Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Not Attend the 2022 Arnold Sports Festival UK

Also: Moving forward, the event will go by the name "Experience With Sports Festival UK."

The 2022 Arnold Sports Festival (ASF) UK — set to occur Sept. 23-25, 2022, at the National Expo Centre in Birmingham, England — will not see an in-person appearance by the event’s namesake, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two most notable competitions at the event are the 2022 Arnold Classic (AC) UK and the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) UK.

On Sept. 22, 2022, executive director of the ASF Brian Powers said in a statement that Schwarzenegger will not appear at the 2022 ASF UK because “financial obligations to a variety of people had not been met.”

As…we were never able to reach an agreement with the Promoter regarding details of the appearance, Gov. Schwarzenegger will not appear in person.

Fans looking to refund their tickets were told to contact the ticket provider, Eventbrite. Here’s the response from the 2022 ASF UK promoters from a post on their Instagram page:


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A post shared by The Arnold Sports Festival UK (@arnoldsportsuk)

[Related: Here is James Hollingshead’s Final Leg Workout Before the 2022 Arnold Classic UK]

In the post above, The Arnold Sports Festival UK notes that moving forward, the event will be named “Experience With Sports Festival UK”. It’s not clear if the name change is in effect for the 2022 event or if the promoters will initiate the change for 2023.

This comes with extreme disappointment. Unfortunately, demands for funds to be placed in Escrow were passed to us too late…to accommodate.

The 2022 ASF UK promoters said that Powers’ announcement was the first time they were informed of the news. This is the second straight year that Schwarzenegger will not be in attendance at the event, which only began in 2021. Schwarzenegger didn’t attend the first edition of the event due to COVID-19.


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A post shared by The Arnold Sports Festival UK (@arnoldsportsuk)

[Related: How Derek Lunsford Is Training Legs for the 2022 Men’s Open Olympia]

Athletes’ Pay

On Sept. 23, 2022, the IFBB Pro League released a statement on their Instagram page that “all IFBB Pro League athletes who place at the 2022 ASF will be paid.” The prize money has been guaranteed by IFBB president Jim Manion and co-promotor Ian Constable.

Nine divisions will compete at the 2022 AC, including the Men’s Open, 212 division, Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Men’s Wheelchair, Women’s Physique, Fitness, Figure, and Bikini. Nathan de Asha won the 2021 AC UK Men’s Open but is not competing in 2022 to defend, so a new champion is destined to be crowned.

BarBend will update this story if and when new developments surface. 

Featured image: @arnoldsportsuk on Instagram