Canada’s biggest action sports festival is returning for its 11th heart-pumping edition at the Olympic Park from August 25 to 27, 2023. In a sports-loving city whose tourism strategy stars sports festivals, JACKALOPE is ahead of the pack — it’s the epitome of a successful sports fest, uniting a whole cultural scene every year to celebrate and amaze at the world’s most iconic athletes in a feverish mix of skateboarding, bouldering, BMX, breakdancing and more. Like all great fests, it branches beyond sports into culture, food, even commerce. Here are 11 reasons JACKALOPE is setting the sports festival pace.
1. It’s reinventing what a sport event can be
JACKALOPE is a new model of event organizing. Sure, there’s a traditional “competition” element to it, but it’s so much more. It’s about producing live events where legends are born, happenings happen, and being there is essential lest you miss out on the making of history.
2. It’s homegrown
The festival was born and raised right here in Montréal. It’s the only place in Canada where you’ll meet so many adrenaline junkies in the same place at the same time — and it’s the melting pot of all these people that makes JACKALOPE so special, inclusive, welcoming and internationally renowned.
3. It’s high paced and adrenaline-packed
At JACKALOPE you can expect to see some 500 athletes from 20 countries in action for skateboarding, bouldering and breakdancing competitions, as well as freestyle motocross, BMX and BASE jump demonstrations. We’re talking about sports so fresh that the Olympic committee is still scratching their heads!
4. It unites a whole scene
JACKALOPE is so much more than a sports event — it’s a sports festival. That means it’s also a cultural event full of live music, DJ sets, breakdancing demos, free climbing, games rooms and lots of hangout spots (including a bar) so visitors can come in the morning and literally stay all day without ever wanting for entertainment, comfort and amenities.
5. It draws the crowds with amazing food
Sports festival organizers know: the way to an audience’s heart is through their stomach. JACKALOPE lines up a selection of Montréal most beloved food trucks with options ranging from tacos to sushi, pizza, sweets, vegan foods and more. Find the mouthwatering list of 2023 food trucks here.
6. It mixes community and commerce
Since the event brings together a scene that extends beyond sports into lifestyle, it only makes sense to capitalize on that opportunity by offering a selection of lifestyle goods for purchase onsite. JACKALOPE is known for its annual pop-up shops, ranging from hand-crafted skateboards to vintage skate-wear finds to useful phone accessories for those looking to capture the event for posterity. See the full list of 2023 pop-up shops here.
7. It’s set in an Olympic location
The events take place at one of Canada’s most iconic venues: Montréal’s Olympic Park, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The Esplanade — where JACKALOPE takes place — also hosts a multitude of events ranging from the First Fridays Street Food Festival to outdoor performances by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and more. Plus, look up and towering over it all, the Montréal Tower is the world’s tallest inclined tower.
8. It invites active participation
To engage audiences to their full potential, JACKALOPE invites participants to skate, climb, dance and learn. It’s an open, relaxed atmosphere where bailing is simply part of the process.
9. It’s accessible to all
In the most literal sense of the word, it’s a playful atmosphere open to all ages and therefore the whole family. JACKALOPE hosts regular block parties in various cities around the world, and sponsors events throughout the year to keep the buzz going well beyond festival time. All visitors to JACKALOPE attend to play or watch other people play — and with global stars in attendance like Itzel Granados, Ben Paterson, Joe Hinson and Keet Oldenbeuving, it’s an opportunity for all to be inspired by the best.
10. It’s also online
11. It’s even open to dogs
It’s true, you can bring your pooch! Just keep Fido on a leash.
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