Against All Odds: An Insider’s Look at the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

By Mary Panerio

When news broke in early August that hundreds of thousands of bikers were heading to the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, living rooms across the nation lit up with theories of what this event would look like amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Journalists from every imaginable outlet flocked to the area, pointing their cameras at biker destinations across the Black Hills in order to send a snapshot and a story to viewers at home. But truly portraying this event required more coverage than these outlets could muster.

To give the world a real look at the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, you couldn’t just watch from the wings for a day or two. You needed to immerse yourself in the activities for the whole shebang.

That’s exactly what four motorcycle and music lifestyle photographers did when they rode in and set up campsites at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip® prior to the rally’s official start date.

Being in the middle of the number one Sturgis Motorcycle Rally destination gave them a vantage point unparalleled by the media. They watched the party spring to life, saw friends reunite and got in the middle of some ridiculous shenanigans. All the while, they were armed with the equipment and knowhow to portray each moment in its most authentic form.

Check out the view from behind their lenses as you take an in-depth look at this historic gathering. What you see just might surprise you.

Photos from Aaron Packard

About Aaron C. Packard Productions

Over the years Aaron Packard’s photography has taken numerous turns but his subject has remained people and the human condition. Studio based portraits photographed on Large format film, reportage style documentary projects, nude studies, and clean commercial lifestyle imagery. This combines in an amalgamation of new media and classic processes, of image making, and artistic presentation; a search for balance in contemporary technology based image creation and the traditional craft of photography. He is a problem solver and custom style developer.

Photos from Brad Schneck