The Wild Gypsy Tour Festival is a party within a party for women who are passionate about motorcycles, adventure and camaraderie.
Now in its third year, the Wild Gypsy Tour Festival brings a slate of events to the Sturgis motorcycle rally that are especially curated for females — and for women who don’t ride but do love adventure — in a grown-up “summer camp” setting. Wild Gypsy is the only rally event exclusively for women.
The five-day Wild Gypsy Tour Festival runs through Wednesday at its own private compound at the Buffalo Chip.
The festival will include group rides to Mount Rushmore and other Black Hills destinations, private concerts, classes, and admission to Buffalo Chip concerts, races, a stunt show and other special events. There’s a VIP Gypsy Bazaar Lounge where women can relax and watch movies, get a massage, or take a break in the mindfulness space. For a full list of events and activities and more information, go to wildgypsytour.com/southdakota.
“We cater to the biker culture. What makes Wild Gypsy distinct is the element of sisterhood, the element of being free in who you are and having like-minded women join together,” said Wild Gypsy founder Kelly Yazdi. “It’s a very intimate experience. Everyone gets to meet everyone. We find a lot of women building lifelong friendships here, which is awesome. I call that a success.”
The number of women who own motorcycles has nearly doubled over the past decade. Now, nearly one in five motorcycle owners is female, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s annual survey. The Wild Gypsy Tour Festival was created to complement the Sturgis rally and to give women an entry into the male-dominated motorcycle culture.
“You have more women riders who want to participate in these events, but they don’t have an invitation that caters to their needs,” Yazdi said. “We have created a special, no-pressure space for women riders to feel welcome and comfortable in the motorcycle culture. Our goal in Sturgis is simple: Get women out riding and celebrating motorcycling — together."
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“The Wild Gypsy Tour Festival is catering to the wild woman outdoor lifestyle aesthetic. Even if someone doesn’t ride a motorcycle, there’s so many opportunities that don’t involve motorcycles. We have ziplining and energy healings to draw people out of their shell and meet other like-minded women,” Yazdi said.
Yazdi is a model, actress, event producer and stuntwoman who grew up in Minnesota and started riding motorcycles when she was 18. She now lives in Hawaii but spends several weeks each year in the Black Hills planning the Wild Gypsy Tour Festival. Her Wild Gypsy company also plans events for women motorcyclists in 10 other states and British Columbia.
“I really love coming to South Dakota, and I want all these girls to come and experience all this area has to offer,” she said. “We’re very fortunate to partner with the Buffalo Chip. They see what we’re doing, and they’re supportive of us. There is big support behind women riders, especially here in South Dakota."
“I’ve always been really passionate about motorcycles and being outdoors and sports, but I’m really passionate about living your life with passion and purpose. I love bringing people together and creating community,” Yazdi said.
The community the Wild Gypsy Tour Festival is building now stretches around the world.
“Women keep coming back, and it’s really exciting. We get people from all over the nation making the pilgrimage to Sturgis. We have people from Iceland, Australia and Mexico coming to be part of it. It’s pretty epic. We have the same women returning, and now they’re bringing their friends,” Yazdi said.