The Zwarte Cross Festival is the biggest paid festival in the Netherlands, and the biggest motor event in the world. The 19th edition in 2015 had 197.450 visitors and the 20th edition in 2016 counted in at 220.000 visitors. The festival is a combination of motorcross, music, theatre and stunts. 'Zwarte Cross' literally means 'black cross'; it is a reference to the illegal motocross races in the 1960s.
The first edition of the Zwarte Cross took place in 1997. It was a motorcross in which anyone could compete on a motorcycle, moped or scooter. About 150 people competed, and there were 1000 visitors. The day was concluded with a concert of the organizing rock band, Jovink en de Voederbietels. Although the name suggested the race was illegal, the organisation had all the needed permits.
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