Interview by Seán Ó Dálaigh Photos by Johannes Hoehn, Olfert Poelen & Oleg Bartel
Hey Marco. The late summer calendar is looking pretty packed this year. What’s going down with Shred Cologne 2013 and why should Europe’s bladers make sure to get over to Germany for the gathering?
We are all very excited about the upcoming event. We get more commitments from all over the world day by day and it makes me feel comfortable to say there will be a lot of big names again in the park. I don’t want to announce all of them at this point but Nick Lomax, Nils Jansons and Mathias Silhan will compete again for sure. We’re also proud to welcome Brian Shima and Dave Lang as special guests for the first time. These guys are amazing and do good stuff for our sport with FlicFlac here in Europe. Last year it was a blast. We had about 400 bladers from all over world in there and the best of the best in the categories Juniors, Girls, Amateurs and Pros. The finals have been hot and everybody was freaking out with every trick that was laced. It will be hard to beat that but I am confident we will get that atmosphere again. It seems to become more like a blading festival. The Shred Cologne 2013 will be started with a relaxed skate only pre-session on Friday from 3 to 10 pm followed by the European Premiere of Anthony Medinas new masterpiece ‘Waterloo‘ straight from Texas. On Saturday the doors open at 11 am for the tradeshow area, and the sideshow skatepark. The competitions will start at 1 pm with the Hedonskate Juniors followed by Amateurs, Girls and Pros later on. Not enough? We got a big official afterparty in a club called “Indie Fresse” which translates to “in your face” with Indie karaoke, Indie music and electronical beats on three floors plus the famous London Guns DJ Team (band members of the Libertines and Babyshambles). We are really happy about the growth of the event!
Marco Sichau, Sarah Schneider, Johannes Hoehn & Björn Pakusa
Running an event like this takes a lot of work, organization and support. Who are the key individuals on your team, and what industry support do you have locked in?
I had a lot of interesting talks to other organizers about this. It takes more than six months, sleepless nights, hundreds of emails and calls to organize an event like this. And you do it beside your real job in your free time. Never ask my girl what she thinks about this, haha. On my side I got strong support from Björn Pakusa. He is so talented especially when we talk about designs and graphics. Sarah Schneider manages the stuff at the event location. The host Raymond Rehse and DJ Lepszy will entertain the crowd with a perfect show again. The media stuff is managed by Eric Poss, Johannes Hoehn, Marcel Elz, and Mario Dammann. There are more to name but you will for sure recognize these guys at the Shred. I am so grateful for the support by these people! Industry support is perfect this year. We got 1200 € price money for Pro, an Adapt Skate for the first place of the Amateur competition, and tons of free stuff for all the winners. Besides the main sponsor, beverage company Jever, the event gets strong support from Hedonskate, Adapt Brand, Grindhouse, The Chimera Conspiracy, Be-Mag, USD, Kizer, Xsjado, Undercover, Razors, JUG, Ground Control as well as Ucon and The Blackjack Project from Berlin. Without them there would be no Shred, support them!
The park was nice and fresh from a rebuild last year, with generally positive feedback from the riders. Do you have any special surprises regarding new obstacles. Like for example The Blackjack Project course from before?
Yes, we will take the next step and build more obstacles to make it more interesting for the riders and the viewers. Some companies used the option to show up with a special obstacle, stay tuned for that. Everything is getting bigger, and that makes us happy! There will be a sideshow skatepark in the tradeshow area again for sure, allowing visitors to try new materials, to warm up or just have a little sesh beside the main competition with their friends.
Mathias Silhan – 450° Flatspin
Nils Jansons – Disaster Soul
Will the comp format be similar to last year? Is it WRS sanctioned?
There is a small change in the format. Again four to five riders will compete in one heat but this time every rider gets a chance to show his personal line before the three minute jam session starts. This makes it easier for the riders, viewers and judges to decide who should qualify for the finals. We are proud that we got one more WRS-Star than in 2012. We are now a WRS Three-Star Event and yes, we are grateful to be on the same level as big events in the world that we look up to like the NYC Street Invitational or the Swedish Championships. It also shows us that we are on the right way. I want to take this chance to thank all the other competitions out there in the world. Most of them are so inspirational for us and we need blading events to show the world the positive energy of this sport!
Richie Eisler – Alley-oop Topsoul
Dominik Wagner – Backside Backslide
What’s the best part of a city like Cologne for those looking to visit for the first time?
There are different reasons for visiting this city. Looking at it from a blader’s perspective, I can tell there are many skateparks, street spots and a big scene. Besides skating this city has so much culture to offer all the way from concerts, art shows and parties to tourist places you must have seen at least once in your life like the Cologne Cathedral next to one of the largest rivers in Europe, the Rhine. The people in and around this area are so peaceful and friendly. You could compare it to San Francisco maybe.
Okay, where can we get the lowdown on street blading, somewhere to crash, who to look up in advance, where to party post-Shred, etc.?
The basic event and travel information can be found on our website and if you like to get in contact with us or to get daily updates join our facebook page. If you like having a good time with friends, blading, music, party and get the experience of an awesome city you are welcome to join us in Cologne, Germany on the 7th of September!