It's hard to try and convey in words what happened at Swamp Fest this year, yet the feeling is undeniable... When I showed up to the gates in Astatula, Florida late Friday evening, I couldn't help but feel a strong wave of excitement building over the entire course of the night. Which eventually burst into cheers of drunken friends, fireworks and multiple bonfires all across the contest grounds until sunrise. Hundreds of riders gathered and fueled themselves with enough fire, beer and mayhem to last all weekend, surrounded by legends and friends new and old this was a weekend for everyone, for us but most importantly, BMX.
You wouldn't think that this event is an actual contest, the format feels like a free for all in the backyard and riders from any stretch of the globe can come to ride and have their shot at Swamp Fest glory. Saturday was the main day of the event and it was stacked with a variety of obstacles set up all over the course, built to be destroyed! With seven different obstacles on the day, this Saturday was going to truly separate the savages from the audience. Starting at 12 noon with the Scotty Cranmer Obstacle Course and ending near darkness with the Trail Jam, the madness was nonstop! Including the Odyssey Vortex Challenge, Ramp Jam, Subrosa Swamp Rail, Backyard Chasm Jump and The Shadow Coffin, ending with a good old fashioned raging party.
From the mastermind of Trey Jones and with the support of Ronnie Bonner and the whole Shadow/Subrosa family over at Sparky's USA and the countless other working hands from all over the world, this D.I.Y. event would not be possible! To see Swamp Fest flourish this year surely was a spectacle to watch and I consider myself lucky to be able to join. This event is helping increasing the awareness of how bad ass BMX really is, making it more readily available to the world at large. The times of expecting this industry to get better on it's own are over... we need more contests like this one, more involvement to support BMX and the people that care for it and make it available to us today. If you haven't gotten a chance to get into the swamp yet, I suggest you mark your calendar for next year and join us in the muck!