Def Leppard to Perform at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Following Death-Defying Daredevil Stunt

A simultaneous high-wire/bike jump stunt will take place before the band's set

def leppard sturgis 2023 stunt
Blake the Flying Wallenda, Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, and Kyle Ives (courtesy of SpinLab Communications)

    Def Leppard are set to perform at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip as part of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on August 10th, and their set will be immediately preceded by a double-daredevil stunt involving a bike jump over a high-wire act.

    The event is being billed as “The Death Wire Daredevil Spectacular” and will see motorcycle Wall of Death daredevil Kyle Ives jump a motorcycle over Blake the Flying Wallenda, who will attempt one of the longest high-wire walks of his career — “The Death Wire Walk” — over the Sturgis Buffalo Chip amphitheater with no safety netting. If anyone’s capable of such a feat, it’s these two: Blake and Kyle are the descendants of extreme sports godfathers The Flying Wallenda Brothers and the Ives Brothers, respectively.

    “Fifty years ago when my great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, produced a daredevil show with Evel Knievel, the two conceived the plan to execute this stunt, but for some reason they didn’t follow through on it,” explained Blake Wallenda in the press release. “Some speculated that it was too dangerous, but that’s just what these amazing daredevils lived for. I know that I’ll be honoring their memories by my attempt, and that’s why I have decided to go through with this deadly performance without any safety tether or safety netting. Everything about this whole event is unprecedented. But if I’m not scaring myself, I’m not doing my job right.”


    Before Def Leppard take the stage, Blake will face the challenge of walking 475 feet across across the middle of the Buffalo Chip’s main amphitheater on a steel wire that has a diameter of only 5/8 of an inch. When he reaches a spot above Main Street in the Buffalo Chip amphitheater, Kyle Ives, donning the signature jumpsuit worn by the late Robbie Knievel — the son of the legendary Evel Knievel — will take his motorcycle up a specially built ramp in the hopes of flying over Wallenda, without striking him, the wire, or the balance beam. Ives will still have to stick the landing and Blake will have to traverse the remaining distance of about 175 feet.

    The stunt will serve as a tribute to Robbie Knievel, who passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer. In Knievel’s honor, Buffalo Chip founder Rod “Woody” Woodruff has since teamed with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, a non-profit organization with a long history of working with the motorcycling community, for a fundraising effort dubbed Ride for the Kids to The Chip.

    “We’re thrilled to welcome Def Leppard back to The Chip’s main stage,” Woodruff said. “The Death Wire Walk is the kind of performance that will go down in history. When we were thinking of ways to remember Robbie at this year’s event, I knew we had to put together something bold, dangerous and daring enough to celebrate him. This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, and knowing that it will also raise money for kids with cancer ensures that its legacy will live on for years to come.”


    Def Leppard join a Sturgis lineup that already includes ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Limp Bizkit, Styx, and more. Of course, you can also catch Def Leppard on their 2023 world tour with co-headliners Mötley Crüe, with tickets available here.

    Check out a teaser video for the Sturgis performance and stunt below.

    def leppard sturgis stunt