Published On: 12/23/2019

Sam Reynolds announces DarkFEST 2020! We find out if things can get even bigger?

What started out in 2014 as an unsuspecting, a road trip around the UK in search of the sickest jumps. Sam Reynolds and the crew have always had one thing in mind, building bigger jumps in search of bigger air. It’s pretty crazy to see how far things have come in the space of a few years. Since the inception of Pure Darkness, each year and chosen location have pushed the limits of both riding ability and level of progression in freeride mountain biking. Since being adopted as an official Fest Series event, things have elevated to a whole new level. From new riders coming out year on year, the constantly evolving courses and most importantly, exploring what is possible on a bike.  

Now in its fourth year, DarkFEST continues to stay true to its roots. Going against the grain with the current state of mountain biking, staying well clear from pressurized contest formats, unimaginative course designs and the abundance of cookie cutter slo-mo edits.


Allow us to give you a quick history lesson.


In 2014 things got started: Sam Reynolds, Matt Macduff and Danny Pace embark on the “darkest” road trip of all time in search of the UK's best trail spots. 


In 2015 the Step Up was born: Tired of the rest of the stuff going on in the MTB world. The crew make their way to South Africa to build the biggest jump they could. The internet took notice.


In 2016 things got silly: Pure Darkness 3 – Going big will never die! The crew gets bigger and so do the jumps!


In 2017 they brought the big bikes out: Making the decision to bring bigger weapons to combat the giants they'd created for the first ever DarkFEST event.


2018 brought a new location: Breaking ground at the new location in Stellenbosch, boasting higher elevation and endless opportunities for building even bigger jumps for the second edition of the event.


2019 it got bigger: The hunt for big air continues as they add on to the bottom section of the course, birthing a massive hit dubbed the "Rocket Launcher" which took Sam out of commission in 2019.


Judging by that trajectory, 2020 is anyone’s guess so we hit up Sam to get the low-down…


“So I sure am excited for the 4th edition of DarkFEST and can’t wait to continue the wild experiment that tests us all to see how big we can go! This year will be a special one because of my injury testing the jumps forcing me to watch from the sideline in 2019 so the anticipation for me is even higher than usual!  It’s only made me more motivated to get out there and build some beasts after waiting all year!” - mentions Sam.


No big hints on any additions to the course yet, but you know those build videos are going to be golden!


"We will be improving and extending the already mental course with extra attention on the last features, we will make the last jump even bigger and make another feature after as well but you’ll have to tune in to the build videos for updates!"


While we're just getting warmed up. Take a look at some of our favourite images from the past few years below.

The rider list is yet to be finalised but there are some legendary DarkFEST veterans as well as some young guns to make the most rounded and awesome rider line up of any event ever seen!


Sam Reynolds

Nico Vink

Clemens Kaudela

Adolf Silva

Brendan Fairclough

Tom Van Steenbergen

Andreu Lacondeguy

Matt Macduff



Nicholi Rogatkin

Theo Erlangsen

Ike Klaassen

Carson Storch

Daryl Brown

Remi Morton

Bienve Aguado

Brage Vestavik

Kaos Seagrave