Nashville Bike Week organizer talks to News 2 for first time

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the first time, the organizer of the Nashville Bike Week spoke to News 2 about the ongoing issues surrounding the 10-day event.

People across the country have spent thousands to attend, but certain aspects of the September event have yet to been finalized.

After months of reaching out to the organizer Mike Axle, whose legal name is Michael Leffingwell, talked to News 2.

He explained he is stepping aside and turning himself in to law enforcement.

RELATED: Nashville Bike Week gives away tickets without venue

He has a lengthy criminal history with multiple convictions for fraud and theft. Leffingwell also has active arrest warrants for probation violations in Maury and Sumner counties.

“I do need to go face these charges and get them past me,” he told News 2 over the phone.

Leffingwell says he plans to serve some time and be back to help with Nashville Bike Week.

“I shouldn’t be gone more than a couple of weeks.”

He also posted an update on YouTube Saturday. Click here to watch the full video.

In the clip, he promised that a mass ordinance permit was filed Friday afternoon with the state, and there would be a new event organizer taking over soon.

According to Leffingwell, this person has worked on motorcycle festivals for 25 years. The name of the new organizer is expected to be announced on May 10.

“These people are going to be taking over. I’m stepping down to go handle my legal matters, you know, so I’ve gotta go take care of a couple personal things, and that gives me time to get back, get boots on the ground before the event,” Leffingwell stated in the video.

Nashville Bike Week has not announced where the event will take place.

Loretta Lynn’s Ranch cut ties with the organization in February, citing that the event organizers had not met financial commitments.

The state ordered Nashville Bike Week to stop selling tickets to the festival last month. Also, organizers decided not to issue any refunds.

“No we are not doing refunds. It’s like a normal concert you know; bands have been paid, staging has been paid all this stuff has been paid for,” he explained.

Leffingwell told us when he gets the permit back, he will announce where the event will be held.