The New England Mountain Bike Association has announced it will not hold its popular mountain bike festival NEMBAfest in 2020.
In a joint statement last week, the New England Mountain Bike Association, Kingdom Trails Association, and Wildflower Inn, said they have chosen not to host the 2020 NEMBAfest on the Kingdom Trails network in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, where it had been held for several years.
NEMBA officials say they are taking a year off from producing the festival in order to find a more suitable location for 2021. The statement said the difficult decision came after much discernment and careful consideration of a variety of factors and the impacts of holding the event again on the Darling Hill Ridge.
The announcement comes only a few weeks after Kingdom Trails Association announced mountain biking would no longer be allowed on certain sections of the Kingdom Trails after three property owners banned mountain biking on their land.
In the joint statement by NEMBA, Kingdom Trails and Wildflower Inn, officials said a number of factors determined the decision to not host the 2020 NEMBAfest on Kingdom Trails.
“Last year the event experienced 4,000 attendees, the largest MTB festival in the Northeast. Although the contribution to the regional economy was significant, the event was too large for the surrounding communities,” they said in the statement. “The impact of the event over the 3 days placed much stress and pressure on the rural Vermont infrastructure and roads. The partners understand this was disruptive to neighbors and the community as a whole and apologize for the unmanaged growth and size.”
“Also, as many are aware, there are trails with restricted access to mountain biking on Darling Ridge. These trails are neighboring the festival location. With the negative impact that the festival had on area residents and the community, combined with limited access to MTB trails, the partners felt cancelling the event was in everyone’s best interest.”
NEMBAfest is a three-day celebration of all things mountain biking. Festival goers have experienced over 100 miles of unique trails and terrain, enjoyed a fun-filled, family-friendly weekend of riding, camping, demo-ing the latest mountain bikes, checking out new gadgets and gear, great music, and local food & drink from around the region. The event was created to encourage the sport of mountain biking in order for future generations to enjoy the unique benefits of the sport and trail experience, as well as an annual fundraiser for KTA and NEMBA, both nonprofit organizations.