It’s been more than a year since the last concert at BMI Indoor Speedway in Versailles.
After hosting Lita Ford in December 2016, owner Steve Barhorst was sidetracked by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a massive collection of vintage motorcycle parts and accessories. However, the venue is returning to live music in 2018 with Warrant with special guest Steelheart on March 10.
“I’ve been doing buyouts like this but this was so much larger,” Barhorst said. “Harry Denune from Dixie Distributing passed away in 2013 and he was one unique individual. There is nobody on the planet like him. He had old buildings in eight or nine states packed full of vintage motorcycle items, mostly for Harley Davidson and Indians.
“Harry had pallets of pistons for 1945 Harleys, still in their World War II crates,” Barhorst continued. “We’re still fumbling through stuff. The quantity is just ridiculous.”
The entire haul of merchandise — including 20,000 rims, 30,000 motorcycle tires and 30,000 vintage helmets all still new in the box — filled 180 semi-trailers, which Barhorst either sold, trashed, warehoused or temporarily stored on the BMI track.
“I’m storing 50 semis full of stuff in Mississippi from a warehouse in Florida,” he said. “We’ve been selling items online but we also had to pitch some leather jackets and helmets that were damaged. I scrapped 12 semi loads of batteries and four semi loads of pistons.
“We weren’t doing any races or concerts while those items were stored on our track,” Barhorst continued. “I’m going to liquidate everything, and I don’t know how many years it will take, but we finally got the track all cleared out.”
The race track reopened on January 16 and there are other concerts on the horizon after Warrant.
While the 1,200-seat venue is currently negotiating a few other acts, Barhorst has also booked the Oak Ridge Boys for May 5 and Queensryche with special guests the Iron Maidens on June 23.
“Live music is a tough market but like anything we’re hoping to make it work,” Barhorst said. “With the facility we need to have multiple things going. Even with racing and concerts, it’s very tough, but taking a year off from booking was actually a good thing. I was able to go to concerts at different venues and see how they did things.
“I really believe the environment at BMI is 100 times better than any place I went,” he added. “We’re still in the experimenting mode but we’re going to give the concerts a go again and see what happens.”