The Coupe Icare 2020 has been officially cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement sent out on Monday 17 August the Coupe Icare organising committee said:
“It is with a heavy heart that we have finally decided to cancel the Coupe Icare 2020 in its entirety, for all participants.”
The Coupe Icare is the biggest free-flight festival in the sport, and usually attracts around 100,000 people to its four day festival in the mountains near Grenoble.
This year, before the coronavirus pandemic, organisers had taken the big step of changing the format of the festival, which has been running for 47 years. Going from four days to eight days, the plan was to allow more time for pilots to fly and test wings.
After the pandemic hit however, the decision was made to cut it down in size, taking it back to four days and limiting access to pilots only. However, even that has not been enough to save it for 2020.
Organisers said: “We have done everything possible to try to maintain certain parts of the event for the pilots.
“But concerns over the health implications for participants, volunteers and the local populations, as well as more and more heavy sanitary obligations, and the withdrawal of several exhibitors, have forced us to take this decision which seems sensible to us.”
They added that they still hope to rescue the film festival, which focuses on air sports and adventure, in some way.
“However, all the work done so far to organise has not been wasted. We are considering different possibilities to present the 38th Icare du Cinéma at a later date.
“Hoping that you will understand this decision, we ask you to mark your calendars from September 12 to 19th 2021 for the 48th Coupe Icare.”
The original promo video for the planned eight-day Coupe Icare 2020