Each and every PannonianChallenge stays with us, because every year something exciting happens, so we’re always left with great memories and new stories to tell. Besides the usual events and excitement, there are a few things that were different in the core of the festival last year. We’re already used to hordes of bikers, skaters, and rollers that fill our city at the end of August, but last years’ Pannonian Challenge was moved to the middle of July, i.e. July 18th, when the entire program started, up until July 23rd when the festival ended with a, so far, first FISE world BMX cup held in Osijek.
A rich cultural program in Tvrđa assured that the festival would last longer. The city atmosphere started pumping up with adrenaline long before boys and girls began surprising us with their skating tricks. The opening was, traditionally, held in Kazamat, where an even better art exhibition by Slaven Kosanović Lunar, Ivo Kosanović, Miro Petković Modul, Goran Rakić, Ivan Sajtos, Srđan Toth and Vedran Bjelobradić was held, and the second part of the exhibition was presented by Art Academy’s team of Jasmin Mišković, Martina Kovačević, Ena Janković, Marin Meković, Vinko Vidmar and Mario Skender Sob. As always, the exhibition was accompanied by an opening party that was visited by hundreds of loyal fans of Pannonian Challenge.
The cultural part of the program continued throughout the entire festival and on the left bank of the river Drava, where a Sculptor’s Colony, B-boying break-dance could be seen, and during the day, in Vega, a program for children was organized with children’s workshops, an art class and a show called Moonlight.
The sports part of the festival, now tagged as UCI BMX Freestyle park world cup, which was brought to Osijek by FISE for the first time, started on Thursday, July 21st. The preparation of the skate park took a couple of months, and now has finally reached world standards under the wheels of professional BMX riders. Considering that Thursday was a day for training and qualifications, worlds’ best riders, that gathered on that day in Osijek, didn’t show their best skills right away, left us anticipating the grand finale. Despite that, the enthusiasm didn’t plummet, and the viewers were left astonished with a number of performances that they never had a chance to see before. The entire day there was sweat dripping, but blood too, as a result of falls that left no one uninterested. Double spocks in different directions occasionally took their victims, but that is nothing compared to what riders are used to, and after every fall they were back on their BMX’s and repeated their trick in an even more spectacular performance.
Friday, with trainings and qualifications, also brought us the half finale. Under summer’s heat, the riders filled the skate park with their escapades the entire day. Amateur and young riders brought up the atmosphere, and then young girls took over on their BMX’, after whom were the world professionals. The half finale started in the evening hours after the Sun started to set. The day had a grand finale, and the tricks that looked as if they are against the laws of physics left the viewers speechless. But that was nothing compared to what we had coming the following day. The most anticipated day of every festival is Saturday. Same goes with PannonianChallenge. From the early morning girls have amazed us with their BMX tricks, after what amateur and yound riders continued to entertain the audience. Finally, the grand finale, Saturday night belonged to the professionals, the greatest names of the world of BMX, those that showed their skills and did tricks we weren’t even aware they existed. The first place went to Logan Martin, the second by our local viewers’ favorite, Daniel Dhers, and the third place went to Joshua Perry. All three of them once again pushed the boundaries of Pannonian Challenge and left us with even more anticipation of the next when we hope we will witness an even more extreme performance.
PannonianChallenge XVII, of 2016, ended with a musical performance in Vega, where it ended even in the bygone times, which reminded the citizens of Osijek of those days. DJ Oliver, DJ BizzoBodega, DJ PhatPhille entertained the audience in Vega until late hours, and in the early Sunday hours DJ Oliver ended the PannonianChallenge with an after party in Kazamat.
The boundaries are more and more pushed each ear, and the standards are getting higher. Backflip used to rise the audience to its feet, and today it’s something that is used to start a performance.
We were happy to watch the PannonianChallenge XVII and were left in the anticipation of the next one. What will PannonianChallenge XVIII bring us, you will find out soon!