The tenth Kössen Paragliding Testival is on from 31 May to 3 June 2018.
Last year saw record crowds at the Austrian event, with 4,300 pilots and 7,500 flights flown over four days. It’s rapidly becoming a must-attend for everyone in the paragliding industry.
The idea of the festival is that pilots can turn up, drop off their passport in exchange for a demo wing, and then use the cablecar to swiftly head up for a test fly. Dedicated pilots can fly lots of wings.
El Yelmo International Festival of the Air is back in Segura de la Sierra, Andalucia, Spain, on 1-3 June 2018. Now in its 19th edition, the free-flying festival promises three days of fun in the Spanish sun, with airshows, a trade fair, conferences, a competition and the International Festival of Air Cinema.
Hundreds of paraglider and paramotor pilots are expected, with 20,000 spectators over the weekend.
The Icarus trophy paramotor adventure race will take place in southern Africa in 2018.
“This is the Icarus Trophy on steroids, adventure on a baobab stick”.
The race will be around 1,000 miles long, depending on the actual route chosen by participants. Pilots will start at Hartbeespoort near Johannesburg in South Africa on 25 July, and cross Botswana to finish in Zambia a few days later. Pilots have to land and cross borders on foot, and their passports will be checked for the appropriate stamps! More on the 2018 route here.
This year again there will be an Adventure Division (supported, no race element), and a Race Division (no designated supporter, but pilots can use ‘open access’ support- anything that the average person can access.
“Should they manage to charm total strangers into lending their assistance, that’s kosher. They cannot use help offered by friends, distant relatives, other pilots or the race team to further their progress.
“Probably the key part of any adventure is the adventurous bits. And that means setting out into the world and fending for yourself. Anything else becomes a bit less exciting. It starts to remove all the fun bits, like ‘where the hell will I sleep?’ or ‘what do I do now I’ve run out of fuel?’ And it starts to become a bit of a guided tour.”
All competitors must carry their own food, clothes and sleeping equipment (although if you land near a hotel it’s within the rules to use it) and basic paramotor spares. Competitors are tracked, and are sent regular weather reports. There’s also a support truck following just in case, although, “It will probably take a while to reach you if you land in the middle of the desert, so best pack some sandwiches”.
Parafest, the UK’s family-friendly flying-and-music festival, is back in North Wales from 27-29 July 2018.
Mixing live music and family entertainment with paragliding, hang gliding and paramotoring, Parafest takes place at Llanbedr airfield on the beautiful Welsh coast, at the edge of Snowdonia National Park.
The event will host the UK’s only manufacturers’ trade show as well winch and aerotowing for suitably qualified pilots. There are hill-launch sites just a short drive away, and local pilots will be on hand to brief visitors.
Powered pilots have a dedicated area of the airfield to use for the duration of the event, from which they can explore the miles of unspoilt sandy beaches, the picture-postcard coastal towns and the mountains and valleys of Snowdonia.
“Parafest is not just for pilots it’s for the whole family. Bring your partner, bring the kids, bring non-flying friends – you can even bring the dog!”
A purpose-built stage in the festival arena will host professional live bands who will play until midnight on the Friday and Saturday nights. Party-lovers can then head over to the Asbo Disco, set away from the camping area, where DJs will play on into the wee small hours.
This Argentinean festival celebrates all things free-flight. This year it takes place from 8-9 September, at San Pedro airport northeast of Buenos Aires.
The festival’s goal is to promote the sport among non-flyers, and there are lots of airshows including PPG acro, skydiving, paramotoring, paragliding and hang gliding, free-flight biplanes and hot air balloons. The site is a flatland location so pilots should be tow qualified to fly.
The festival was born in 2016 and the first edition saw 14,000 visitors. 160 pilots took to the skies, and 180kg of food were collected to be donated locally. In 2017 the number of visitors rose to 20,000 people, with twice as many pilots and twice the weight of food donations collected.
More on the event’s Facebook page.