Bile-Action at the GlemmRide Bike Festival | © saalbach.com, Stefan Voitl
  • Backstage

Behind the scenes of the organising of the GlemmRide Bike Festival

What's behind such a big bike event?

After a two-year break, the GlemmRide Bike Festival will finally take place again this year from 7 to 10 July. This is the sixth time the event has been held in Saalbach Hinterglemm with a lot of passion. But how does an event like this actually come about and who is behind it all? We took a look behind the scenes of the GlemmRide Bike Festival for you.

About the event

The GlemmRide Bike Festival is a four-day event in the centre of Hinterglemm, where, as the name suggests, everything revolves around the theme of biking. 
Every year, the heart of the festival is the huge expo area, where numerous well-known exhibitors from the bike industry present their products and even offer them for testing. There is no better place for this, as Austria's largest biking region offers countless bike routes and trails for this purpose.
Further highlights are a variety of side events that invite visitors to join in. Excitement is guaranteed at the big air shows of Masters of Dirt and the downhill races on the Reiterkogel. And there's no lack of partying either, with performances by various live bands and after-show parties every evening.
Important tip: This year, the performances by Texta and Turbobier should definitely not be missed! If you are keeping an eye out, you can also spot stars of the bike scene such as Fabio Wibmer and Stevie Schneider at the GlemmRide Bike Festival.

The main players

The event organiser of the GlemmRide Bike Festival is the Saalbach Hinterglemm Tourism Board. The idea for the festival was born in 2014, and since then the concept has evolved every year. In 2020 and 2021 the GlemmRide unfortunately had to be paused, but that only makes this year's festival even more exciting!
Mainly responsible for the planning and implementation of the event are the "Eventies", as we affectionately call them. The team consists of Manuel (the head of events), Sonny and Birgit. Together they solve every problem, no matter how complicated, and manage to excite visitors and participants of the festival every year again and again.
And who better to give us an insight behind the scenes of the GlemmRide Bike Festival than the event manager himself? That's why we quizzed Manuel with questions and now present his answers exclusively to you here:

What makes the GlemmRide Bike Festival special for you?

For us, the most special thing is that we can organise, help design and coordinate everything ourselves from A-Z. The GlemmRide Bike Festival has grown over the years and is an absolute success for us. It makes us proud that we can experience the whole development up close and have a say in it. In addition, we have built up a super great network of partners over the years, with whom we make the GlemmRide as successful as it is. This starts with the caterers, show acts and bands, in other words from the smallest detail to the very big. It is also very important for me to emphasise that the GlemmRide is one of many events where you can see once again how well we work together across institutions in the village. We work shoulder to shoulder with mountain railways, municipalities, landlords and all other local stakeholders.


Apart from you and your team, who else is involved in the background of the event?

In the background, we are supported by the entire team of the tourism association. Everyone makes their contribution, no matter how small or large it is. We work very interdepartmentally here, a bit like one big family. The entire Expo is organised by Marlene Krug, which also makes a very big contribution to the organisation of the event. Otherwise, all departments from our tourism association are involved in the GlemmRide, from the management to the marketing department to the service centre.


How have you used the two-year break?

We are generally quite broadly positioned in the department and are also involved in many other projects. Partly, and thankfully, we were allowed to "go outside" the events in the last two years and work in other areas such as product development or marketing. The last two years were very bitter for us, but thank God we are so well positioned that we still had enough work and we are very grateful for that.


When does the planning of such an event begin for you?

To be honest, already in autumn the year before. It really starts in January, relatively early. The hardcore phase usually starts two months before the event begins, which is when it gets really crunchy.


What made you almost despair when planning the event?

Even if the planning is good, there are always time bottlenecks right before the event. And above all, the changeable weather forecasts can drive you to despair, but unfortunately these cannot be influenced.


What are you personally looking forward to most at this year's GlemmRide Bike Festival?

I'm most looking forward to seeing really happy faces of everyone involved. Guests, exhibitors, riders and bands, everyone should be happy. When on Sunday you can say "Yes, it worked" and when everything you planned works out, it feels like you've untied a Gordian knot. When everything goes like clockwork, I'm happy.

What are the highlights of this year's event for you?

We are particularly proud of our new partner Masters of Dirt. Also the fact that the GlemmRide is so attractive that so many manufacturers and exhibitors will find their way to Saalbach again is insane for us. The musical set-up with top-class DJs and especially the bands Texta and Turbobier also makes us immensely proud.


Which part of the event needs the most planning?

For me personally, that would be the budget including controlling, because I'm mainly responsible for the financial side. Even if you wouldn't expect that, I think it's great because that's exactly my passion and I like to keep an eye on the costs.


What thought makes you wake up in a cold sweat the night before the GlemmRide?

The thought that you've forgotten something. You often ask yourself: "Have I done this or have I forgotten something? There's just a huge amount of stuff that's constantly on your mind.


What accompanies you through the particularly stressful time?

Sweets, Turbobier and motivational slogans to each other. Joking aside, the most important thing for us in such a stressful time is that we are an extremely homogeneous team and work really well together.


What other events can we look forward to from you?

Our calendar of events, in winter as well as in summer, is full to bursting with small and large events. Here we act as organisers, but also often as a helping and supporting part. Be it the Hinterglemm Farmers' Market, the Saalbach Trail & Skyrace or the World Games of Mountain Biking as the crowning finale of the summer. In winter there is the BERGFESTival as well as Rave on Snow or Ski World Cup events, which in the past were often spontaneously taken over by us and set up in a very short time. New this year was also the Global Bike Festival at the beginning of the summer, which is completely different from anything we have done before.

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