The first idea of Football Festival® Denmark was born in the summer of 2002, when three football clubs, FC Aarhus, AIA-Tranbjerg IF and Skovbakken IK joined forces in creating a major youth tournament in Denmarks second largest city, Aarhus. On October 25th 2002 the concept for Football Festival® Denmark was presented at a press event at the Aarhus City Hall.
Success from the very beginning
51 teams from 7 countries participated in the first tournament in the summer of 2003 – among them Bosnia and Uganda. It was a success from the very beginning, and AIA/Tranbjerg and Skovbakken decided to make Football Festival® Denmark a annual summer event in Aarhus. However,
In 2004 the number of participating teams increased with 50 percent to 76, representing six different countries. Once again the tournament was played in the northern part of Aarhus at Vejlby-Riskov Idrætscenter with 16 football pitches, indoor arenas, camping etc.
In 2005 Football Festival® Denmark reached the magic limit of 100 participating teams representing 10 different nations. For the first time we had the pleasure of greeting football friends from Hungary, Czech Republic, England, Albania and the Philippines. With 23 teams Norway became the best represented country – besides Denmark.
The tournament this year had Grønløkke Sports Centre in Tranbjerg as centre, and once again the participating teams expressed their satisfaction with the entire tournament set-up. In the autumn of 2005 the Football Festival secretary moved into new office facilities in Aarhus city at Skolegade 21.
2006 – Another eventful year
2006 meant introduction of elite classes for teams who, in comparison, are a level above the other teams, were competing for honour and glory. In the G17 Girls Elite Cup the very strongest girl teams made history all on their own.
With the participation of teams such as Montpellier HSC, Turbine Potsdam, Malmö FF and Arsenal Ladies, the class saw matches of the very highest quality. In the end, it was, however, Swedish team IF Brommapojkarne who could raise the trophy after an exiting final against Arsenal. The organisers were also pleased to see a significant rise in the number of teams in the open classes. A total of 135 teams from 15 different countries were represented in this years tournament.
2007 proved to be a very wet experience. Never before had there, in the time leading up to FF®D, been falling these amounts of rain, and all the fields were drenched from the get go. Thing did not improve weather-wise as it rained throughout the week. 142 teams from 18 different nations entered into the 2007-tournament, which saw its return to the Vejlby Risskov Sports Center in the north of Aarhus.
A record setting year
2008 became the year were all the previous records were broken, and new ones were set. 186 teams from 20 different countries were in place on a sunny Vejlby Risskov Sports Centre. The weather gods smiled upon the tournament from first till last whistle, brining lovely and warm weather all week long.
According to many of the participants, Football Festival® 2008 will go down in history as the “the best tournament ever” This is mainly due to the brilliant weather, the most spectacular Opening Ceremony ever as well as the warm and light summer nights on the Festival “rambla”.
A succesful 10 years anniversary
The tournament concept from 2009 and ahead has been an ongoing development but always build on a solid fundation of: International matches and atmosphere; quality before amounts; time used on football and fun instead of transport – and remarkable events. Every year Football Festival has increased the number of participating nations, and in 2012 Football Festival Denmark celebrated our 10 years anniversary for the first time with a team from Brazil, Interclubes Sao Paulo.