The History of Pannonian Challenge
From „Tko prvi, govno mrvi“ to an international success
Certainly, some twenty years ago, nobody expected that Osijek, although widely known as a city of sport and good entertainment, would become the regional centre of urban culture.
Simple idea of a few enthusiasts, which began to be born in mid ‘90s, soon woke up the hope of many extreme sports fans. In other words, this was the idea of a unique festival that would combine BMX, INLINE and SKATE competitions in a relaxed and chill atmosphere topped off with an evening of energetic parties and concerts. That idea has become the recipe for success of Pannonian Challenge, now globally known festival of extreme sports, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year.
It is always good to remember the modest beginnings, which ultimately led to Pannonian Challenge being one of the largest Osijek brands. The first more formal competition was held under the name “Tko prvi govno mrvi” (i.e. he who comes in first doesn’t get anything). It is considered to be “zero” edition of Pannonian Challenge, after which the first contours of the extensive skate park began to appear at the Osijek high school playground.
A year later, in 1999, the first official Pannonian Challenge was held, which immediately attracted a considerable number of spectators, while on the fourth edition the entire story came together with the performances of well-known local urban bands Debeli predcjednik and Gužva u 16-ercu, as well as DJs – like Sly and Omer, who were in charge of making a good atmosphere.
Modern and well engineered skate park, with an excellent organization of the competition itself, then began to attract an increasing number of athletes to the next Pannonian Challenge edition, which is why the capacities of the High School playground soon became too small.
The biggest turning point happened in 2013, when the entire skate park, and thus the festival, moved to a much larger area on the left bank of the river Drava, near the popular Copacabana beach. Numerous sponsors then began to recognize the significance of Pannonian Challenge for the whole region, but also for the very development of extreme sports, which is why the festival began to grow unstoppably. That reputation has attracted the best athletes and numerous visitors in recent years.
As far as the festival is concerned, it is enough to say that the prizes for the best riders at the very beginning were symbolic, while today the prize fund of the whole competition amounts to a 100 000 HRK – one of the biggest prize funds of extreme competitions in Europe.
As did the competition part of the festival grow so did the music part and this year’s edition will feature the best names of regional urban music scene.