Loosefest makes its return to Malmedy in Belgium from 18 – 21 July at BikePark Ferme Libert. Head honcho, Nico Vink plans to make it bigger and better and is currently at work preparing the course for Loosefest XL 2019.
We caught up with Nico to see what he has planned for 2019 and the XL edition!
When did the first Loosefest event take place, and did you ever expect it to gain as much attention as it has?
The first edition of Loosefest was in 2014. I was never chasing the idea of the event getting loads of attention. At the time I just wanted to build big jumps and ride them with my friends and the Fest Crew.
How much has the course changed since the first event?
The first year we only had the first three hits. It’s only from the second edition that we had the 90 foot step-down and the last hip jump. The first year the last of the three pack was bigger than the first, we could clear the line but it didn’t flow that well. So I made the first and second set bigger and the third a bit smaller. For the next couple years the Jumps have been growing slowly.
How did the riders respond to seeing the line for the first time?
The first year the riders where blown away by the size of the jumps. They still are but everyone knows it’s been ridden before and it flows. Every other year people are looking more comfortable on them.
How did you convince BikePark Ferme Libert to let you build the massive jumps that only get ridden once a year?
The partnership with the Bikepark was actually pretty mellow. I just asked JD if I could build some big jumps on his property and he was super keen. Usually people are keen at first but then when the see the size of the dirt piles and the amount of dirt we need they start to get worried. JD was more like, do you need more dirt? Next year we make it bigger? He’s been super supportive from day one.
You’re running Loosefest XL this year, can you give us any plans you have to make it even bigger than before?
My plan is to build transfer landings on the first and second sets of the line so we can go slightly bigger if we get comfortable on the line. It will be super rad to see people transfer left to right. I’ll also be building a new trick step-up for those who want to get extra wild. This year I also want to involve the spectators more. We’ll do a spectator whip off jam, and a couple extra challenges in the park. I’m also building some new features in the park for everyone to enjoy.
Loosefest XL 2019 Rider List:
Bas van Steenbergen
Gilles De Jong
Tom van Steenbergen
Photos by Eric Palmer.