Most festivals take place at a certain place or a certain time of year. The Redbull Flugtag, however adheres to very few rules. Sponsored by Red Bull (yes, the famous energy drink that gives you wings) the Flugtag is a wet and wild event that occurs at various spots all over the world each year. The official goal is to create a homemade human powered flying machine that glides as far as possible off a long pier with a 30 foot drop off. Unofficially very few of these quirky crafts do anything even close to flying and become more of a comical fall into the waters below. This is where all the fun for the thousands of spectators comes in.
You can never be sure year to year if the Flugtag is going to show up near your home town; you just have to watch their site and hope for the best. If they are coming your way and you are the adventurous sort, you may want to participate. Anyone with a do it yourself spirit and the nerve to jump off a 30 foot pier with a wacky hunk of equipment is welcome to apply to join the action. Just make sure your materials are environmentally friendly and unsinkable (you are jumping into open waters after all). There are a few other rules, but it all boils down to having a good time. Each year, at every event, the builders get a little weirder and the performances a little bolder.
Performances are probably the funniest part and biggest crowd pleaser at the Redbull Flugtag. Each five person group develops a theme for their craft. Based on that there is a song, a dance, a skit, or maybe just a whole bunch of jumping around. At the 2010 event in Miami, Florida one of the teams had a “Lucha libre” (Mexican wrestling) theme which included five guys in full luchador regalia mock wresting in a giant blow up ring which crashed ever so gracefully into the warm blue waters of Biscayne Bay below. That event drew one of the biggest US crowds ever at close to 85,000; however the 2003 Flugtag in Hyde Park in London, UK drew in over 250,000!
Started in 1991 in Vienna, Austria, the Redbull Flugtag has only grown in popularity over the years. With a carnival like atmosphere, you can expect lots of food, drinks, and a consortium of odd and wonderful people (both participating and watching). The lighthearted festival is perfect for kids, adults, couples, families, young, old, and everyone in between. It’s guaranteed to be a day filled with lots of laughs, excitement, butterflies in you bellies, and a genuinely great time for everyone.
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