Friday, January 17, 2020
In a combined decision, the New England Mountain Bike Association, Kingdom Trail Association, and Wildflower Inn, have chosen not to host the 2020 NEMBAfest on the Kingdom Trails network. The NEMBA organization has chosen to take a year off from producing the festival in order to find a more suitable location for 2021. The difficult decision came after much discernment and careful consideration of a variety of factors and the impacts of holding the event again on the Darling Hill Ridge
NEMBAfest is a three-day celebration of all things mountain biking. Festival goers have experienced over 100 miles of unique trails and terrain, enjoyed a fun-filled, family-friendly weekend of riding, camping, demo-ing the latest mountain bikes, checking out new gadgets and gear, great music, and local food & drink from around the region. The event was created to encourage the sport of mountain biking in order for future generations to enjoy the unique benefits of the sport and trail experience, as well as an annual fundraiser for KTA and NEMBA, both nonprofit organizations.
A number of factors determined the decision to not host the 2020 NEMBAfest on Kingdom Trails. Last year the event experienced 4,000 attendees, the largest MTB festival in the Northeast. Although the contribution to the regional economy was significant, the event was too large for the surrounding communities. The impact of the event over the 3 days placed much stress and pressure on the rural Vermont infrastructure and roads. The partners understand this was disruptive to neighbors and the community as a whole and apologize for the unmanaged growth and size.
Also, as many are aware, there are trails with restricted access to mountain biking on Darling Ridge. These trails are neighboring the festival location. With the negative impact that the festival had on area residents and the community, combined with limited access to MTB trails, the partners felt cancelling the event was in everyone’s best interest. They do not believe NEMBAfest could continue to offer the same quality experiences for attendees to enjoy.
NEMBA, Kingdom Trails, and the Wildflower Inn wish to thank all the festival goers, industry sponsors and partners, families, community members, volunteers, the Town of Lyndon, and especially the KTA Landowners for understanding this decision. It has been an honor to host this incredible event, a privilege to have the opportunity to welcome all from across the Northeast and beyond to experience these amazing trails and the beautiful landscape of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Philip Keyes, Executive Director NEMBA
Abby Long, Executive Director, KTA
Jim O’Reilly, Owner, Wildflower Inn