Despite hopes that this perfect-for-TV event would go ahead, Red Bull Rampage 2020 has been cancelled.
As an invitational event with a major sponsor and significant TV coverage, many had thought that Red Bull Rampage would not fall victim to COVID-19 restrictions. However, ongoing travel restrictions across the world, with athletes and their support teams facing potential quarantines in both directions, have put paid to this freeride event which has taken place annually since 2012.
We understand that athletes and organisers have been in touch right up until weeks trying to figure out whether the event could be made to happen, potentially without the usual fans on the ground and party atmosphere. The flurry of recent freeride videos might also suggest that riders were still hoping to attend, strutting their stuff and hoping to make it onto the guest list.
But it’s not to be. The logistical challenges have proven too great, along with the challenges of keeping the venue staff safe.
2019 Defending champion Brandon Semenuk expressed how complications around border crossing echoed by many athletes played into the analysis and decision to cancel. “I was excited to return to Utah this year to defend my title at the 2020 Red Bull Rampage, but as the situation around Covid-19 continues to evolve, I wasn’t confident in my ability to bring my team to the US due to travel restrictions, amongst other logistical challenges.”
Todd Barber, Director of H5 Events said “This year we were especially looking forward to delivering an event that entertained and excited the world about sports again, and we recognise the magnitude of the decision to cancel and the effect it has on the riders and industry. However, the challenges presented by the global health pandemic both in getting riders and teams to the event, and in protecting the health and safety of the riders, staff, and everyone involved including the local Southern Utah community drove our decision making.”
While Todd and the Rampage gang refocus on planning for the 2021 event, the freeriders of the world might now be casting their eyes around for something else to do. Audi Nines is due to be filmed in a couple of weeks time, with building taking place just now, but that’s a cinematic post production affair without live coverage. Crankworx Innsbruck remains on the cards for now, starting September 30th, and perhaps there are enough athletes already on the European continent to make that happen.
From those that haven’t got a stage to perform on, perhaps we’ll see a slew of ‘here’s what I would have done’ videos. Expect an autumn/winter of drone footage, airbag outtakes, and creative camera angles as athletes opt to promote their skills and sponsors in a variety of videos.
Vuvuzela manufacturers, sorry, it’s been a tough year.
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