at 7.30pm followed by a DJ at 11.00pm, and extended outdoor licensed area.
The activities begin early on Saturday, October 21 with the Classic on Cowes vintage motorcycle display from 9am.
At 11.30am expect almost 2000 motorcycles to converge on Cowes as the final stage of the Cranbourne GP Run.
The Cowes main stage will have live entertainment for much of the day with Braxton Hicks band at 11.30am, Bern Carroll at 6pm and an AC/DC tribute band headlining at 9pm. The extended licenced outdoor area will remain open until 1am
On the final day, race day, the Cowes main stage will stay alive with a DJ at 6pm followed by a 7pm replay of the 2017 MotoGP race and a the final band, Smashenator at 8pm.
The Royal Australian Air Force will be conducting flying displays near the circuit over the weekend. These displays, while thrilling to watch, can be loud and disruptive to pets. They will take place at 5.25pm on Friday, October 20, 1.20pm on Saturday, October 21, and 1pm, 3.25pm and 3.45pm on Sunday, October 22, subject to weather conditions.
These events may create traffic congestion and the council thanks residents and visitors for their patience.
From Friday to Sunday Gap Road south of Back Beach Road will be closed to traffic, and Gap Road north of Back Beach Road will have restricted access from Ventnor Beach Road between 7.30am and 7.30pm. Gap Road residents will have access via Phillip Island Road at all times.
On Sunday, October 22, Back Beach Road will operate as one way (circuit bound) from Beachcomber Avenue between 8am and midday.
Later in the day, from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, the one way will change direction, operating from the circuit to Phillip Island Road, Melbourne bound.
The blue line will be in operation on Phillip Island Road between Back Beach Road and the Bass Highway merge on Sunday, October 22 from 3pm to 7pm.
For further details on all of the events and activities, visit or pick up a copy of the community information brochure from any council customer service or information centre.

Here come the bikes

VICROADS maintenance crews are in top gear repairing roads and cleaning up roadsides ahead of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island from October 20-22.
VicRoads director Eastern Region, Scott Lawrence said every effort has been made to prepare the roads in readiness for large crowds that will start arriving from later this week.
“Each year we welcome thousands of visitors to our region for the MotoGP event. Part of the great tradition of the MotoGP is the large number of motorcyclists who ride to the circuit either on their own or as part of an organised group.
“We are asking locals to pay particular attention to the additional maintenance crews and motorcyclists on the roads leading up to the Grand Prix.”
Mr Lawrence said maintenance crews have spent the past couple of weeks inspecting and repairing the main roads to Phillip Island.
“The focus has been on removing loose stones and other hazards from the shoulders of the roads to improve safety for motorcyclists, particularly those travelling in groups,” he said.
“The street sweepers will be operating on the Bass Highway, Phillip Island Road and Back Beach Road.
“We have been mowing and removing litter on the Bass Highway and on the Island focusing on Phillip Island Road, Back Beach Road and Ventnor Road.
“We have been working closely with the organisers of the MotoGP and motorcycling groups to ensure that everyone gets to and from the event safely.”
VicRoads will be monitoring traffic flow and road conditions in the lead up to and throughout the weekend.
Mr Lawrence said from Sunday afternoon on October 22 and until Monday morning the ‘blue line’ treatment will be in place on the Melbourne-bound shoulder to cater for the large volumes of traffic leaving Phillip Island.
“The blue line operation starts at Phillip Island Road, at the intersection with Back Beach Road, continuing through to the Bass Highway via the new Link Road.
“When travelling around the region please allow extra time, pay plenty of attention to other road users and enjoy the spectacle as thousands of bikes travel through our part of the world.”