Our history

The Festival del Sole was born in Riccione on 1989. It was the first of its kind in Italy: never before, someone had tried to organize an international event of general gymnastics and, above all, one that was not competitive.

The Festival proved to be a great success right from its first edition, attracting 58 teams from 11 different European countries.

The following edition saw the numbers of the Festival del Sole grow more and more. In 1992 the teams were 76 for a total of 1,850 athletes, who now get to perform in the “Arenas”—real open-air stages on the promenade of Riccione—in front of an enthusiastic audience.

Soon the popularity of the Festival began to grow outside Europe and, in 1996, we welcomed 11 teams from Brazil among the participants of the third edition.
The organisation is experienced and ready to welcome an increasing number of participants, making the Festival del Sole a biennial event.

The fourth and the fifth edition, in 1998 and 2000 respectively, proved us right by recording the participation of teams from Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the Republic of San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary, for a total of over 1,900 athletes each.

With the following editions, the Festival del Sole affirmed itself among the most important not competitive gymnastics events of the European area, consolidating its audience of athletes of any age and discipline.

In 2010 the Festival del Sole celebrated its tenth edition: Riccione was literally invaded by more than 3,400 athletes from 19 countries who performed in front of 50,000 people. It was a very special edition that culminated with the great closing ceremony in conjunction with Riccione’s very own Notte Rosa.

For the 11th edition which took place on July 2012, we introduced a fourth exhibition Arena in order to allow more athletes to perform—peaking at 4,300 participants—and some very well received side activities such as workshops and beach parties.

Building up on those premises, the Festival grew even more in 2014 reaching 4,600 participants who rushed to register for the 12th edition—filling up all the spots available in just one week from the opening of the registrations. The exhibition Arenas are now 5, the new one being in the city center and hosting the afternoon performances of the athletes.
This edition marked 25 years from the Festival del Sole inception and has been truly memorable.

Then in 2016 we surpassed the 5,000 participants mark for the first time: 5,300 athletes from 22 countries and one new Arena on the seafront of Riccione to host the ever growing number of exhibitions and spectators. The highlight of this 13th edition has surely been the special performances by Kokushikan Men’s RG team from Japan that won a standing ovation of everyone in the crowd each night.

We keep growing. In 2018 the participating teams are now 165 for a total of 5,700 athletes from al all over the World: Europe, Asia, and South America are well represented. The 6 exhibition Arenas are are invaded every night by an energizing public, culminating in the great closing show which lasted 3 hours.

In 2019 the Festival turns 30, but we are already looking ahead to the 15th edition of the Festival del Sole, taking place from June 28 to July 3, 2020. See you there!

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