Rally Updates Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

In case you were wondering, the 80th anniversary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is on at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Aug. 7-16, 2020!

See the entertainment lineup here!

Learn more about the decision to move forward with the Rally in the Sturgis Rider® News blog article Is Sturgis Canceled?

July 22, 2020 Update:

Watch below to see Buffalo Chip president and founder Rod “Woody” Woodruff tell you how preparations are continuing for this year’s festival.

Here are a few of the things we’re doing to make sure the Rally rolls on for everyone:

  • Signs will be posted at all entry points and gathering areas reminding guests to remain socially distant, encouraging the use of face coverings and explaining recommendations from the CDC to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Conspicuously marked hand sanitizer stations will be available to guests throughout the property
  • Masks will be available for purchase at entry points
  • Sneeze guards will separate employees and guests at designated points of sale
  • Buffalo Chip employees will be masked when in close proximity or directly interacting with guests
  • Guests will be required to have a mask with them when they enter the amphitheater
  • Attendants will be stationed at designated restroom and shower facilities to clean toilet and shower stalls after each use
  • The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing will be increased in public spaces with an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces including, but not limited to, picnic tables, bar tops, chairs, Box Office Reservation check-in counters, flush toilets, portalets, shower sites, ATMs, and all food and beverage locations throughout the campground.


Zip the Chip Zipline will not operate in 2020. 


The Buffalo Chip Campground is over 600 acres in size, meaning campers naturally have the opportunity to spread out and be comfortable during any activity throughout their stay. Additionally, capacity at restricted areas will be controlled.

In 2020, concert amphitheater attendees will enjoy “ride-in” spacing and the ability to view the main stage performances on three jumbotrons as well as on multiple large-screen televisions within and surrounding the amphitheater.

An added benefit is that nearly all of the Buffalo Chip Campground’s 600 acres are outdoors. All entertainment areas and food court seating are located in open air.

There are over 25 outdoor bars on property that allow guests to order drinks and then enjoy them safely distanced away from others.

Small cabanas at Bikini Beach will allow guests to get out of the sun and stay safely separated from those at neighboring cabanas.


Due to its sprawling natural outdoor layout, all guests will have an opportunity to explore the property and seek out the areas where they feel most comfortable. Concerts and entertainment are free with camping.

At the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, you’ll have the option to stay at your campsite or attend the entertainment. You never have to enter the amphitheater, patronize a bar, restaurant, etc. if you choose not to. There is plenty of room to stick with your pod, at your campsites, or leave and go for rides to comfortably social distance.

Those facts and the freedom that comes along with the large amount of open space at the Chip should help guests find comfort with, and make good personal decisions about, their level of social distancing and possible exposure to coronavirus.


The Buffalo Chip is looking forward to providing Rally-goers with the opportunity to get out of the house and safely experience motorcycles, music, freedom and friendship.

Guests will be able to:

  • See the Rally’s top entertainment acts perform.
  • Get a look at amazing motorcycles on display during free daily custom bike shows.
  • Explore the works of the industry’s celebrity builders at the Buffalo Chip’s 11th annual Motorcycles As Art Exhibit, “Heavy Mettle,” curated by Michael Lichter.
  • Ride some of the Black Hills’ most breathtaking roads alongside celebrities and friends old and new during group rides.
  • Get an adrenaline rush watching multiple days and disciplines of racing.
  • See stunt riders go buck wild on big v-twins in front of celebrity judges during the Bell Brawl Stunt Competition.
  • Pay tribute to the men and women of our military at Freedom Field and the AVTT Memorial Wall.
  • Cheer for the ladies of the International Bikini Team as they compete in nightly rounds of the Miss Buffalo Chip Pageant.
  • Compete in off-the-wall contests for the chance to win valuable prizes.
  • Get their ride serviced or upgraded at the brand new Buffalo Chip Garage.
  • Shop an enormous variety of goods and services from vendors.
  • Enjoy totally original and absolutely scrumptious dishes food vendors and onsite eateries.

June 23, 2020 Update:

June 5, 2020 Update:

May 23, 2020 Update:

May 14, 2020 Update:

April 30, 2020 Update:


Woody here, It’s April 30, 2020. It’s only like 93 days till you guys start showing up. And the first thing that so many of you ask when you get here is, “Hey, what’s new this year?” And so, today we put up a new Jumbotron we got, and we were testing it out to make sure it works. And we mounted it right here, right on top of the Top Shelf, and it’s going to illuminate all of the rest of this amphitheater here. So now we have three Jumbotrons in the amphitheater. Not a blind spot any place. You’ll be able to see the cracks in the singers’ teeth, I don’t care where you’re at.

The reason that we’re here today really is that this is video number three. You know, we did video number two about a week ago, and there have been so many positive developments since then, I wanted to share a couple of them with ya.

One of them is Governor Noems “Return to Normal.” I thought I like that title; I thought you might as well. And so yesterday we started getting the reaction almost immediately from the local governments. It was very, very positive. The City of Sturgis, for example, put out its own series of guidelines for people, and they sent along a little checklist for everybody. Again, how open business, how to wash your hands, all that stuff that you know about already. And it is so favorable, there is no question but that our governments just wants this rally to proceed and to be on.

And so, the other thing about what’s going on in the Black Hills. You know, I haven’t been around too much cause we’ve been working so much here getting ready for the rally. But I got a call from our production manager today, and he went out for a ride yesterday, went to four or five different lakes, caught fish at every one of them. So he wanted me to know that the fish are biting. But, more importantly, he said the highways were filled with people from out of state, dragging along fifth-wheels, driving motorcoaches, and just being on vacation period. So I’m real, real optimistic about how the government’s gonna treat us coming into this rally.

In addition to that, our beloved chief at the office says that we have a new bike shop opening up today in downtown Sturgis. I mean, there’s prosperity everywhere around here. People want to get back to business, and it’s just that simple.

And we could go on and on about all the things that is going on here, but 93 days, you come and just see it yourself.

Until then, we want you to continue riding free, taking risks, and then remember, bring those smiling faces right here in about 93 days.

This is Woody.

April 22, 2020 Update:


Woody here again. It’s April 22, 2020. It’s the second video of the series that we told you we were gonna be doing just in order to keep you posted with what’s going on around here. And what’s going on around here is the pages of the calendar are flipping off. A lot of you guys have reservations to be here in 99 more days, and so it’s important to know kinda what’s going on.

So, we wanted to tell you first of all about the City of Sturgis, what they’re up to. They more than once announced that they’re 100 percent in favor of having the Rally activities continue within the city limits of Sturgis just as close to normally as possible. Right? However, they have recently had some concerns expressed to them by members of the public that perhaps they shouldn’t be inviting people to come to the rally because somebody might bring a virus with them, and nobody wants the virus. So, what they’ve decided to do is gather more information, take more input from the public and then roll that over in their meetings and come up with a decision, and they plan to announce that decision somewhere around the middle of June. Ok?

Now, we wanna point out the Buffalo Chip is not within the City of Sturgis. And we are in rural Meade County. The Meade County Commissioners, as far as I know, have made no public expression of where they stand on this thing. We were, and have been, encouraged by state officials to continue making plans for the rally, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. So, we are gonna be ready for you when you get here.

All our permanent employees are on staff and are working right now to put together a whole long list of projects that we have going to make this a really great event for you when you get here. And one of them is that we are putting together a compilation of all the procedures that we need to have we think in order to comply with the CDC guidelines. Every activity that goes on in the Buffalo Chip Campground, there should have a policy and procedure for it that is in compliance with the CDC guidelines. We know we’re gonna to have your cooperation in that, which is going to make life easier for all of us. So we’ll do what we can to make it easy for you, and then we know that you’ll do what you can to keep us in compliance. Right?

The other thing I want to mention is that we have over 1,000 businesses in the United States who had signed on as wanting to provide their goods and their services to bikers that were on their way to or from the Sturgis Rally. Now that was before the virus, of course, and so now what we’re doing is we’re recontacting those people and getting a recommitment. Are you gonna be open in August? Are you still wanting to do that? Because we want to make it as easy as possible for our people—you—as you’re coming to our event to have as many smiles and as good of a time getting here as possible. And so, give us another week or two to get that done also, and we’ll announce that in another video so that you can use that when you’re planning your road trip to get here.

In the meantime, again, this is Woody. On my behalf, and on behalf of the entire crew here, we want you to continue just riding free and calculating your risk and then please bring those smiling, healthy faces right here to the Buffalo Chip to have a great time with us, something we can all tell our grandkids about. Right?

So you stay well. We’ll see you soon.


April 17, 2020 Update:


Woody here from the Buffalo Chip. It is April 17, 2020. And the purpose of this little video is to let you kinda know where we are at the Buffalo Chip, getting ready for our 2020 event. It’s 104 days away. And so, this will be the first—or I intend it to be the very first anyway—of a series of videos just keeping you up to date.

The virus has been the thing that’s on everybody’s mind. In changes our lives it seems like two, three times a day. Right? We’re sick and tired of hearing about it, and we really can’t avoid it.

It’s disturbing what we’ve seen happen to different people, different places because of that, all in the name of safety. Not that the safety and the sickness isn’t serious, cause it certainly is. But the depravation of freedom that has come with it is not something that I welcome particularly.

You’ve been with us for 38 years. The 39th year is coming up. We’ve been peacefully gathering each of those times every year. So, we intend to do it again, and we’re just danged grateful that so many of you want to come and join us as well, get away from that being locked up and staying at home thing.

And in South Dakota here, we got a couple of really good advantages. One of them–she’s the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, and she has enough backbone not to tell the people of South Dakota that they should go lock themselves up and go shut down all the businesses in the state.

SD Governor Kristi Noem on FOX News:

“We’ve had a dramatic impact on the slowing down of the spread, and we’ll be able to handle it with the capacity in our health care systems, and it’s all because of decisions that the people made and the fact that we worked together to do that.

“I had a real host conversation with the people in our state. I told them I took an oath to uphold the constitution of our state of South Dakota. I took an oath when I was in congress, obviously, to uphold the constitution of the United States. I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security, and they don’t have to do that.

“If a leader will take too much power in the time of crisis, that is how we lose our country.”

What she has done is just tell people, you know, these are your vulnerabilities, these are the people who are most vulnerable, the CDC guidelines identifies these people, and this is what should be done for you to protect your customers, your family, your friends, your relatives and yourself.

Get on your motorcycle, ride through the most beautiful riding roads any place on the planet. You’ve heard that from any number of people. And if there’s a definition, or should be a definition of just what social distancing is, it’s riding a motorcycle.

You get done with looking at the Black Hills, you come back to the Buffalo Chip, you’re gonna be hungry. We’ve got a dozen or so food places here. Guess what? Every one of them is take out. You don’t have to get into a crowded area for that.

If you wanna wear a mask, you can. Bring your own. If you don’t, we’ll probably have some here. And we’ll have plenty of hand sanitizer if you want and hand-washing stations around. I mean, we’re gonna be here and make it as safe and secure as possible.

This 600 acres, you can camp six feet apart from the next guy if you want to. We can have another peaceable, very safe gathering right here at the Buffalo Chip in 104 days, and we can’t do that and have a good time, without having our friends, our relatives, that’s you guys, right here. So I mean, you are essential personnel. You need to be here. Right? And you should have a right to be here, so we are looking forward to seeing ya.

But we want you to remember in the meantime, stay away from the subway, right? Then continue like we always say, we want you to ride free and take calculated risks and then bring those smiling and healthy faces right here to the Buffalo Chip in 104 days.

‘Til then, this is Woody, for myself and the crew, we look forward to seeing you very soon. Stay well.


March 16, 2020:

We are continuing to prepare for the highly anticipated 80th anniversary of the Sturgis Rally. Like you, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely.

Experts predict the virus could die down during summer. The rally is in late summer so with only about 140 days before it begins we’re staying on the gas.

New band confirmations will be announced soon so watch your inbox. Like every year, we are looking forward to seeing your smiling faces at the Best Party Anywhere® in August.

Till then, keep riding free and taking risks.

Woody & Crew


2023 Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Pre-Rally Party Jul. 31–Aug. 3
Concerts Aug. 4–Aug. 13

2024 Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Pre-Rally Party Jul. 29–Aug. 1
Concerts Aug. 2–Aug. 11

2025 Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Pre-Rally Party Jul. 28–Jul. 31
Concerts Aug. 1–Aug. 10

Contact Us

Cody Ertman
[email protected]
Office: 605-347-9000