They built it – They came
If there was ever a good idea, with the right leadership and philanthropically cool vibe of visionary genius, the Afro-Punk Festival 2009 in Brooklyn was it. It is a gift to its community.
There were many events that took place, but I am really only (roughly) qualified to write about one of them. The one that brought me to the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in the first place, skateboarding.
URBANx bATTLE FOR THE STREETS
East Coast riders showed up from all over; North Carolina, the Jers, PA, F L A, and of course our own New York City soldiers brought the muscle. Skaters from every sort of background battled it out in a Brooklyn style warfare; charging a board slide on the rail through hung up skateboards and oncoming skaters, they took hard digs and went head to head at out at the URBANX Battle for the streets. Even the girls. It was really sick.
The 5Boro Crew
Steve Rodriguez, the boss of the New York City skateboarding scene, as well as the entire 5Boro crew came out and supported the event in full force, not only by sponsoring the $5000 best trick contest, but also working the event and psyching up the kids on skateboarding. A special shout out to consigliere Tombo, who spent so many hours manning the skatepark sign up desk this Independence day weekend with a thousand kids asking the question “What’s today’s date?”
Other sponsors such Homage Skate Shop, Nike SB, ESPN X Games, Zoo York, Shut, Vox and volunteers helped support the event Skateboarding and BMX competitions.
The Afro-Punk Festival
With 40 bands, 24 films, a live graffiti-art installation, custom built skate park, and a BMX course one would think you’d have to buy tickets or know somebody important to get in, not the case. This community-inspired event was 100% free and I’m not just talking about the entertainment. Mountain Dew provided free soda and water for all, Open Road and Nike SB sponsored free skateboarding clinics, 5Boro put on a barrage of free demos. MetroPlus even helped those in need, get free Medical and Dental insurance.
It was amazing and inspirational to see so many people come together and celebrate. Also those who supported the effort and volunteered their time to make it happen. I know that I am not doing the event justice. There was so much going on and so many people, that I couldn’t possibly account for every one of them. I’m just glad I got to be there.