Updated: The Fest Series Parts Ways with Darkfest

May 16, 2021 at 1:34
by James Smurthwaite  

The Fest Series has announced it is parting ways with Darkfest and that the South African event will no longer be a part of its calendar. It seems that Darkfest will still be going ahead but it will now be Sam Reynolds' own event, rather than something organized in collaboration with the Fest Series.

It seems that the rift has come about due to the amount of filming and media output allowed from Fest events, plus the riders that can be invited. Fest Series released a statement first, saying, "Sam Reynolds has been running the event in a way that is going against the core values Fest stands for," and "Fest series is a lot more than performance-based, It's about personalities, a lifestyle, a certain dedication to the art of riding bikes and building trails, things that are far more important than how many views or likes a video gets on social media."

Sam has responded with his own statement shared with Pinkbike. He said, "Unfortunately for freeride fans, the Fest series has implemented some new rules for their events which included limitations on who we could and couldn't invite, and controlling and limiting media output from the event. Since DarkFest has always been about shredding big jumps, having an inclusive and diverse rider list, and sharing our good times with everyone through social media, we have mutually decided to go our own ways.

"We wish the best for the Fest series and their new direction but assure big air fans we will continue the good times here at DarkFest and can't wait to show you guys what we are up to out here!"

The full statement from the Fest Series is below:

Statement: The Fest Series

We, the Fest Series crew decided to announce and make clear that Darkfest is no longer part of Fest Series. Sam Reynolds has been running the event in a way that is going against the core values Fest stands for. We figured it would be better to part ways.

Fest series is a lot more than performance-based, It's about personalities, a lifestyle, a certain dedication to the art of riding bikes and building trails, things that are far more important than how many views or likes a video gets on social media.

We want Fest Series to represent the art and essence of what we believe riding bikes is all about – and hope it can be an example of realness to future generations and whoever else is into bikes.

Ride on

The Fest Series


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  • 1060 22
 Wow so darkfest is the only fest series event that ever seems to have any kind of media coverage, vlogs, insta posts or basically any hype associated with it, the only event that any general fan is even aware is happening and that allows fans to engage with... but that goes against the grain for a bunch of idealised individualist mountainbikers who believe they are the essence of freeride and too exclusive for the general public
  • 79 10
 well said.well pointed out.your English is mint.Well explained.Thats a good response for Fest ers.
  • 54 238
flag minnkona (May 16, 2021 at 4:37) (Below Threshold)
 Right!! Seems like Trump logic to me.
  • 313 6
 The same bunch of super elite individualists that are then complaining publicly about not getting a frame sponsorship renewal. Hilarious.
  • 443 8
 Sam Sam sam. What were you thinking?Making
well presented ,
well shot
engaging content with
broad appeal ( that I would happyshow my nephews)
without obnoxious music (that aleinates 95% of the audience)
to promote your event ,your brand partners and sponsors

You forgot to promote personalities that weren’t at your event and
Building mtb trails with a digger isn’t real. You should have only used pick axs and sand bags on your old jumps
You look far to presentable to be a real mountain biker. It even looks like you have washed yourself and your clothes in the last month
Your such a sellout. Your YouTube views are more than realmtb vids and you haven’t even had your event yet. If you keep this up you might make $1000 from YouTube
Your not real Sam
Your Un-real
  • 111 20
 not really surprising if you ask me... people arent hard to read if you watch them, these fest guys have looked like a bunch of tools since the start of it, arrogant AF should be their team name.
  • 101 83
 News flash: some people aren't into the whole YouTube and Instagram thing. Some people really aren't into it, to the extent that they want to distance themselves from it. Respect to Vink for doing his own thing and good luck with future events.
  • 12 60
flag stefkrger (May 16, 2021 at 5:32) (Below Threshold)
 Why is everyone mentioning Vink? This is about Sam Reynolds
  • 352 6
 The MTB gatekeepers have spoken?! Fest, if you’re going to make a statement like this where you are obviously bent out of shape about something and publicly calling out a specific individual, you ought to own it and actually explain what’s going on. This vague hogwash “we’re all about keeping it real and not about social media hits” doesn’t explain anything and just makes you look petty.
  • 39 4
 Sooo damn right. I didn’t even now there are different fest series events
  • 65 1
 @Lornholio: all those guys participate in social media though, and the FEST series has a YouTube channel. Not a great look to suddenly impose these arbitrary rules about what can and can’t happen... and seemingly contrary to the image they were trying to cultivate. Mountain biking has always been about doing your own thing.
  • 35 2
 @Lornholio: i think there is a difference between not being into social media and excluding other people because they are into it/need to please their sponsors to keep them
  • 8 11
 @mkbrgs: that would insinuate he even possessed logic.
  • 143 1
 @Lornholio: Fair enough. So if they’re saying Loose Fest is a bro fest just for the core riders satisfaction, F social media and content, why the need to put out a media statement stating that they’re severing ties to Dark Fest? Why not just a group text to the bros?
  • 21 18
 @schwaaa31: Because some people think that Fest is Dark Fest. See the numerous comments like "I didn’t even now there are different fest series events".

@SangamonTaylor: Vink has an Instagram account? Yes it seems he does. Fest likewise. But look at the frequency of those accounts' posts and you should be able to see that they're not really into it in the same way as some others.
  • 75 3
 @Lornholio: vink, andreau, aggy and Loose riders post +100 insta stories nearly daily :-D
  • 17 2
 @BiNARYBiKE: Your comment needs to be voted up, I'm curious as to what Fest was thinking? Basically telling all the 150k people (most of us) who view Sam's content, it's not about views.
  • 8 2
 @Lornholio: We call them "people who just ride bikes" and none of them make a living from it.
  • 49 0
 Sounds like it should have been settled over a beer...
  • 193 2
 Pick a fest and be a dick about it
  • 28 1
 This decision came after a heated sissy-slap fight
  • 379 6
 @festseries we trust you will promptly be deleting all your media accounts and hiding in the woods telling each other how rad you are for not letting other riders hang out with you! You should be embarrassed... sad for our sport and our community.
  • 28 4
 @mysticmountainadventures: that comment can’t be upvoted enough times.
  • 86 3
 So assuming we won’t see the fest founders at rampage, arguably the most commercial event of the year?
  • 37 3
 @stefkrger: Yep, far too cool and incredibly individual to be held down to one particular frame sponsor, or maybe they just didn’t get to have their turn on the digger Sam and C dog have been playing with!

Who is actually in charge of ‘the fest series’ anyway? I thought it was a riders for riders kind of deal not just a large committee of whinging media phobic (but only towards the fest series, not when it comes to their own sponsor led edits) bellends!

Sorry for the rant, I didn’t mean to anger anyone I’m hungry
  • 9 1
 @MastonThrust: The £100,000 + prize purse is the difference haha
  • 16 4

The problem is (probably) that Sam became a mouthpiece for Fest and started making money from it. Clearly this led to tensions.

Not saying I agree with any of that, but it seems easy to see what is going on.

Or perhaps Sam slashed Nico's tires Big Grin
  • 11 1
 @Ronkol: Haha yeah I suppose I didn’t think of it all that way, money is always the root of all problems and disputes.
I like Sam and what him and the guys have done with Darkfest, he’s certainly got a good social media presence off his own back.
I just wonder who’s was the initial vote to cast him out of the ‘crew’? Also does this now mean that they have all fallen out with Sam? But harsh I think but who knows what’s happened behind closed doors (keyboards)?!
  • 32 2
 Also, these guys aren’t flying around the world on their own dime, renting heavy equipment, building and hitting these massive jumps. Not to mention lodging, food etc. Their sponsors are footing most, if not all of it I’d wager to guess. Why would the sponsors want less content?
  • 12 11
 @McArdle: as a fan I'm much more invested in Sam than those guys withno good presentation. On the falling out, it's anyones guess, but I have a hunch it could be quite a bit of bad blood. This is a highrisk sport with little reward and one of them is profiting a lot more than the others. For us it's clear to see why, but I'm pretty sure the riders themselves don't have the distance to judge it that clearcut.

@schwaaa31: You make it sound more that it probably is. It's a beggars life for almost all of them. Nico probably does okayish, Sam perhaps a bit better, but I'm betting it's not past 5 figures a year

Now Sam is profiting from the other riders. This not nefarious, but of course the other riders think "Hey why does Sam make so many clips while we are suposed to be riding for fun? We also take risks, so what's in it for us?".
  • 34 2
 @Ronkol: These riders are sponsored, they get bikes and parts and maybe even a wage to show off their sponsors gear, they should be doing what Sam is doing - it is their job,for them to hide away and just ride bikes for fun because that's the essence of the sports is the ultimate having your cake and eating it
Sam has always made vids of the events he does, from the original big jump Pure Darkness event, to the Fest to the nine knights, always - he knows that his job is to show off his gear - this aint a charity, no matter what the purists think - if they want to ride for free, then get a job and buy your own gear and do what you want -
  • 21 11
 @see-the-world: For most of them this is not their job. This is frame+kit work at best.You are vastly overestimating the money going into these pretty much unkown riders.

Think about it? Do you know the founders? None of them has a media presence worth more than a frame and some kit. Nico makes money as a trailbuilder, but I bet it's a small wage at best (and what if he gets older/injures himself?). Sam is the only one who probably gets a "good" wage (and works his ass of, not jealous at all).

Just like 50:1 is amateurs with one/two pro's, of which only Rat makes a decent living.

Like I said before; If I am organizing community football and one of the other organizers vlogs and makes good money from it, it would most definitely cause rifts. I most certainly wouldn't like it.

In Sam's defense there is plenty (the pickings are small, he works hard, Darkfest is his child), but the one sided vitriol aimed at the Fest guys is IMHO missing the point. This rift was bound to happen.
  • 4 29
flag taijidave (May 16, 2021 at 12:18) (Below Threshold)
 This was always about money.

Between Red Bull paying absolute garbage to Rampage riders, I'm sure Sam is starting to pull some coin, & ppl didn't like how it was being distributed.

SM posts aren't s**t without talent. The Darkfest lineup this year is pretty sad
  • 83 6
 The Fest series was set up as events (effectively the backyard set ups of friends) by riders for riders. No pressure, not for the videos, not for the vlogs, just a safe environment to have fun and ride your bike.
Darkfest is amazing. Fest series is amazing.
But they are different, now darkfest can grow along side audi 9 knights crankworx and other performace events and fest series can stay free of sponsor/media pressures.
Seems like the best thing for both of them.
  • 14 3
 @Kustomango: finally someone gets it!
  • 18 7
 @taijidave: Reynolds, Godziek, Kade, Kaos, Bienvenido, C-Dog...don't think you get any more talented than that.
  • 103 7
 @Kustomango: If a FEST happens in the woods, and noone's around to see it, did the FEST even happen?
  • 5 11
flag SterlingArcher (May 16, 2021 at 13:10) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: we’ve been waiting for you. Popcorn ready Big Grin
  • 39 2
 @Lornholio: I was about to say the same. I know Nico Vink and Sam as we have worked together for some time. They are both very passionated about what they are doing. Nico is one to hang out and he even isn't shy to show your kids some cool tricks, as long as it is private. He doesn't like to be in the spotlight or all over in the "not so social media".
Sam on the other side is used to represent himself, his supporters and to throw content out in a regular basis. Both guys love to shred and I'm sure they still will be seen in a wild train somewhere in chatel or where ever they meet.

Before you guy throw stones and hate, go back and remember why and how the fest series came to life...
These guys needed to escape the treadmill of the current media events, where the events had a sole purpose to create stock images, videos and content for the big money brands and the riders had to build and ride courses they didn't see as save. Because some brands have pushed riders in the past to go out and ride shit events to boost their social media platforms...
There might be some of that flavour still cooking in some of these guys and I can understand both sides.
  • 6 2
 @chriskneeland: You forgot William Robert. Probably the raddest dude out there.
  • 4 1
 @barbarosza: hahaha "your English is mint". So good
  • 3 2
 @Lornholio: WORD all other events like audi9 etc are all commercial events.
  • 1 3
 @x-rider: word...

Check my words below on xgames
  • 10 1
 @Kustomango @x-rider That's all fine with me, I just think they handled the PR situation quite poorly.
  • 5 2
 Fest organisers want to sell media rights and Ren wants to publish on his YouTube channel I guess.
  • 37 3
 @Ronkol: @Ronkol: "Think about it? Do you know the founders? None of them has a media presence worth more than a frame and some kit" ummm.. 4 of the 7 founders are very high profile riders that are certainly earning a good chunk of change, being Andreu Lacondeguy, Graham Agassiz, Kurt Sorge, and Nico Vink. Andrue, Graham and Kurt DEFINITELY make/made a good chunk of money through riding. The other 3 are a mix bag (Makken was on redbull, Trond used to be in the scene (see Seasons, Anti Days of Thunder etc), and Nick has his own career going on, but has been on the scene for a while too).

I agree, that it's not a bad thing necessarily that they have parted ways. The issue here is how they did it. They didn't have to publicly "shame" Sam for him doing his job how he sees fit. I am one of the main builders who maintains our local jump park, and if one of my buddies was vlogging about the build or whatever and making money off it, I wouldn't care. You know why? Because nothing is stopping me from picking up a camera and doing the same. The difference is, I don't want to/ couldn't be bothered to. I don't expect to get paid for doing something voluntarily because I enjoy it. But I would expect to paid if I was going through the effort to bring content to the masses and give exposure to sponsors. If the Fest guys just want to ride jumps with no obligations, they should be buying their own bikes and gear, and paying for every tiny thing involved in making these events/ massive jumps happen.
  • 2 0
 @schwaaa31: or send the pigeons with the message
  • 6 10
flag Ronkol (May 16, 2021 at 15:04) (Below Threshold)
 @leon-forfar: @leon-forfar:

Lacondeguy made some money, but if he made 6 figures in his best years I'll be surprised. Currently a few slopestyle pro's make that money, so sure he had a few good years. If he makes more than five figures now I'll be shocked and amazed.

Graham and Kurt maybe had a decent sandwich for a few years. Right now? It's going to be small change.

Again, the recent revew on pro salary should be an eyeopener. Even the best paid, those on Slopestyle Crankworks had a few guys on there who were doing it for a glorified hobby (aka 4 figures).

You are really overestimating the amount of money they made and how much they have to save for a rainy day (Not everyone has Kirt's longevity).
  • 18 0
 @Ronkol: Lacondeguy was/is one of the biggest names in freeride. I would be surprised if he didn't make 6 figures in his prime with redbull. Have you seen his house/ compound? Kurt also has his own compound at his house. Kurt, Graham, and Andreu are at the top end of what they do. They are doing better than alright. One of my colleagues at work is a filmer for two very popular and successful youtuber/ racers, and I know they are making 6 figures through sponsorships and content production. I agree that those salaries are not sustainable long term though.

The PB stats thing was mostly based around racers, and I think it mentioned that the slopestylers/ freeriders, in general, did better than most racers financially. There are A LOT of insanely talented racers, and I would argue that racers have a more "fragile" career when it is purely based on results. Given how stacked the fields are at races means that any number of the top 30 could probably make waves if luck goes there way. Freeride is a more niche part of the sport for sure, but with that niche comes niche athletes. Those athletes tend to stick around for longer, as they can't necessarily be replaced as easily by the next fastest guy.
  • 13 2
 How dare Sam wanting to make money out of riding…
  • 9 10
 Different take: maybe Sam wanted to invite, disinvite riders based on social media following? Would explain the use of the word “performance”.
  • 3 1
 @mkbrgs: Putting the moron in oxymoron, lol
  • 22 2
 @Mini-Pinner: I see it as Sam wanted to invite up-and-coming, relatively unknown riders, to give them exposure and/or opportunity to join in. The FEST boys come across as exclusive and entitled - friends only kind of thing. Disappointed with FEST and this statement, hypocrites.
  • 6 1
 @Ronkol: Must be said though. There is literally nothing stopping all the other riders strapping a gopro to their helmet and after the run chatting to their own camera and sticking it up on youtube.
  • 20 20
 I think a lot of people are missing the point that the Fest guys set up their own events themselves, and did all the building themselves, it isn't like they are trying to keep something that should be in the public domain from people, it's entirely their thing to do with as they wish. The point kind of is that it's an exclusive event that isn't just there for clout chasing, and also isn't going to result in sponsor hungry kooks trying to trick massive jumps and ending up in hospital.

In a sport like this it's nearly impossible to keep control of any kind of event in terms of invite lists as in the end everyone is a friend of a friend of a friend, you're always going to end up with splits when it all gets a bit big and someone wants to do something different. Got chatting with a couple of the fest guys a few years ago at a park and did some laps with them, just seem like a pretty tight group of guys who whilst very friendly, have their own thing going on.

Why do so many people in this day and age think everything should be open to them just because they say so? These guys built their own series up from the ground, it's for them to ride, what harm is that doing anyone else?
  • 13 2
 @Lornholio: so why do all the people behind the fest series have IG accounts they post to reasonably frequently. And why do I see loads of "Fest" edits online? And how are they sponsored if they choose to shun publicity and social media, what are their sponsors getting in return?
  • 7 6
 @usmbc-co-uk: Don't know pal. Ask them. From what I looked up, Fest and Vink post very sporadically. Seems like they want the bare minimum exposure to be able to get the gear they need and the money to build big jumps to hit with their friends, rather than milking as much as they can from it. The split seems like the best thing for everyone.
  • 8 2
 The mtb scene and industry is getting pretty DB laden lately so what do you expect on both sides
  • 5 0
 @x-rider: I get what you're saying and it's good to step back from the drama! I just think that the split was managed poorly by the Fest statement, which is what caused all this. If there had been some form of bland announcement, or joint statement from all parties, nobody would have really cared that much. Instead they've turned the whole thing into a reality TV episode... Sad really, given that they were / are presumably all mates.
  • 4 0
 Somebody got really jealous that's why.
  • 8 6
 Reynolds pimps from the heart. He’s on the Matt Jones train to riches and Lambos
  • 4 1
 @Lornholio: yup. Many dont want the commercialization of it all.
Low pro camp outs/sessions without all the media requirements. Then you gta hire security/insurance/permits..etc
  • 9 1
 @Y12Sentinel: Lately? Freeride as always been overwhelmingly populated by Douchbags...
  • 10 0
 @chriskneeland: “I just backied an 80ft double last week, no one saw it. But I definitely did it”
  • 8 26
flag deco1 FL (May 17, 2021 at 14:23) (Below Threshold)
 @iainmac-1: I highly doubt that, I can’t believe just because someone starts up a moderately successful YouTube channel, (not quite BC POV levels who lives in his van but he’ll get there one day) people on here think Reynolds is suddenly not completely washed up. Reynolds wouldn’t want to invite anyone up and coming for the risk that they might take a tiny piece of his YouTube revenue away from him (were literally talking like $400 here because that’s how much he would be making per video at the absolute top rate he would be getting, would probably be more like $150 really)

I would say Reynolds would have wanted to invite his buddy and absolute lamest guy in the scene Matt Jones. So I say good on Vink and co. for putting a stop to that and not letting that arrogant family money rich kid try and take the tiny YouTube profits he makes off there hard work.

I think some of the commentators on Pinkbike here have to understand that some people (ie FEST guys) don’t want to sell out freeride and their sport for maybe $2000 YouTube money. (And please don’t say it’s more then that because if you do you obviously have no idea how it works).
  • 5 1

There’s already more riders there who are on the “not welcome” list.
  • 3 0
 @Kustomango: is the only one who has the appropriate take on the situation. Everyone scroll till you find his comment and read it
  • 4 2
 @Heeven: it’s a good comment. I think the crybaby press release was hot headed and ill advised. That’s all. Not the outcome that’s a problem, more just the immature way it was handled.
  • 7 8
 I think it's more that the fest guys want to focus on riding their bikes and not trip over a guy and his media entourage clamouring all over the jumps and taking selfies.

Just cause you are down with vlogs and unbridled media coverage/promotion doesn't mean that everyone else is.

Definitely agree their press release could have been better worded, but English is not their first language and guaranteed they didn't intend to sound as butthurt as they came across.
  • 7 16
flag skimtb1 FL (May 18, 2021 at 7:42) (Below Threshold)

You are clearly a cheesy punter and like cheesy shit. For those of us who aren't cheesy punters, Sam Reynold's content is a bit cringy. Obviously there's a place for him to keep doing that in this industry, but fest series is not that place.
  • 5 2
 Hey guys I think I figured out who put out that press release ^
  • 2 0
 @matteodoodyfoody: lol apparetly yes there is something stopping them. "We, the Fest Series crew"
  • 5 14
flag skimtb1 FL (May 18, 2021 at 8:46) (Below Threshold)

Never thought Sterling Archer would be the one to cower down on his knees and suckle big MTB's teat. GFTO with your fancy sunglass wearing, remy metailler watching, enduro bike riding, consumer-whore tendencies
  • 11 4
 @skimtb1: who the f#&k are you? not only are you gatekeeping PinkBike forums on people with opinions, you're like the most core mtb'er out there too, right? Zero consumer-whore tendencies right? I'll bet you're the best rider out there who doesn't have a bike cause f*ck buying a bike. Sam Reynolds is literally on another continent building huge jumps with his bare hands because he's that good at riding a bike, and your like "his content is cringy"?? So again, I ask, "who the fu#&k are you?" Wake up bro. Mind you, your response to Darkfest being kicked from the Fest Series isn't surprising. Gatekeepers like you aren't just everything that's wrong with mountain biking, you're everything that wrong with this planet. Now go stomp A-Line and look down on everyone who can't, or your non-consumer owned core bike... clown
  • 9 14
flag skimtb1 FL (May 18, 2021 at 10:23) (Below Threshold)

I actually am the most core mtb'er to ever exist. I own one mountain bike, it's a DH bike, and it is pretty damn nice because I'm a badass rider and need good shit. Hands down I build the the most badass trails, and there is no way you could hold a candle to me as a rider or as a trail builder. Our local scene is the reason Alberta riders like yourself swarm to other riding locales and f*ck our scene's up.

Sam Reynolds is a sick rider and super nice guy (I've met him). But I find the whole Youtube vlog promotion thing cringy. He's good at presenting and youtube'ing and it clearly and his content obviously resonates with a lot of mountain bikers. I'm sure is sponsors are super happy with him. But the Fest series is not about selling bikes or energy drinks... Each and every one of the Fest guys do marketing and promotion individually for their own sponsors. But through Fest, they come together and create a riding experience exactly the way they want it for themselves, not for their sponsors, and not for the Pinkbike comments section. They market Fest events just enough to cover the bills of digging & hosting. You can't fault them for wanting to create their own events and not have a god damn media circus on every f*cking landing.

Yes, their press release sucked and came across as petty, but they don't have a media coordinator and english is not their first language. I can guarantee that they didn't mean to come across the way that they did.
  • 7 4
 @skimtb1: "But the Fest series is not about selling bikes or energy drinks"

I couldn't tell by all the energy drink logos on all their helmets in every fest video.

" but they don't have a media coordinator and english is not their first language. I can guarantee that they didn't mean to come across the way that they did."

Every sentence in every paragraph was a douchey diss to Sam and Darkfest. That's a lot of mistakes to blame on a language barrier.
  • 5 2
 @skimtb1: who hurt you? Show me on this doll where I touched you
  • 3 9
flag skimtb1 FL (May 18, 2021 at 10:54) (Below Threshold)

Several of them are certainly sponsored by energy drinks, but again, the Fest series events aren't meant to be brand showcases of the host rider's sponsors. They are meant to be the "anti event" low key, rider-focused, good friends, good times, no pressure, no industry or media plebs. But when Monster energy drink head honcho's show up to a Fest event to bro out and blow off some steam, and then go and host a $10,000 dinner but don't invite the riders, that is going to piss some people off.

I imagine there is more going on behind the scenes... Maybe the Fest guys are pissed off and did mean it as a diss to Sam? I doubt it, but there are two sides to everything...
  • 2 8
flag skimtb1 FL (May 18, 2021 at 10:59) (Below Threshold)

Someone already used that line in this comments section brah.

Back to the industry teat!

Go! Git on wit' ya!
  • 6 2
 @skimtb1: when did you fake internet tough guys become so emo and wussy. This is hilarious!
  • 7 2
 @skimtb1: What's the opening sponsor on this video?


or this one


Not really making a lot of sense here.
  • 5 0
 Guys please....stop festering them.
  • 2 6
flag skimtb1 FL (May 18, 2021 at 12:25) (Below Threshold)

Your banter is not in the same league as the real Sterling Archer.

Back to feeding indiscriminately from the industry teat for you!
  • 2 5

Ya there is some support there but that doesn't mean they need to bend over backwards to accommodate the corporate interests of an occasional event sponsor.
  • 7 0
 @skimtb1: Alberta riders f*ck your scene up? Ok lol. What's that saying, 'don't bite the hand that...' Anyways, clearly you're a child. You might be good at riding bikes or building trails, or whatever, but I'm not buying it. You aren't the most core, and no you aren't better at riding than I am. Or maybe you are. in fact, yes, ok, you are. Honestly who gives a shit. What matters here is that reading your opinion is an adventure in missing the point. The Fest Series brought Pure Darkness in. And the founders of the Fest Series can be observed on the Pure Darkness darkumentary YouTube found here www.fest-series.com/darkfest-1 as being blown away at the size at magnitude of it... meaning, Sam Reynolds and his idea of what Pure Darkness is, was the launching point for the Fest series and it's mantra "With jumps of magnitude that have never been seen before, features that don't exist anywhere else on earth, trails that have been meticulously designed by the world’s top riders and courses have been painstakingly constructed to give riders total and absolute freedom" that was originally Sam and his friends idea.

Simply, your arguments are both ignorant and tone deaf. Much like your claims of being the more core mtb'er ever...
  • 7 9

ahhh yes, the classic Albertan strawman: "We fuel Canada's economy, therefore you need to tolerate how shitty we collectively are as a province"

I am not a child, but yes I'm being childish in arguing with strangers on the internet about the fall out surrounding a mountain biking jumping festival. Might as well double down on my childishness. Here is a poem that I wrote for you:

One thing is clear, you suck and I do not,
Albertans suck.
Alberta's got potential,
But you and your bro's don't feel compelled to pickup a shovel,
It's easier to swarm to BC,
And f*ck up our scene,
For your instagram.

Your flannel shjrt sucks,
Your white Oakley's suck,
Your attitude sucks,
Canada owes you nothing.

I stand by what I said. Fair play to Fest for distancing themselves from the cheesy vlog media hype machine known as Darkfest. I think you must be taking bong rips out of Sam Reynold's Youtube channel as you clearly have soooo much bro hype sooo far down your throat... Too bad things shook out the way they did between Fest and Reynolds though.
  • 4 2
 @skimtb1: I checked out your profile. Have you ever wondered if your personality is why you have to film yourself and can't get anyone to hold the camera on you?
  • 2 9
flag skimtb1 FL (May 19, 2021 at 10:55) (Below Threshold)
 @johncee: I tried to get some Alberta bro's to hold the gopro for me since I built every trail were blowing up, but they were too busy chatting about how sick the new the new Remy Metailler youtube is, and and littering their cans on the shuttle road whilst shuttling their enduro bikes!
  • 5 2
 @skimtb1: ah man that's heartbreaking. Don't worry though, some day you will be blessed by the Gods of freeride and they will not invite you anywhere either.
  • 2 6
flag skimtb1 FL (May 19, 2021 at 12:04) (Below Threshold)
 @johncee: Here's a tip, why not for your next mountain bike holiday, you head east to Saskatchewan instead of west to BC? I hear there is a sick new teeter totter in Saskatoon. Might as well diversify and see what the great wide world has to offer! Obviously building your own scene in Alberta is off the table as the only two conceivable options in the whole of the province (Moose & Baseline) already have trail networks.
  • 4 1
 @skimtb1: I feel you're writing these posts... While looking at yourself flexing your pectoral muscles, wearing Pitt Viper shades, blasting Nu Metal from early 2000, while violently masturbating....

As a 41 year mtb veteran of BC..... skimtb1 does not represent the popular opinion of us "real core'mtber's".... Just sayin'
  • 2 3

I'm older school than you Jake and ten times as core! Your opinion is moot anyways as you're far enough west to be sufficiently separated from the full summertime effect of the "Red Tide".
  • 3 2
 @skimtb1: Meh.... I know where my roots in this provinces cycling history run.... I was born on the North Shore... My family has been part of the North Shore cycling community since the 50's...... I grew up influenced by my uncles and their friends.... Who are literally the legends of North Shore Freeride.... I was riding Seymour Mountain on janked out bikes before the Berlin wall fell... My mother has a giant photo of me in a snuggly, as she bombing down a fire road on Cypress Mountain, on a modded cruiser, in 1978..... Bruh... was literally born doing this shit... So again tell me again how hard-core you are...

Also I live on the island.... Everyone here is from Alberta.... They are the only ones who can afford to live here.... So.....
  • 2 1

This is a digression... We are both OG as f*ck. The fact of the matter is that Albertan mountain bike vlogging enthusiasts are the worst
  • 1 1
 @Lornholio: it's one thing to not like but completely another to say someone can't work with you because he likes youtube.
  • 2 0
 Well said.
  • 1 1
 @Ronkol: good observations and assumptions more than not most are probably wrong. please note that this lack of income IS ALWAYS a choice. this is a genre of the sport that provides nothing to the industry other than appearance. keeping it almost locked away just makes it even more pointless. if they want to be 'real' then fair enough, but don't make SM accounts and websites about it then and crack on if they want to be Z-boys of MTB.
  • 3 0
 "this is a genre of the sport that provides nothing to the industry other than appearance" People pushing the sport to the absolute limit is bad because the guys from marketing can't figure out how it will help their bottom line. You must be fun at parties, MTB has become such a corporate shitfest again over the last few years that it's a real welcome change to see some folks riding for fun. All given these guys are being children about it, but on both sides.
  • 261 16
 The Art of Riding....wtf... Vink and co. Should please erase their insta accounts and quit all sponsoring contracts if they wanna be real. Real and poor...
  • 10 92
flag xabixubi (May 16, 2021 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 Poor in the eyes of who? in terms of what?
  • 80 10
 @xabixubi: oh just shut up
  • 20 1
 Core is poor, brother. Core is poor.
  • 21 1
 This whole thing is stupid. If you want to keep this pure, then follow Fight Club rules, don’t post about it on the socials, don’t invite professional photographers and videographers, and no half-assed stories on Pinkbike. I can respect a bunch of dudes hanging for the weekend, eating, drinking, and sending it for the love of the sport. It that actually happens. And let’s not call this “trail building”. Your making piles of dirt with machines and ramping them. It’s about as sustainable as an arena Supercross track. .
  • 7 1
 "It's about personalities, a lifestyle, a certain dedication to the art of riding bikes and building trails, things that are far more important than how many views or likes a video gets on Social media."

Then what is the point of having an organization at all? Sounds like you guys would like to get back to being unsponsored, unorganized, and unknown dudes riding their bikes on their own terms. Sounds like all you want is an exclusive riding club, which at this point we would all like to not hear anything about.
  • 5 1
 @johncee: In other sports like Snowboarding, BMX, Skating etc the underground escene is huge. A lot of riders remain in "silence" doing their thing until they drop a unique and magical Videopart.

They are sponsored, they organize the coolest jams, but often not known by everyone, only by likeminded people.

I think this is the direction they are going.
  • 4 0
 @xabixubi: That makes sense, I for one would be totally thrilled to only see unique and magical videoparts from the "Fest Crew." It seems they've been doing precious nothing for a long time now, which is super cool. If sponsors are ok with that or if they are ok losing thier sponsors by all means let them do it. Happy to also have Vink not on the judging panel at Rampage too, I mean he has his art to protect... why sully that with such a media based event?
  • 252 9
 There are other fest events? I only follow this one due to Sam promoting it on his YouTube. Great stuff.
  • 23 2
 This. x 1000
  • 43 1
 Agreed, I thought dark fest was the only one left. What happened to all the others?
  • 43 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I could never understand what the Fest series... I thought it WAS Darkfest?
  • 33 1
 Pretty sure there's another one in Belgium, can't remember the name however. Must be quite real then.
  • 11 1
 @Muckal: LooseFest in Belgium, Black Sage(?) Fest in Oregon, Cruz Fest (not sure if it still happens?) in Santa Cruz.

Might be others but those are the ones I can name.
  • 2 0
  • 8 1
 @dolface: They ran HuckFest in Kamloops once or twice, but aside from big piles of grown over dirt there's nothing left
  • 6 0
 Vink had two Fests, there’s Makkens hillbilly huckfest that I think started it all then you had Santa Cruz’s, Kamloops and the one in Revy that Sorge had.
  • 2 0
 @Muckal: it's called Mud Fest!
  • 24 2
 I literally had NO IDEA there were other fest events. I just waited each year for Dark Fest. This might be the biggest self-own in mountain biking ever.
  • 35 2

1) Hoffest hosted by Kurt Sorge in Retallack / Nelson.
2) Aggy’s Reunion in Kamloops
3) Cruz Fest in Santacruz
4) Black Sage in Oregon
4) Loosefest in Belgium
5) Darkfest in South Africa
6) Huckfest hosted by Makken
7) Royal fest hosted by Vink.

There was never a year where all of the stops were hosted. Some like Aggy’s Reunion have come and since gone
  • 223 3
 "We want Fest Series to represent the art and essence of what we believe riding bikes is all about – and hope it can be an example of realness to future generations and whoever else is into bikes"

What does this even mean? Sam Reynolds is pouring a lot of time and effort into building the jumps and organizing an amazing event. Seems pretty real to me. I, for one, love the behind the scene stuff he shares on Youtube. It is just as entertaining and fun to see all the work it takes to pull as the actual riding, and when they finally show up to send I'm actually a bit invested.

If you want to have your ultra secret elite real/pure/whatever free ride event, that's cool. But this press release seems like some jealous ex shit. Spare us the drama.
  • 26 2
 The art and essence of being super exclusive and covert, I guess. Nothing against Sam's great presentation, but it wouldn't take much to just remind everyone that the rest of fest is still and actual thing, just a couple few posts during the events showing what it's all about.

But I guess to them it's all about limiting who can ride and pretending the rest of the world doesn't deserve to even know about it. Which is really not the "essence" of riding bikes as far as the rest of the world is concerned.So I guess at least they're consistent in keeping the event and their beliefs completely separate from the rest of the riding community.
  • 16 1
 Too many fresh hair cuts and not enough glam rock
  • 26 1
 Too bad WAKI FEST got cancelled.
  • 13 2
 It doesn't mean anything, the FEST series is just a bunch of assclowns who think they're more special, more better.
  • 191 2
 Ironic the Fest series adn its riders originally broke away from the FMBA and the FMB due to all the rules and structure of it., only to become the same thing and do the same things, Enforcing rules of who can ride, what you can do.

Freeride isn't FREE!

  • 8 0
  • 11 2
 I think remember the reason Fest started was not because of the rules of other events, but it was because riders were tired of risking their lives, with usually no pay, sometimes minimal media coverage, meanwhile the event organizers and sponsor unrelated to many of the riders made a whole lot of money and received all the exposure. I remember Fest set up their events, especially the media coverage, in a way that benefited all riders the most, and not some media company, sponsor, organizer, etc. Also I think typo the Fest events invite a whole lot of new faces all the time.
  • 16 1
 @vesania: so, now they expect the riders to risk their lifes with even less media coverage?
  • 11 3
 I have been to darkfest here. Every year its the same people. It is even on private land with some awesome trails, but no one is allowed access. There is even a clique 'ness in the crowd as well. Nice event but an awkward atmosphere.
  • 2 2
 Interesting, I thought they broke away because the jumps were too small. I should stop listening to Andreau...
  • 3 0
 @vesania: you know... its a bit rich then that Vink is a Rampage judge then. Thats about as sell-out as you can get.
  • 172 2
 Whenever I build my 30m long jumps for my invite-only annual freeride event at a private non-disclosed location. I too am deeply concerned about the realness and reliability of the art form. Just like everybody else.
  • 166 4
 You have to assume the Fest organizers are reading these comments. They care enough to make a press release, so they care enough to see how it worked out for them. Are they in shock about it, surprised that nobody agrees with them, or are they in denial, lying to themselves and saying that Sam somehow turned the community against them. Either way, they utterly failed to read the room, and probably set their careers back significantly.
  • 48 2
 100% on all accounts lmao
  • 41 3
 They’ll just make more excuses about why the fans don’t understand and we’re just a bunch of amateurs anyway so our opinion doesn’t matter. Even though their one job is to attract fans.

It’s like being a really shitty chef and telling people to f*ck off when they complain about your food.
  • 40 1
 @SterlingArcher: or like a good chef, who tells the customers he has the best food, but doesn‘t give them any
  • 40 1
 @Stokedonthis: no soup for you
  • 141 2
  • 9 1
  • 31 1
 Also. JasonMomoapoppingoutadeckchairwithonehand.gif
  • 128 4
 It's a shame that DarkFest didn't match your corporate image, Fest Series Corp.
  • 130 7
 Fest series you dick heads! Airing your dirty laundry in public and not saying who’s wearing your pants. Good luck Sam. Great work dude. f*ck em.
  • 7 4
 I love the total lack of names, but they've always been gatekeeping on who is a "Founder" and who is a "Host" and who is just a lowly athlete. So lets assume its the "Founders" that are being the dick heads:

MAKKEN: So cool he needs a single name - MADS HAUGEN
  • 103 4
 This is everything that is wrong with action sports. Big up Sam for making wide appeal engaging content. It's the same as denouncing bands when they become popular.
  • 87 3
 What I once considered the best thing in MTB just became the wackest. Sam Reynolds and Pure Darkness never needed FEST to begin with. It was already the best freeride fest in the sport.
  • 32 2
 This. I've seen like 3 clips total from loosefest in the last three years of a four person train, and that's about it. They're severely out of touch to think it's a bad thing that dark is the most widely recognized fest series. They need like 5 more Sam Reynolds on their team.
  • 78 1
 Is “performance based” in reference to the level of tricks? Or how well it performs in the media? It seems like anyone who would release a legal-esque statement like that clearly has no idea what the spirit of free ride is all about. If I’m wrong, please fill me in.
  • 43 0
 Sounds like ego is towing some brothers to Downerfest
  • 78 1
 Surely one of dumbest decisions i have seen in this 2021.
  • 73 0
 When FEST becomes the governing body they were running from. Ridiculous, I feel sorry for the riders/friends that are caught up in the mess.
  • 14 0
 My thoughts exactly. At some point it seems we´re all bound to become the very thing we hate with so much passion.
I loved the idea of FEST series, but this is the polar opposite of what got me stoked on the concept when it was first shown to the public.
  • 6 0
 @Loki87: you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain
  • 71 1
 I think Sam Reynolds is doing a great job.
  • 64 0
 So the summary seems to be…
Darkfest is successful and won’t let us control it so we will put out a PR statement written / approved by someone who obviously feels wronged. Opposed to Sams statement that reads professionalism through and through.
Sam and now “his event” will garner YT views, coverage and sponsorship deals. I wish the fest series the best and hope the organisers learn from this.
  • 65 1
 I always knew Darkfest was still a thing... Thought Fest series was done long ago...

Wonder which one is doing it right ?
  • 57 2
 Rumour has it the darkfest guys also listen to hip hop that came out after 96' and Metallica albums after And Justice.
  • 4 0
 Thanks for the great laugh.
  • 12 0
 @learningcycles: no worries. Having a laugh is a core value of mine.
  • 2 0
  • 47 0
 sounds like its about money
  • 44 1
 Yes, I read this as them basically calling Sam a sellout (You-tube count). Funny, I thought Darkfest was already Sam's own thing.
  • 27 1
 @tremeer023: I think thier statement was worded as harshly as it was and put out before his to get ahead of it and make him look bad before what really happened came out and made them look bad. Now that his statement is out there also it looks like Fest Corp wanted to sell out media wise and he wanted to keep it available to everyone. Nothing like a company trashing a guys reputation because he refused to sell out.
  • 8 1
 @grldm3: the statement they send to vital mtb sounds even worse …
  • 8 1

Considering Sam's prolific messaging it's not hard to see this made some tensions, especially since it remains to be seen if Sam split that pie (which probably isn't that big).

I kinda understand the other riders/diggers/organizers are annoyed when someone starts to profit disproportionally. But if this is the solution? The messaging is not really helping them here (as is shown by the reactions here).
  • 18 0
 @Ronkol: Well Sam is clearly putting in the work (filming vlogs, letting the world see what goes into these events, and inviting up and comers) that the other Fest dudes weren't. Why shouldn't he profit more?
  • 12 30
flag Ronkol (May 16, 2021 at 11:36) (Below Threshold)

If Lacondeguy does a Tsunami Backflip and crashes it's hits on Sam's channel and a lost season for Lacondeguy.

If Nico organizes Loose and Sam then makes edits about it, I am sure it's Sam who is getting the lon's share of that clip (if not all). Your (correct) point is that if Sam wouldn't film it no bank would be made at all, but looking from the riders point I actually see the problem.

Think about it:
If I organize a series of Community football matches and one of the other organizers starts to vlog and market it, I sure as hell would have a problem, even if he works the hardest. I assume most people would be scratching their heads about this and either would walk away or want to be paid.
  • 20 2
 @Ronkol: How much do you think is earnt from YouTube - this is Sam doing his Job, promoting events and, more importantly, the sponsors, the very people that allow these people to do their job of riding bikes and having fun, youtube,!!!
  • 10 20
flag Ronkol (May 16, 2021 at 12:02) (Below Threshold)
 @see-the-world: Fest existed before youtube.

And your notion that these are pro's making a living riding these events is wrong. Most of them get peanuts if that. Sam is actually the odd one out in being able to make a decent living from this niche.

I am emphatically NOT Anti-Sam. But if I look from the eyes of the others I understand exactly why some are annoyed (if not downright angry). It's very onesided here on Pinkbike how the Fest guys are the bad guys, but that's way too easy.
  • 10 0
 is anyone at these events not allowed to film and post. is sam or fest regulating the amount of media present. if riders are just there to promote themselves and the scene, its up to everyone either he does the work or not. if its regulated, its like any redbull event, right
  • 65 2
 @Ronkol: Sam isn't some paparazzi guy looking to get the scoop on who goes down or not at these events. That's not what it's about. Sam broke his wrist after building AND testing some of the fest jumps. Any of them can go down. Only a few of the "core" dudes have actually made the effort to build and organize their own events, and even then, theres only 1-2 others that happen annually like Dark Fest. It really shouldn't matter if one of the main riders wants to document what happens behind the scenes, especially at their own event.

The original point of the Fest series was to get away from structured contests as they didn't suit these guy's riding styles and strengths, and to host jam style sessions by the riders for the riders. In other words, it's about having fun on bikes doing what they choose to do. Sam isn't making people do things they don't want to just for the camera. He is just giving the world a glimpse into the work, dedication, and fun that is had at these events. "Since DarkFest has always been about shredding big jumps, having an inclusive and diverse rider list, and sharing our good times with everyone through social media" It sounds like the Fest guys are the ones who have forgotten the "core values" of the Fest series.

The way I see it, he just wants us normal people to be able to feel like they are a part of the experience, and to bring more eyes to what goes down and is possible on bikes at these events. Without viewership, they wouldn't be able to be doing ANY fest series full stop. Clearly, these guys don't have to film and create content if they don't want to, but to shit on another guy for doing a) something he enjoys b) getting paid more for putting in the work to create content, and c) completely throwing him under the bus from the safety of anonymity (granted we all know who these guys are, but none of them are putting their names publicly behind this statement). I obviously am a fan of all the main Fest guys riding, they're all absolute animals, but this makes them come across as super entitled and "snobby" (not to mention how hypocritical their statement is when you look at the Fest website). Oh you want to be able to just build massive jumps, just have fun all day with your buddies of your choice only without having to have any proper coverage of the event while getting paid? Yeah wouldn't that be nice. All of us on Pinkbike would be professional riders if that was the case.

The whole thing has been handled in an unprofessional, childish and unnecessary way. Sam's response comes across as genuine, without the same level of snark. Good on him for defending himself in a classy way.
  • 6 0
That sums up about everything that needs to be said about the whole situation.
  • 2 0
 @leon-forfar: I hope they read your comment
  • 1 1
"We, the Fest Series crew decided to announce and make clear that Darkfest is no longer part of Fest Series. Sam Reynolds lost track of the essence of Fest Series and has been running the event in a way that is going against the core values Fest stands for. We figured it would be better to part ways.

Fest series is a lot more then performance based, Its about personalities, a lifestyle, a certain dedication to the art of riding bikes and building trails, things that are far more important than how much views or likes a video gets on Social media.
We want Fest Series to represent the art and essence of what we believe riding bikes is all about – and hope it can be an example of realness to the future generations and whoever else is into bikes.

Ride on

The Fest Series"
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: I second that! Well said, every bit of it.
  • 46 2
 Sounds like the same guys who robbed Brendog
  • 30 2
 Yeah, that year when Brendog got robbed, I heard a couple insiders complain that rampage had become a bro-fest of fest-bros. Wasn’t Nico Vink a judge that year?
  • 14 1
 @sriracha: yes he's a judge at rampage but red bull is the definition of 'trve' and 'core' if you didnt already know that ;-)
  • 4 0
 @sriracha: that couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Sorge being a three-time winner though. Definitely not, Bro.
  • 40 1
 What a dick statement from the Fest Series calling out Sam after all the work and publicity the guy has brought to it. Seems it will be better off with Sam fully at the helm.
  • 7 33
flag Ronkol (May 16, 2021 at 11:10) (Below Threshold)
 Yes, but how much of it is Sam's work and how much is it because of the other riders and organizers? Do these others get a fair share? Or more important, do they feel they get a fair share?

I think Nico doesn't want to become a venue for Sam to make a living.

And no, I'm not slamming Sam, I fully know how hard it is to make a living as a pro.
  • 13 2
 @Ronkol: If they want to make more oney, why don't they? If he's making coin from YouTube, filming all day - grafting instead of chillaxing - and making money off it, and they want more money, why don't they do it too?
  • 21 2
 @Ronkol: Are you dense? Pure Darkness existed long before FEST coopted it. Sam isn't making money of the FEST name, contrary to that the FEST series was only staying relevant because of this event.
  • 4 18
flag mark-mcclure (May 16, 2021 at 13:39) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: are you dense? The Fest Series (2013) predates Pure Darkness (2014).
  • 12 2
 @mark-mcclure: Missed the point huh?
  • 5 15
flag mark-mcclure (May 16, 2021 at 14:14) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: I guess so. I'm just struggling with time travel. How can something that started later exist long before the entity it was 'co-opted' by? Dark Fest and Pure Darkness are not the same event.
How do you know that Dark Fest is not trading on the Fest Series name? How do you know who makes money or not? You are merely speculating.
Staying 'relevant' is subjective. As has been previously mentioned The Fest was set up to be anti-corporate / big contest. Dark Fest has evolved into something that is not representative of the original Fest Series ethos.
  • 24 0
 @mark-mcclure: Because Pure Darkness was a successful event prior to FEST being involved with it. FEST wanted to partner with Sam, and benefitted from it HUGELY. How are you not getting this?
  • 3 20
flag mark-mcclure (May 16, 2021 at 14:27) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: this is your opinion only, yet you write it like fact. How did it benefit from it hugely?
It certainly doesn't seem to be benefiting from it now which is why the founders of The Fest have moved to dissociate themselves from it.
Also note, pure darkness was not an event, it was a video series that echoed the values of the Fest series.
  • 15 1
 @mark-mcclure: Look at the the comments. Half the people here are saying they only know the FEST series exists because of Darkfest.
  • 3 21
flag mark-mcclure (May 16, 2021 at 14:35) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: so people are ignorant, seems like a great reason to sell out.
  • 13 2
 @mark-mcclure: How's he selling out? He's been doing media like this since it was Pure Darkness.
  • 3 23
flag mark-mcclure (May 16, 2021 at 14:58) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: not Sam. He's doing as he was before, building his brand, representing his sponsor's. It would appear Reynolds is comfortable with corporate support from large brands such as Monster.
The Fest series is not about corporate brand building. It's a series for riders, by riders that does not receive it's funding from energy drink manufacturers.
This disparity in approach would seem to be the cause of this split. The fact that the general pinkbike audience doesn't understand this is no surprise.
  • 15 1
 @mark-mcclure: Oh you know this for sure? Andreu and Makken were both Red Bull riders when they started it. Aggy is a Monster rider. Carson Storch is on Red Bull. Sorge's on Rockstar. I see their logo's on all their helmets in every FEST video.
  • 2 20
flag mark-mcclure (May 16, 2021 at 15:24) (Below Threshold)
 @chriskneeland: yes. I called one of the Fest series founders this afternoon and asked him in person.
Only two of the Fest founders are still (to my knowledge) sponsored by energy drink manufacturers.
  • 2 1
 @Ronkol: “more important...do they feel they get their fair share”

Lol, yikes
  • 35 1
 name calling from a group could only say that the future is different for darkfest from what festseries imagined but no, its only reynolds fault ... just wondering how real it is to namecall this way standing behind the orgs name, its almost like propagandist media when there is no author behind the article xd
  • 13 0
 It seems a little worse to me even when the way the statement was released was an instagram post on Fest series page, then they tagged pinkbike and vital in it.
  • 34 0
 You guys open up the series for everyone and their dog to host an event for the boys and now you pull the rug out on one, there's no way it doesn't look super petty and political. You want to exclude people from what is basically a jam session for big jumps? Spirit of freeride my ass...ain't no free rides in this world
  • 32 0
 Yeah. Darkfest is always in my radar. Its legit good content. Making it about q niche group of friends to ride, like some doubebag elitism, is lame. I'm not disappointed that Sam isn't associated with type of snobbery, he's a sound guy and better thrn that.
  • 17 0
 I typed this in a rush. Spelling mistakes, poor grammer and sentence structure everywhere. My bad. But, still, douchbag elitism sucks balls.
  • 35 3
 Seems only fair to unfollow and unsubscribe to everything and everyone involved with fest, and then follow and subscribe to everything Sam. It’s clearly what fest wants us to do, I just hope this helps them remain ‘core’ so they can work regular jobs to pay for their bikes like the rest of us ‘core’ riders. Punx not dead, fest is.
  • 10 0
 100% just stopped following anyone involved with founding fest. I mean they obviously dont want to be involved with social media so im just helping them out. Wasn’t following sam until today lol
  • 36 1
 When keeping it real goes wrong.
  • 1 0
 I wish this was top comment, though it might be a pretty old ref for many to catch. This is the most accurate and terse 'too long, didnt read' of the situation.
  • 32 1
 Looks like fest series have taken a leaf out of the WC DH handbook....total media exclusivity?

"things that are far more important than how many views or likes a video gets on social media"

Seems a little hypocritical??
  • 29 0
 I'm now not sure if the people I follow on Instagram actually want me to follow them and like their stuff or if us norms are not cool enough? Confusing times.
  • 31 1
 An example of realness? how is the Darkfest not real?
  • 32 3
 Darkfest is too video game-ish, I assume fest series will be focusing on high fives after bunnyhopping over a water bottle and also white and green line trails in the future.
  • 31 2
 Super dramaqueens.. i love sams videos about shaping and stuff. That is fan service.
  • 6 23
flag Ronkol (May 16, 2021 at 11:12) (Below Threshold)
 No that's business. Nothing wrong with Sam's video's, I watch them like anyone else, but he's pushing his own brand hard.
  • 21 1
 @Ronkol: its his event. Pushing his brand is literally the point. If fest want to hide in the woods ans throw big gaps in secret, away from the pressure of the public, then why have a publicly advertised "series"? They should have just gone into the woods and done it - all quiet like.

I also think you overestimated the money these youtube views get. What he's getting is exposure, but cash? Not so much.
  • 30 3
 Who hurt you?
  • 25 2
 Gonna be funny when all the main fest guys still show up to darkfest cuz they realize it's a great event and it's coverage is the best they get all year outside of Rampage....
  • 24 2
 Some of the freeride guys seem to be pretty cocky. They 'hate' social media but their accounts are updated daily.

I hope this makes way for riders that doesn't belong to the inner circle. I enjoyed freeride fiesta with a bunch of new faces like Stevie fu$%@ Schneider.
  • 22 1
 This is classic football team sacking a manager talk, we didn’t like his ways of football to suit our club.
Club Already have a new manager lined up to reveal in the morning to play the same type of football but oh wait his wages cost less.

Bottom line is Sam is making more money than the Events team.
  • 3 2
 Probably this.
  • 24 1
 So Sam puts his name and face on his event yet the "Fest Series" hides behind a nameless and faceless corporation at the same time talking about "core values". WTF?
  • 23 2
 I dont get this. Darkfest is going big, building, and looks like the riders are having lots of fun. Yt vids show all these aspects.

Is this about something else?
  • 18 0
 I like Sam Reynolds. Amazing skills, likeable fella and seems humble to boot. Fair play to him and good luck with Darkfest. I always thought this was his own thing anyway so this is probably for the best. Judging by the recent Pinkbike survey, making a living in MTB is hard and unless your Aaron Gwin or Fabio Wibmer, dude's gotta hustle to make it work so all the best to Sam!
  • 5 17
flag Ronkol (May 16, 2021 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 And that's the other side of the coin. I really understand Sam... and yet that makes the reaction of Nico and the others that much more understandable.
  • 9 0
 @Ronkol: Why are you all over this comment section posting the same thing again and again? Did you write that shitty?
  • 1 0
 *shitty letter
  • 20 2
 This was bound to happen. I’m sorry but the Feat series always seemed a bit cringe to me. I appreciate the riding, but the holier than thou approach was a bit off putting for me. Good on Sam, hope he continues to see success.
  • 21 1
 Hahaha these fest series guys think their shits don't smell anymore. Keep it up sam, your shits the best
  • 16 0
 Didn‘t know there was a deeper meaning in fun sports than FUN? DarkFest seems to be a fun event (for those who can survive it). What are the other guys concerned about? There are enough bitcoins in the world to pay every builder, i believe.
  • 22 2
 Pretty measured response from Reynolds, considering
  • 9 2
 Brilliant. And sums up reality. If you have natural charisma, personality, work your arse off and skills you get paid. If you have skills, and work your arse off you will make money for someone whom gets the other two. Welcome to life. Edgy agro quiet only appeals to a select few. Kudos Sam.
  • 21 2
 Just went and subbed to sams youtube … maybe he should thank the fest guys for the free publicity
  • 17 1
 Heaven forbid a professional athlete like Sam should want to meet his obligations to his sponsors and partners by making his signature event as successful as possible with maximum media reach. Which ironically also boosts reach and value of Fest Series and all participants and their own individual sponsors.... ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️

As others have said, he's approachable, good on camera, a great front man, so I have no doubt Darkfest will not only be just fine, it'll thrive without whatever the restrictions were.
  • 19 3
 " things that are far more important than how many views or likes a video gets on social media"

Fest has its own YT and IG channels

www.fest-series.com/founders - links to insta under all their names

www.fest-series.com/collaborators - links photographers and videographers (with links to their IG accounts)

www.fest-series.com/riders-1 - links to IG accounts

Typical MTB bros with their secret invite only trails. Hate that attitude.
  • 18 2
 Fest hates Darkfest= Freeride in crisis.

Probably something to do with disagreements over the size of super huge gaps and more than super huge gaps, or something similar.

  • 20 5
 Wasn`t Fest Series founded to let the guys do their thing without the pressure from cameras, media coverage and so on? To let their mind be free from all this media marketing bullshit, like Rampage for example? To not feel the pressure of having to deliver? From that point this decision makes a lot of sense to me.
  • 15 1
 if that was the case, then that's what they should've said, but they just got petty and released a childish media release.. So it seems more personal
  • 3 1
 @alandc: I think that's the "core value" they are talking about in the press release. But you are right, it often gets childish when two with different opinions part ways after a long time together.
  • 55 1
 “After a lot of thought between Fest and Nick, we’ve decided that darkfest has grown beyond the fest series. We founded the series to be a break from the cameras and pressure so that riders could come and jam. As darkfest has grown in popularity it has also become more like the events already available in the industry, and different from the goal of Fest. We hope darkfest keeps slaying it as a big event, and good luck to them in the next phase of their journey.”

See how much different that reads? Nobody’s has a problem with them parting ways. But the kindergarten beef is pathetic.
  • 17 1
 Ones does not need a highly publicized series with “core values” in order to ride anonymously. I do it every weekend, never had to put out a pissy statement about Sam Renyolds either.

Sounds like they wanted a bigger slice of the media pie, which is fair, so they started their own series in order to have more control. Something went sideways with Darkfest, likely a squabble over who owned the content and who got paid, and here we are.
  • 9 1
 @Blackhat: these idiots probably think they’re cool for not being diplomatic in their press release. Didn’t know hardcore douche bros were so emo.
  • 11 1
 @SterlingArcher: Like I said elsewhere, this is probably a bunch of rad dudes with their heads up their radasses getting hurt that another rad dude had managed to be popular as well. So they decided to redefine radness to exclude popularity.

They had to make it personal and dismissive because that's exactly what it was. An attempt to elevate themselves above someone else by dissing them.
  • 5 1
 @madmikesnare what media marketing bullshit? Sam putting some clips on his own YouTube channel? What pressure? To impress the still non-existent judges?
  • 6 0
 @Blackhat: if I owned a PR firm I’d be hiring you quick. That was great.
  • 18 2
 So right now somewhere in the world you know there is one person not scared of sending huge jumps but scared of putting his name at the bottom of a press release...
  • 17 0
 Are we boycotting Fest Series now then? Wink
  • 14 0
 Darkfest is the only one I follow, so I guess I already am, yes.
  • 9 0
  • 6 0
  • 7 1
 They already boycotted us. Have you seen any videos from other Fest Series events other than Darkfest?
  • 3 0
 @learningcycles: *insert wesley snipes meme* can't get boycotted if you boycott your consumers first.
  • 14 1
 Seems like a pretty dick statement honestly. Unless the guy is doing something immoral as a human being saying they don't match your core values is borderline questioning someone's integrity. Especially when it's referring to backing out of your headlining event. Just say we want to go in a different direction and move on.
  • 14 1
 Who else is googling Darkfest to see what it is as they thought it was Sam Reynolds and this crazy massive set of jumps. Sam's coverage is amongst the best out there. No idea who runs the festering series. Keep up the great work Sam.
  • 15 0
 Guys behind the festseries should come out and speak directly. Attacking Sam anonymously seems unfair.
  • 15 1
 So basically as a MTB community... We are disavowing Fest Series now..... Shit moves deserve shit responses right?

  • 16 1
 RIP Fest Series (whatever you were)
Keep on doing your thing Sam. Top notch content.
  • 14 0
 “THE INDUSTRY'S MOST POPULAR EVENT in 2015, as voted on by the 4 Million monthly users of Pinkblke.com. “

From the fest series website. Ironic lol
  • 15 2
 Sounds like it's about money, and the author of the statement doesn't really know how to, but tries, to discredit the other side.
  • 12 1
 I’ve always found the lack of coverage to be frustrating for the fest series. Good for Sam for doing this. The statement released from fest is unbelievably cringe and lacks complete self awareness. You guys ride bikes. Relax
  • 15 0
 Fest, show me on this doll where Darkfest touched you
  • 10 0
 Very interesting… considering this is part of the fest series page: www.fest-series.com/founders

Every single one of these guys has a social media page link directly under their name. So what’s this drama REALLY all about?!
  • 10 1
 Maybe about sam having 170.000 subscribers vs fest 35.000 (on yt) and they wanted to force people to follow them by getting exclusive video rights of all their events? Dunno, just speculation
  • 2 2
 @Stokedonthis: that is some good sleuthing as well. Kudos sir
  • 14 0
 Darkfest is still going to be absolutely mega!
  • 10 0
 I thought freeride is about getting out of that racer style mentality of whose the best and is all inclusive and just about having a great time on bikes with your friends....? Not this gatekeeper nonsense where only certain riders are welcome in the club. Granted we don’t know the full story but sounds like the fest crew is over reacting a tad. Keep killing it Sam.
  • 12 2
 The Fest Series crew are clearly conflicted.

They like a bit of coverage, but not too much, only enough to show they are the free-ride legends keeping it real? Why even advertise or have any kind of coverage at all then?

I could offer them some legal help in drafting their terms and conditions so nobody else on the crew gets gets hung drawn and quartered on social media like Sam did. First question - How many videos may be made by the builders? How do they measure the "pressure" on the riders caused by too much social media? Is Monster energy allowed to sponsor Fest events?, Are you saying the Darkfest jumps are too big and scary for you - did Sam go too huge? Is it wrong to invite new bloods like Ike and Theo to participate - are they not grunge enough?
  • 9 0
 If this is Vink vs. Reynolds it´s hard to pick sides. Vink has done a lot for the sport. Think about Rampages a few years ago where it was only fest riders on the top. The things he built in Belgium were huge and it for sure progressed the sport and pointed the direction. But it was always hard to see/get coverage of these events. The last Fest event i was paying attention to, was last years Dark Fest for sure. And I remember I was delightfully surprised that the coverage was good. So cudows to Reynolds who can also build and still throw down.

To me it looks like this may be about young guns getting invited to Fest because they have a couple of vids with lot´s of views or followers vs. oldschool Fest-Founders that don´t give a f*ck and just load up content for their buddies, but have worked of their butts to build and progress the sport.
It`s like me struggling to find funds to built and maintain publicly open trails with our club vs. young instagrammers who, for jumping scary looking and badly built jumps on illegal trails get all the internetglory(and possibly a good frame deal).

Nico and Sam if you read this. Sit down, have a beer together, and figure out a way to promote your product, so everybody can have a piece of it while still keeping it real.
Because the product is great!
And ignore the Nay-sayers and Corporte-haters.
  • 3 2
 Didn’t Nico have a big role in the builds for Darkfest in 2018 and 2019? Makes the whole dispute seem even stranger.
  • 6 0
 @tbmaddux: he played a roll but it was originally pure darkness and was started by sam and matt.
  • 10 1
 MTB fans who didn’t know there’s more Fest events than Darkfest alone must’ve been sleeping under a rock for years......

Then... Most guys on here don’t even know half how real Nico is. Till this day he is still in the world’s top 5 of dudes to ever swing a leg over a bicycle. Name me ONE GUY who will build a complete Loosefest line and then rides out the whole thing first try(!!) before the event hasn’t even started...... He’d rather throw his cell phone and all that social media bullshit away right now than tomorrow. It’s all sponsors contract’s crap.
He was riding the world’s craziest BMX trails at the time (10+ years ago / his own local spot) without hardly anyone knowing about it.

And there’s way more to this whole thing than the $$$$’s I’m sure....

Oh and Sam. Just keep doing your thing because you’re really good at it. \m/
  • 6 1
 People are more reacting about the way they parted ways than anything tbh (throwing sam under the bus and sounding salty AF)
Sure Vink and all these guys are super rad, but they get paid to sell their image so on that one they f*cked up
  • 10 1
 It’s funny how some of these Fest founders develop their anti-corporate ethics after their Red Bull sponsorships lapse (but not before). There’s nothing wrong with getting paid for your passions and selling them to the world.

Having listened to Sam for over 3 hrs on two separate podcasts (Macduff and Needles), I had to say he’s completely dedicated to progressing the sport, building bigger (and safer) jumps and giving new riders opportunities. I’m not sure what there is to criticise there.
  • 12 0
 I can't believe an athlete is publicising their event!
  • 13 1
 Absolute cringe fest more like.
  • 8 0
 Regardless fo the reasons the tone of teh Fest press release is childish and unprofessional. I guess that's their image, so they don't care... being baller means being a dick to another rider even if it looks bad for all I guess.
  • 10 0
 Sam is rad, he rips, he's good at talking on camera. He's entertaining. Hell ya Sam do your thing full support
  • 8 1
 @ronkol I think the things that has pissed people off is, Fest may fundamentally disagree with Sam about what 'Real' MTB is, but they don't have to be dicks about it, when you read both statements it's easy to see why people would back Sam over them

And if it is about money then they are pretty big hypocrites
  • 10 1
 I was already wondering why some of the big names were missing on the riders list this year that have been there in previous years....
  • 10 0
 I always thought FEST was just about metal music and riding big jumps, guess I'm just a mainstream schill
  • 16 7
 Please provide us name of these so called “Fest Series” shot callers so we can cancel their asses! Sam, please continue kicking ass brother. You’re THE REAL MAN.
  • 10 0
 Have a look at the Founders and Hosts sections on Fest-Series.com I like to think they're all rad dudes but a good few of them must have been involved in the playground discussions that led to this embarrassing snafu.
  • 6 1
 @timbud: maybe....but I’m going to assume this is more on the “business” side of things. I really have a hard time believing that Sam’s fellow riders builders and vloggers are the ones coming up with this juvenile nonsense. As far as I can see Sam has been doing EXACTLY what the spirit of THE FEST series is supposed to project!
  • 6 0
 @timbud: ....also I literally just sent them an email. We’ll see if I actually get any response.
  • 10 2
 @bikebike69: hard to imagine how disassociating from your only well known event is a “business” decision. Business people would try to learn from Darkfest and apply it to their other events.

This seems more like a bunch of rad dudes with their heads up their radasses and feeling hurt that another rad dude had managed to be popular as well. So they decided to redefine radness to exclude popularity. Problem solved.
  • 4 0
 @bikebike69: what business side? The series is claiming that there is too much bike business stuff going on with Sam's event, so they made a "business decision" to split because they don't like the business? and the whole thing was started to escape the business but it's still driven by business? Makes no sense; from this angle (pretty much all angles) sounds like petty jealousy.
  • 3 1
 @justinfoil: ..I completely agree it sounds just like petty jealousy. My statement was about the fact that “The FestSeris” is a brand to sell things, promote other things. Sam is clearly a bigger deal and whoever doesn’t like it.
  • 4 0
 @justinfoil: So much brand damage to Loose Riders, immeasurable. What were they thinking?
  • 5 1
 No longer following any of the the fest founders and started following sam lol i mean they are obviously anti social media so just helping them out lol TBH vink’s over rated anyway.
  • 1 0
 founders as listed on their site:

  • 9 0
 Also this sounds like something Makken would write up. After he parted ways with red Bull home boy just been trolling free riders.
  • 12 0
 Sincerely, Makken
  • 10 0
 Sounds like Sam and Nico had a zoom meeting that didn't end well. ;P
  • 9 0
 We all know darkfest but tbh ive never even heard of the fest series. Sounds like Sam is better off without regulations
  • 10 1
 so this is a "im an influencer" vs. "im the core culture" freerider pillow fight?

  • 14 0
 Except only one side took the bait. The other just kind of shrugged and went his own way.
  • 8 1
 It's funny that the fest series say they don't care about social media followers yet when you visit their site all it is, is instagram profile links. I'm with Sam! Excellent coverage sam - keep rocking it.
  • 7 1

You can taste the jealousy, pathetic.

Keep up the great work, Sam. While social media can be cringe as f*ck, I really appreciate the coverage. Even though I don’t have an IG or FB or whatever the f*ck people use, I still get linked the clips etc and I love watching these events.
  • 7 0
 Funny this statement comes from riders who have almost all participated in Rampage (sometimes even as judges) or similar events like the nine knights, which are the ones with the biggest media coverage and the most sponsors.
  • 7 1
 I wonder where the individuals making up „The Fest Series“ take the audacity to style themselves the sole protectors of the (MTB) faith.
Guys, you are either full of crap or arrogant snobs - or both. By trying to usurp mountain biking and making yourself the wanna-be kings of it you are, in reality, making asses of yourselves. And that statement might be cruel to the donkeys…
  • 8 0
 Why wouldn’t they wait until after this year’s event instead of shedding blood now? Because it’s all about the views.
  • 9 0
 Dude... you’re being very un-dude-like.
  • 8 3
 What a load of nonsense. Art and essence - have a day off. Sam deserves to do well, seems like jealousy. Bottom line is, ever who wrote that press release is in the wrong, just no way the creator of that catastrophe could be in the right. I'll tell you who does demonstrate the art and essence of biking, Sam Pilgrim, with 1.5 million YouTube followers and a wonderful positive attitude with time for everyone. He loves riding and is a joy to watch. Every single word I hear on the grapevine about Sam Pilgrim is super positive. Sam represents the art and essence of biking but he'd never say that, he'd just have a great time, be the best in the business and be a real decent person to everyone he meets. All while not being a slave to anyone and not selling out. Yes he is sponsored, but he absolutely delivers the message that you don't need to spend much money nor do you need expensive tools and training to service your equipment, just a hammer and enthusiasm. Sorry to go on about Sam Pilgrim but I just think he springs to mind when I see this sort of nonsense that has no place in mountain biking. As for Brendan being robbed at Rampage, like Red Bull broadcast it live, everyone seen Brendan win comfortably, in what world is it ok just to ignore the fact that his crushing victory was broadcast live to the world. Fiasco upon fiasco.
  • 3 0
  • 4 0
 @SterlingArcher: Nah, I'm pretty sure that comment was about Sam Pilgrim and his 1.5m YT subscribers (myself included). A bit confusing to mention him when Sam Reynolds (I also subscribe) runs Darkfest, but it goes to the argument about the "authenticity" of making MTB content that is popular on social media.
  • 15 11
 Reynolds: Why you been acting so messed up towards me?
Fest: Why you been acting so messed up towards us?
long pause...
Reynolds: Well, you go first.
Fest: I don't know, maybe we felt a little threatened because your career is just blossoming and ours are kind of winding down...or whatever...
Reynolds: and I felt like, these guys are really hurting me, and it hurt!
Fest: and we felt that when you told us to Dere-lick our balls, that really hurt
Reynolds: Maybe I was scared man, you're the Fest Series!
Fest: Well we can Dere-lick our own balls, thank you very much.
  • 14 0
 Don’t quit your day job
  • 4 0
  • 2 0
 @Jcanz: the jumps have to be at least three time bigger for us to fit on them
  • 6 2
 Used to REALLY like Fest! Now I just kinda respect the way they used to ride.

Not inspiring when its super duper exlcusive.

What have you done since 2015 that's so innovative? Creative? When was the last time the the jumps had a change? Has there even been an event other than darkFest since 2017?

Cheers to anyone that puts out content that makes me want to get up off my @$$!
  • 10 1
  • 7 0
 Oh, great. The petty moto bro feuding is making its way to mountain biking.
  • 4 0
 I can see where the Fest guys are coming from. Dark fest has evolved and seems to be doing well in many ways but has obviously not moved in the direction that the original Fest founders envisioned. I think most of us viewers think it is awesome, which means sponsors do too. This publicity seems to be working in Sam's favour. There is now potential for a Darkfest series with multiple events. There are so many relatively unknown freeriders out there who will love the opportunity to showcase their skills. Fest needs to step up and find a way to progress without compromising their original mission. Or they need to change the mission.
  • 5 1
 This is a real shame, I really like Vink & the rest of the Fest riders. I'm not quite sure why wanting to promote your sport, sponsors & make a decent living is such a criminal thing. I've read it a 10000 time's on this thread already, but if you want to do something for 'the love' maybe give back your free bikes, clothing & shut your insta account.
  • 5 1
 If I understood correctly, from the numerous posts and writings about the issue at hand, Fest Series are jealous of Dark Fest and Loose Fest, since the only media praise and recognition and views to go them.
It is incredibly childish and up to par with how problems seem to have been handled over the past few years. Quick fixes to non-existing problems, grey apron services, Übers, Dude Scaping, etc. One faces a problem and simply bounces off or decides to take the path of least resistance. Instead of upping their game and rising up to the challenge of actually trying to push this not so popular sport, they say it is not a core value to get media recognition on social platforms.
I do not think Sam will have a problem with Dark Fest, as it is the only one the 53 kids at the skatepark talk about half a year long. Dark Fest and Loose Fest are at the core of Freeride and we all know it. Not wanting to be on YT or IG may be a valid point for some but having media presence of both platforms does not mean that the sport or people are selling out.

"Since DarkFest has always been about shredding big jumps, having an inclusive and diverse rider list, and sharing our good times with everyone through social media, we have mutually decided to go our own ways." If this statement is against core values, then what are said values?
  • 5 1
 I thought Fest Series was created to allow rider's the freedom to get paid to ride what they wanted (big bikes on big lines vs slopestyle,) not to have the ability to ride for free. But if the Fest guys don't like the idea of being paid to ride, why not dissolve Fest Series, bet 9 to 5 jobs that pay enough for big bikes, land with big terrain, and insurance with big coverage? Seems to me that Sam Reynolds has figured out how to get paid while having the freedom to ride what he wants.
  • 7 0
 Is this because Sam changed the soundtrack in the dark fest 2019 highlights from heavy metal to drum and bass?
  • 8 0
 That is pretty uncool.
  • 6 0
 Cash rules everything around me views get the money, dolla dolla bill y'all!
  • 7 0
 You can have fun on your bike and care 0% about this!
  • 7 2
 Sounds like these fest guys have been huffing their own farts. They aren't the OGs of freeride, they are the self imposed gatekeepers.
  • 5 2
 Judging by the room temperature you’d have thought they’d get on this rather quickly and send out an apology to Sam, possibly with a diplomatic reasoning for parting. Hopefully they’ll put the kitty back in the box and man up and actually sign it.
  • 5 0
 "Sam Reynolds has been running the event in a way that is going against the core values Fest stands for"..... what core values?
  • 6 0
 Please tell me it wasn't because the Fest guys didn't like Sam putting arrows on all his booters...
  • 4 1
 Matt Jones said he used to a have a picture of Sam on his wall as a kid. Sam must look at Matt and think he's got a Lambo, Porsche, private compound & a twin brother, I want all that.

So Sam's using his platform to make money so he can invest it all in a cloning machine.
  • 1 0
  • 7 2
 Sam you're a gent. Always handling yourself professionally and being genuine
  • 6 0
 Lol not trve kvlt enough?
  • 5 0
 I hope this all a planned dispute to bring Fest some much-needed attention.
  • 4 2
 Would still be whack AF
  • 8 1
 I'm with Sam
  • 6 0
 Well that backfired fast!
  • 4 1
 I love that picture of Sam btw.
It´s as if pinkbike had allready anticipated what would go down and now he´s just there on top of the article, smirking.
Well played PB, well played.
  • 6 0
 The movement of 2021 #IstandwithSam
  • 3 1
 Fully get Sam was living the fest life. I was surprised with the rider list this year, but put it down to COVID, I’m hyped to see young British riders and others and the vibe I get is that those riders aren’t there to compete for anything or even social media they are there to shred. Anyways hope these guys are invited to shred other Fest series events would be a shame if they couldn’t.
  • 3 1
 Following the money usually helps in understanding situations like this. Contract dispute, move to consolidate and formalize a chunk of ownership, etc...It would be nice to have a non bs explanation. I have to ask myself why I even care.
  • 6 4
 In my opinion, if the industry keeps pushing the sport as much as they do, they will pump up a bubble which is going to blow up. The same happened with inline skating in the late 90s. Its all about the money, pleasuring the bike industry and pushing bike prices up to 10000... I think that's what FEST is against THX
  • 3 2
 Inline skating way dumped by xgames 'cause to much mainstream. There is a Docu on youtube
  • 6 1
 Best of luck Fest Series. Maybe Dirt Sigma Alpha Epsilon (with cool Greek symbols) would be a good new name change?
  • 3 1
 TDLR; fair disagreement, but unhinged callout by Fest Series.
Sounds like the debate was over Who is invited to ride the event, and disagreement about what that criteria is. Maybe some wanted Social Media following prioritized, some riders wanted it to be more Core (not just another Audi Nines).
Fest series could have left Sam's name out of the statement, it sounds like there's some hard feelings there.
I think Sam is great.
  • 4 0
 Boooo, Sam will make his own fest series with blackjack and hookers! Darkfest is, was, and will be the best fest ever! We are with you Sam Reynolds.
  • 3 1
 Wow.... what a bunch of hectic comments......

I remember riding the vertramp with some friends in the local skate-park over here in Belgium, a young kid was always looking full admiration @ us.....his name was Nico Vink !

Yep, the one and only!!

Now we are following the kid who is living his dream like no one else.

Many years later we are still riding together occasionally and we are still good friends, If you ever had the chance to chat or ride with Nico you immediately understand he is an extraordinary person, he grew up in a small town and his parents are the nicest people you will ever meet.
Nico is a hard core BMX bro, a Worldcup Racer, Freerider, Slayer Fan, and he killed all the local trails over here in Belgium, and his ego was never to big to help shaping the trails to a higher level, even in France, Spain and Germany and many placers around the globe.

Regarding the Fest series I don't want to comment on the current situation, and neither one of us should, is it so hard to respect the choise of a group of riders?

I was @ every Loosfest over here in Belgium, weeks before the event when no other rider was there Nico was already there from 7am until he could not see an inch anymore, in the sun or in the rain...always whit the typical Nico smile and determination.

Even @ darkfest most of the time we could see Nico was on his canterpillar machine making the sickest trails and jumps.

We can undoubtedly say Nico was the main force building the Darkfest trail
I am gutted to read most of the comments and for the first time, I'am not proud to be a freerider.

We should like I said not interfere whit the business but ride and be open minded.

Most of you never witnessed a fest series so you can't understand it, so please move yore ass and go to see on before posting such a bunch of stupid comments, fest series is way more than what you think.
Over here Nico is a national hero, and we respect what he is doing, every time you see him he takes time for everyone, just like all the fest series riders @ the event.

Feel sorry for Niko to read so many negative comments.... sometimes it's hard to be real.

Greets from Belgium the home of one of the coolest dude on the planet.

  • 1 3
 Lol, Hi Niko, it's ok to use your main account to defend your one and only hardcoreness too. No need to use alt accounts to lecture us on things we "can't understand" and how the "fest series is way more" than what we think.
  • 2 0
 This "fest series" sounds like a dictatorship run by greedy sheckel grabbers. They are desperately trying to profit using a business model that is out of touch with modern times. Soon to be Forgotten Fest.
  • 2 0
 I think all of this could have been avoided if they hadn’t chosen to cut giant arrows into the takeoffs. That’s clearly just too cheesy and is obviously against the core values of the fest series.
  • 1 0
 I seem to be in the minority but...

I fully understand that the vibe of an event is completely different when there's a couple of people constantly vlogging compared to filming one official edit like the other fest events. I love the Loosefest XL edit for example.

From reading the statement (posted in theis thread) on why they started the series I understand that Darkfest is run in a different way than what was the plan with Fest-series.

With that said I like Darkest and follow all that content to.

That pressrelease from Fest-series wasn't very well thought out, timed or written though...
  • 5 1
 The freeride board of directors/shareholers have spoken! Freeride is dead and Fest series is now just a traveling circus
  • 2 1
 We’ve been through this all before, then strengthen in numbers came out to remind everyone the bike industry needs everyone united to run insane race schedules and film productions. Which we all want. #darkfest will be legendary!
  • 5 1
 If I was an event sponsor who wanted bang for buck I know which side of the divide my future money would be falling.
  • 5 1
 Yep those effin festers have let themselves down here. Sam, show them the way please !
  • 5 2
 MTB has got so big now we 100% need to split in two like surfing did. Competitors go one way, people who just want to enjoy it the other.
  • 7 6
 Nico bro you are fucking tragic AF. You had to edit your insta post at least 3 times to not come off as hypocritical and salty and you still didn't even manage to do it. I think your gonna get a massive ego check over the next few years.
  • 4 3
 I mean, I could care less about a Fest and Dark Fest. rift As a sponsor myself for a niche sport, we expect to get value for money through our athletes from our sponsorship money. No value, no sponsorship.

From an objective eye, I see athletes who add value and I see athletes that don't. I frown at the big names that don't and I wonder where the value is.

Well done to Sam & Co, they understand what the market and the sponsors want.
  • 3 1
 I keep thinking the self appointed "guardians of freeride" at the Fest Series must have been watching this video from a purist in the music scene without realising it's a joke:

  • 3 0
 they made their account on pinkbike on May 15, 2021, just to post this post XD and they are saying not to use social media LMAO. I can't stop laughing.
  • 4 0
 Bye Fest series, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out to self indulgent obscurity...
  • 3 2
 Wow.... what a bunch of hectic comments...... I remember riding the vertramp with some friends in the local skate-park over here in Belgium, a young kid was always looking full admiration @ us.....his name was Nico Vink ! Yep, the one and only!! Now we are following the kid who is living his dream like no one else. Many years later we are still riding together occasionally and we are still good friends, If you ever had the chance to chat or ride with Nico you immediately understand he is an extraordinary person, he grew up in a small town and his parents are the nicest people you will ever meet. Nico is a hard core BMX bro, a Worldcup Racer, Freerider, Slayer Fan, and he killed all the local trails over here in Belgium, and his ego was never to big to help shaping the trails to a higher level, even in France, Spain and Germany and many placers around the globe. Regarding the Fest series I don't want to comment on the current situation, and neither one of us should, is it so hard to respect the choise of a group of riders? I was @ every Loosfest over here in Belgium, weeks before the event when no other rider was there Nico was already there from 7am until he could not see an inch anymore, in the sun or in the rain...always whit the typical Nico smile and determination. Even @ darkfest most of the time we could see Nico was on his canterpillar machine making the sickest trails and jumps. We can undoubtedly say Nico was the main force building the Darkfest trail I am gutted to read most of the comments and for the first time, I'am not proud to be a freerider. We should like I said not interfere whit the business but ride and be open minded. Most of you never witnessed a fest series so you can't understand it, so please move yore ass and go to see on before posting such a bunch of stupid comments, fest series is way more than what you think. Over here Nico is a national hero, and we respect what he is doing, every time you see him he takes time for everyone, just like all the fest series riders @ the event. Feel sorry for Niko to read so many negative comments.... sometimes it's hard to be real. Greets from Belgium the home of one of the coolest dude on the planet. Cheers
  • 1 0
 The difference in the quality of the statements speaks volumes, passive aggressive tone and singling out Sam is laughable. Well done Sam, more power to you. I hope The Fest Series Sponsors remind them what pays them to be an example of 'relaness'
  • 1 0
 i believe sam is actually the one trying to keep it real and theres a lot more to show than it actually is allowed to show. that is due a lot of reasons like most riders being generously sponsored, which would require more manipulation about the content they produce and the contents where they might appear. so, lets say a well sponsored rider gets a banger lap of interest to a lot of sponsors or brands included in an event, and also the event page is interested. there's contracts, media output limitations and a ton of pressure from all sides.
whos posting it first?
  • 5 0
 Uuh, ok then?
  • 2 2
 Where is the latest rider list? The one I saw had some glaring omissions and that was before this announcement. Where is MacDuff? He started it with Reynolds before Fest got involved (I think!)
If the original Fest guys weren't invited that will have created tension. If they were invited but refused due to anything other than Covid then that will have created tension. A Fest event shouldn't be dictated by sponsors, so maybe there were issues there. I guess it's a select few that a know what led to this. The Fest press release is crappy whatever went down.
  • 3 7
flag emptybe-er (May 17, 2021 at 5:13) (Below Threshold)
 MacDuff and Reynolds started Pure Darkness, the Fest series was separate. Have a look at what Pure Darkness was:
Then Vink rebuilt the pure darkness line, and it was a part of the Fest series (darkfest). Then it was moved to the present location and built by Vink again. But Reynolds seems to be taking all the credit for some reason
  • 5 0
 Who f*cked whos dad?
  • 5 1
 Long Live Sam Reynolds CHEERS
  • 5 0
 i like turtles
  • 1 1
 It all seems rather confusing... but if guys (and occasionally gals) are riding big jumps I can only dream of being able to hit, I'll watch the videos. I enjoy Sam's Darkfest videos... I enjoyed the LooseFest videos from last year.
  • 3 0
 Fest Series creating a 'Beef'. This is where it's at...
  • 3 0
 "I can jump bigger that you" says the kid on the playground
  • 3 0
  • 2 1
 As a spectator, the back stabby drama over control is a hoot. Seems like a grade A trainwreck. Maybe they put down the energy drinks and pick up the gummi bears...
  • 5 2
 Ah, a rebel event! I'm in!!!
  • 6 4
 Classy response from @Samreynolds in stark contrast to the official Whinge-Fest announcement.
  • 4 16
flag emptybe-er (May 17, 2021 at 4:50) (Below Threshold)
 Nothing classy about taking credit for something he didn’t create. Tell me this was watchable m.youtube.com/watch?v=WPHZXTxAHWc
Pure Darkness was pure crap before Fest came in and rebuilt everything
  • 6 0
 @emptybe-er: Another muppet copying and pasting the same idiotic and untrue comment all over the place. Are they paying you for this with stickers and t-shirts? At least have some common decency to post actual Pure Darkness videos and not some behind the scenes bloopers:


When you've watched part 3 tell me again how the PD line was only rebuilt beyond the step up after it became a part of fest. Also, even that SiNgLe StEpUp in pt 2 was massive as fuk, everyone threw down hard on it and the whole jam and vid was as real and unpretentious as they come. That was the vibe we love to see and it's still there in DarkFest.

Those whiners are just mad because they wanted the fest channel to have exclusivity on coverage (read: they couldn't be arsed to do some work for their sponsors like Sam) and they wanted to gatekeep who could be invited. If they really wanted to have a secret sesh with no media, they'd have just done it. No "series", no logo, just go to the fuking woods and ride. They'd also pick up 9-5 jobs to pay for their bikes, land to build on and all that jazz. But that's not what they actually wanted, is it?

And if you're going to accuse Reynolds of taking credit for Vink's work, you better produce some quotes on when and where exactly he said anything of this sort.
  • 2 3
 @bananowy: I’m not gonna waste my time, just pay attention and you’ll lose the beer goggles for your mate.
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: Your assumption that Reynolds is "my mate" just because I pointed out some facts and called you out on being dishonest is hilarious Smile Never met the man in my life. Seems to me like if anyone here is emotionally involved, it's you.
  • 1 3
 @bananowy: well you wrote a whole story, talking a lot but not saying much, name calling and all that juicy stuff so I had no choice but to assume it was an act of love or something.
  • 1 2
 @bananowy: again, go look at the Pure Darkness line, then look at the line they have now. Tell me how they built it without the ability to build it
  • 1 3
 @bananowy: he simply saw an opportunity and took it, shamelessly.
  • 2 1
 @emptybe-er: Dude it's 1am in Oregon, go get some sleep. You're clearly too tired to even put your thoughts into a single coherent comment. And you're way too invested in this... you're 46 and arguing over this insignificant drama like a little BMX kid.

I mean if that's the hill you want to die on, be my guest. Just please realise no-one cares about your opinions on traibuilding because that's not the problem here and neither is the event splitting from the series. Literally the only issue and what made people take the piss out of the fest guys is the bitchy, juvenile "press release" that no-one even had the balls to sign with their name. End of story.

I'm not getting pulled into your silly arguments. I saw a troll plastering the same irrelevant link all over the comment section and decided to reply with two more representative ones for anyone interested. I'm done with you now.
  • 4 1
 Sam just shouldn't have invited Pidcock to Dark Fest Big Grin
  • 2 0
 So, we won't be seeing youtubers like BKXC and SethBikehacks in the fest series. Sad face...
  • 3 1
 Never knew there was a "Fest series." Only darkfest. oh well.
  • 4 2
 It’s because someone banged Sponches mom
  • 2 1
 Stupid me!! Vink signature shit, cheap!!!! I'm not good enough for my inspiration.
  • 3 2
 Darkfest makes all the rest seem pale and shabby. The bar is too high and those other guys (who are they?) can't deal
  • 3 15
flag emptybe-er (May 17, 2021 at 5:01) (Below Threshold)
 Heres what DarkFest was before Fest series built it
Reynolds is just cashing in on it, he certainly wasn’t capable of building it. He’s not bashful taking credit for it, either.
  • 6 2
 @emptybe-er: What? You gotta check your facts again. Sam has an amazing build resumé. He is a main builder and tester at Audi Nines, and yes, he did build Dark Fest. Vink (and others) definitely helped out in the process, but these were Sam and Clemens' beasts.
  • 2 7
flag emptybe-er (May 18, 2021 at 0:16) (Below Threshold)
 @leon-forfar: ok watched the vid, actually the first 3 Pure Darkness were without Fest. That’s the course with a huge wood roll-in and also MacDuff’s loop. The course absolutely sucked. That’s why Vink helped rebuild that line before they moved to where it is now and it was built again by Vink. Sam even mentions that he and MacDuff aren’t good with the excavator in the vid below. Take a look at the newer course they’re now riding compared to the original one and tell me Reynolds and MacDuff built it. Impossible. Everyone just thinks so because he gives himself all the credit. Douche
  • 3 0
 @emptybe-er: You do realize that merely being in an excavator and helping with the build doesn't make it that person's event? Sam organizes everything. By that logic, Vink was merely someone "employed" to get the project done. That's like saying the cooks at Mcdonald's should be the ones taking credit for Mcdonalds being what it is today because they were the ones making your Big Mac.
  • 2 2
 @leon-forfar: yes, I know exactly what is means to build and create a line and I can easily recognize who built what, it’s easy. Vink knows what’s up, that’s why he builds trails not just huge dirt jumps with no flow. I’m not taking about organizing, no shit sam does that and that’s part of the issue! If the cooks at mcdonalds came up with the recipe and figured out how to make a menu everyone would like and then built it all then yes they would deserve credit. Let me hear Reynolds giving any credit, you won’t find it because he barely whispers vink’s name under his breath, worried people will figure out it’s no longer his creation! And that was the worst attempted analogy, btw. If you’re commenting about this you should understand that anyone can organize an event, not many can hop in a digger and make art. It’s not even comparable skillset. Can’t believe I even had to point that out to another adult.
  • 3 1
 @emptybe-er: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyQQbw3NEmk

"looking forward to clean these up and assist Sam in creating his jumps and his ideas" -Nico Vink on DarkFest at 6:29. Keywords being "His jumps and his ideas" meaning Sams. Sam isn't taking anything away from Nico. He likely contracted Nico for help on this (and for good reason, he knows his way around an excavator). Sam is the leader of Dark Fest. Delegating work to those he trusts to do the best job they can doesn't make the idea theirs. My analogy was fine. It could have been any company. Workers will always be involved and necessary to help build a company, but it's the CEO who brings the idea from nothing to something and employs the necessary people to build it to where they want it to go."Anyone can organize an event". Guess what? Sam DID organize it,and not Nico, and it wouldn't be there without him. Nico definitely helped polish it up, but it existed in some form before Nico was there to help, and would still be around without Nico (albeit, likely in a different form).
  • 2 3
 @leon-forfar: yes Vink fixed their original line, and was quite humble about it. I didn’t say he built that line and I’m sure he wants no association with it, possibly one of the reasons it was scrapped for the current location! It was a polished turd but still a turd. Why do you think he was there? Did you find the part yet where he says he (Reynolds and MacDuff) can’t believe they built all this (the original Darkness line) because they lack skill operating a digger. Imo, they aren’t trailbuilders and Vink is obviously a top-notch builder, it’s pretty obvious when you compare their work.

I’m guessing the flow-killing step-up was probably what they spent all their time on while Vink figured out and roughed in the rest of the line. At least it finally has a landing this year. Again, just a guess.
  • 2 2
 @leon-forfar: Comparing trail building to being a cook at mcD’s.. kids these days.
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: You do realize you come off as a horrible fanboy? Every post saying Sam's Films and jumps are garbage and that Darkfest is good only because of Nico but Nico didn't say anything because he's humble? I don't think Nico needs you to massage his jewels so much.
  • 3 0
 What strange News.
  • 1 0
 I’m confused!! Can somebody tell me what this is all about? I’m clearly not in the know.
  • 4 1
  • 1 1
 Reading between the lines, I think they were just trying to isolate the content to platforms that generate revenue ie YouTube
  • 2 0
 Share a bong and chill the fuck out and hit some jumps bros.
  • 4 2
 The statement from the Fest crew sounds super bitchy.
  • 5 3
 If you ask me Darkfest is the pinnacle of the series...
  • 4 2
 some people don't want to be big on the internet. Fair enough
  • 3 1
 Did anyone say "bitchfest" yet?
  • 2 1
 Fest Series kinda punched Darkfest in the mouth with that announcement...
  • 2 1
 You mean Fest slapped them like a whiny little bitch
  • 2 0
  • 3 1
  • 2 0
 Shots fired
  • 2 1
 Rock on Sam Funk the Fest Bellends
  • 1 0
 Too cool for school boys!!
  • 3 2
  • 3 1
  • 2 0
 F U to all the kooks
  • 3 3
 What is the Fest Series and why are they so salty?!

Good luck Sam I'll be tuning into Darkfest when it happens.
  • 4 3
 Darkfest > fest
Sam > pretentious gatekeepers
  • 2 0
 So BMX right now...
  • 1 0
 Will @Pinkbike be sharing content about the event on the news feed?
  • 3 4
 It's a good point about views and likes. It's a shame though because darkest was my favourite fest event.
  • 16 0
 Because its the only one that has any coverage
  • 10 0
 It still can be. Who cares if it is part of a 'series'?
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: LooseFest also.
  • 3 3
 If this is what freeride has become, I'm happy to see it die
  • 1 0
  • 2 1
 Probably for the best!
  • 2 1
 Absolutely ridiculous.
  • 1 1
 We’re all going in the same direction, but it’s the way we get there
  • 3 4
 So betwee the lines he wanted to get a little income out of it
  • 11 11
 Cancel culture gone mad
  • 1 2
 Meh. It is what it is. Seems amicable enough, and no events were canceled.
  • 1 2
 Sam did darkfest dirty
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