The European Champions Village is an exercise in experiential fan engagement, developed by ERC and delivered on European club rugby's biggest day of the year, the Heineken Cup final. The Heineken Cup final is one of the biggest sporting occasions on the sporting calendar in the northern hemisphere and attracts an eclectic mix of fans from all over Europe and beyond. This fan park festival is rapidly developing into an integral part of the DNA of the European club rugby finals weekend.
The European Champions Village will be open outside Cardiff Castle from midday until 4.30pm on the day of the Heineken Cup final (Saturday, 24 May). Castle Street and Duke Street will be closed so that European rugby fans can take over the street.
There will be a range of exciting and engaging activities for all ages including face painting, Line-out Challenges, Speed Passes, Mini Bosch, and an Up and Under Challenge brought to you by adidas, as well as an opportunity to get your personalised photograph taken with the Heineken Cup trophy, courtesy of Heineken.
You can also experience the culinary delights on the day with the Taste of Wales which will showcase all locally sourced foods with traditional vendors, Heineken bars will also be in operation to quench any thirst for the over 18s.
On stage, there will be live music with a band, a DJ and the electric stylings of Fusion. Fans will also be able to get a look behind the scenes with Heineken's Rugby Show, who will be filming a segment live on stage in the afternoon.
As in previous years, stars of the game, past and present, will mingle among fans as the build-up to the final continues throughout the day. The European Champions Village will be a fantastic place for supporters of all clubs to meet and soak up the special atmosphere of the finals weekend. For those lucky enough to be attending the Heineken Cup final, the Millennium Stadium is just a few minutes' walk away from Cardiff Castle which lies at the heart of this historic capital city.
Since its inception in Cardiff in 2011 in the remnants of the legendary Cardiff Arms Park, (a site fittingly chosen, as it was the ground where the first Heineken Cup final was played on January 7th 1996), the idea was taken to Twickenham 2012 and developed into a fully-fledged festival with a cacophony of colour and noise, with fans from all over Europe enjoying the social experience and celebrating the mix of cultures that help define and make truly special the European Club Rugby Experience.
The intent was to capture the magical mix of cultures that are experienced by fans throughout the season, at all of the rugby grounds that the European tournaments visit, as tribal rivalries take place, game after game in venue after venue, in many towns and cities across borders in Europe every year through the 79 games in the Heineken Cup and the 67 games in the Amlin Challenge Cup. This finals weekend is a culmination of the European club rugby season and for all the traveling fans the European Champions Village is a focal point for them to congregate and celebrate their love for their teams, these tournaments and the sport in a unique way.
The European Champions Village does not require an admission fee or ticket for entry.