If you're into two wheels, fun events and good times, Åre Bike Festival is a must-do! For five days in July, MTB-riders from all over Sweden come together for a week full of bike races, cool events, trail rides and chilled out laps in the park.
This year the organisers have banged the big drum and put together a schedule so packed with events there is literally something for everyone. Downhill, XC and even gravel riding is on the schedule with everything from guided tours and clinics to kids races and EWS qualifiers.
These are 5 days you simply cannot miss! Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the festival.
Söderström gets wild with Caluori in Åre Bike Park.
What is Åre Bike Festival?
Åre Bike Festival is a MTB festival put on by the local bike club Åre Bergscyklister and is a mix of good times and fun races and events that are designed to suit all kinds of riders: from kids to adults, XC and Gravel riders to Downhill and pump track shredders. Some of their most famous events include the Åre Video Challenge, Midnight riding and Whip It Good.
The festival is in its 11th year and has grown into Scandinavia's biggest gravity-oriented festival. It’s a great opportunity for the Swedish mountain bike scene to get together for a couple of days riding and hanging out and there tends to be a good mix between amateur and professional riders from both Sweden and abroad. 100% good times and unpredictable weather guaranteed.
When is Åre Bike Festival 2021?
The festival is always hosted at the beginning of July and this year is no different. The festival starts on Wednesday the 7th of July and goes on for five days until Sunday the 11th.
Is Åre good for mountain biking?
Åre is one of the biggest MTB resorts in Scandinavia with riding that stretches from full-on Downhill to Enduro, XC, pump track and gravel riding. Åre Bike Park is Scandinavia's biggest bike park with over 35 trails and over 900 meters of descending. They've recently developed their own XC Arena that has manmade trails ranging from easy green to more challenging blues and reds. The perfect entry-level trails if you're new to the sport, have a young family or if you fancy getting more of a workout.
There is also a pump track and dirt jump spot next to the lake as well as many, many trail rides in the local area.
Where can I watch the daily live webcast?
Since 2020 the festival hosts daily live feeds online to highlight happenings, POVs and contest entries from the festival. New for this year is that it’s broadcasted twice a day: 9.00-9.20 and 17.00-17.30. You can watch it over on arebikefestival.com.
In 2020, the festival was purely digital but for 2021 it's back in a more traditional format hosting loads of smaller events, guided tours and clinics. Due to restrictions, certain events that attract larger audiences will be altered to fit current rules.
But fear not - there is a bucket load of fun stuff going on and it’s looking set to be a couple of sick days of riding, competing and chilling.
What are the must-do events for 2021?
Åre Bike Festival could have its biggest lineup of events ever for 2021 with 22 events ranging from family friendly to invite-only. And everything in-between.
Åre Video Challenge is one of Åre Bike Festival’s most famous and internationally renowned events. Five invite-only teams compete by each creating a sick riding video from in and around Åre, with a final showdown of all the edits on Saturday evening. The big show is live-streamed online over on arebikefestival.com with an international jury crowning the 2021 winner and viewers getting the chance to vote for their favourite in the People’s Choice Award. More info.
Watch Martin Söderström's winning edit from 2019:
Ride with the Pros is one of the highlights for many kids (and adults) as you get the chance to ride with some of the professional riders attending the festival. In the past riders like Martin Söderström, Emil Johansson, Max Fredriksson, Robin Wallner, Greg Callaghan, Nicholi Rogatkin have been part of the festival. Who will it be this year? More info.
60 Second Showdown is an opportunity to create your own 60-second edit from your time at the festival and post on Instagram. A winner will be announced on the big Saturday livestream. More info.
Åre 900 Hill Climb could be Sweden’s toughest XC race. Starting from the town square in Åre, the riders have to climb all the way to the top of Åreskutan. A brutal ascent of 900 meters on slippery steep fire roads and singletrack. First one to the top wins! More info.
Whip It Good by Oakley is a chance to show the audience just how sideways you can get with your bike. Send a 14-meter big step-up jump whilst laying down the sickest whip you can and you might just walk away with 1st prize. A must-attend whether you are competing or just watching - good times and sick whips action guaranteed. More info.
Learn how to whip like a pro with Martin Söderström:
How to Whip like a Pro with Martin Söderström
BH-DH is Sweden’s only Downhill race just for women. Whether you are going for the win or simply aim to get down the course, this race is for you. It's aimed at all-level riders with a course that takes you down some of Åre Bike Park’s best trails like Västra Stjärnstigen, Solstigen, Shimano and Downhillbanan. Don’t miss it. More info.
Pump track challenge will see amateurs and pros go head to head at the local pump track to see who comes out victorious. Fun, fast and for all level riders! More info.
Check out Åre Bike Festivals website to get all the info you need on the 22 different events.
What’s new for 2021?
There are plenty of news for this years festival. To check out all of them head over to the website.
1. Åre Enduro: One of the biggest news for 2021 is that the EWS Qualifier Event is back. Scandinavia’s toughest Enduro race with a total of five stages, some up to 20 minutes long, will test even the best of riders. It’s a qualification race to the Enduro World Series and is also part of the newly formed SWE CUP. A big day with lots of sick riding! More info.
2. Kids XCO Eliminator: A brand new “competition” for young riders. The Kids XCO Eliminator is a short, timed race around some of Björnens XC trails. More info.
3. Expo Åre Torg: You will find an extended expo area on Åre Torg with new exciting products from sponsors and partners. The perfect opportunity to try out a new bike or check out the latest merch. The live webcast will also be broadcasted from here. More info.
4. Kids Camp: For all riders aged 7-17 years old. Between 9.30-13.00 from Wednesday to Friday, all kids are welcome to join in for some two-wheeled fun and leave parents at home. More info.
Do I need a festival pass?
Yes, to participate in most of the events you will need a festival pass. There are different kinds of passes: Rider, Visitor, Family. Head over to the website and see which ones suit your needs the best!
Why is Åre Bike Festival important for Swedish mountain biking?
It’s an event that draws both beginners and superstars, kids and grownups and stretches across several different bike disciplines usch as XC, Enduro, Downhill and Slopestyle. Basically, it gathers a big variety for riders that otherwise wouldn’t meet at a single race or venue and creates a sense of community that is important not only for the sense of belonging but in creating a stronger bike community that can continue to push for the growth and popularity of this amazing sport in Sweden.
It’s an event so appreciated that not even snowstorms, cold temperatures and a week of sideways rain can stop the good times (Åre’s weather can be slightly temperamental). Only possible thanks to the commitment from a dedicated bunch of Åre locals, this festival could be the most important event for gravity-oriented mountain biking in Sweden.
Ps. It can also be 25 degrees and sunshine!