Interview written by Seán Ó Dálaigh Photography by Felix Strosetzki
So Jojo, there has been only one Summerclash before, and that was back in 2008. For those who weren’t there, can you give us a quick overview of what went down?
The Summerclash 2008 went down in the old Mellowpark in Berlin and around 600 people joined us. Big names like Alex Broskow, Erik Bailey and Brian Aragon showed up, and we had a nice camping site. It was great to see all the people enjoying a sunny summer weekend and not just focusing on blading. Next to the competitions and the camping experience itself we had a soccer tournament, a river jump, a funny Sausage Cup and video premieres. A really laid back event for sure!
Prince Aragon getting twisted at Winterclash 2008.
Why was there no event in subsequent years?
Due to the tragic accident at the Winterclash 2009 we weren’t able to focus on another Summerclash. For a while we weren’t even sure if there would be another Winterclash. In 2010 it was the same story. The financial loss put me out of reality for almost half a year and I didn’t know what to do with life, and how to continue. In the next two years I had to work a lot to pay at least a few of my bills and still struggled with the financial pressure. Also, the Mellowpark started its move to a new location and in the beginning they didn’t have a skatepark or an area to build stuff for an event of this size. In fall 2012 I started talking to the guys from Mellowpark again and we decided that it was the right time for another try. My personal situation is getting much better these days and I’m super excited to finally start working on the Summerclash again.
The Winterclash is one of the biggest and best known global events in blading, and we’ve all either experienced it first hand, or enjoyed the multitude of media coverage and online edits. Obviously apart from the season, what will be different or special about the Summerclash, and why should we all be excited about it?
The Summerclash will be the perfect, ultimate blading event. It’s not just about the competition but about the whole package. Everything you like to do, you can do at the Summerclash. There’s all kinds of different ramps and skateparks for great sessions, You can have a swim in the river and play beach volleyball, basketball or soccer. At nighttime you’ll be watching blading flicks while sitting in your sun-chair next to the bonfire, and close enough to the bar. There will be camping challenges, people will hopefully create unique camping spots and last but not least you will be able to session a totally unique real street style skatepark, the likes of which you haven’t seen before. Of course there will be competitions as well. A spineramp comp and the main one going down on the street course. Now take all of that and add the Winterclash vibe. Enough? If you’re not convinced already check out www.summerclash.com in March and take a closer look at what you can expect! Oh and maybe it should be mentioned that the riderslist will be freakin international again, and that there’ll be a few of your super-duper-favourite pro’s hangin and bangin!
Switzerland’s Cosimo Tassone boosting at Summerclash 2008.
How did you come to select Mellowpark, in Berlin (Germany) as the right venue for the Summerclash? What’s special about this place? Do you have a good relationship with the people who run/own the venue?
When we started thinking about holding Summerclash again it was absolutely clear that we wouldn’t do it anywhere else. Theres no other place even half as good as Mellowpark for an event like this. We really don’t want the Summerclash to become just another competition in the summertime, but a blading festival. And only the Mellowpark provides enough space, different skateparks and everything else you can dream of — all in the same area, located next to the river. And of course its a plus that its in Berlin, which is a city everyone loves to visit these days.
The relationship with the people behind Mellowpark is great too. It’s a non-profit project and everyone working there are dedicated to death about what they’re doing. They are creating a small world for young and old to follow their dreams, for all kinds of sports, to learn about life and just have an awesome place to hang out and enjoy life. We would live in a much better world if there were more people like those behind Mellowpark!
You’re calling it a blading festival. What does that mean, outside of the competition side of things? Will there be live music, for example?
Like I wrote above, Summerclash will be much more than a competition. It’s the whole package including all the activities and possibilities which remind you of a festival. Already the fact that people from more than 30 different countries will be camping together makes it so much more than just a competition.
We’re not sure about live music yet but that’s definitely something that’s in the plans and if it doesn’t work out in full for this year we’ll make it possible the year after. But of course there will be DJ’s playing in the evening while you’re enjoying your drinks at the bar or bonfire, and maybe one will start throwing a dance as well 😉
Apart from the blading side of thing, why is Berlin a good place to be in the summertime?
Berlin is the THE place to be right now. It doesn’t matter if you love concerts, art, hard parties or just shopping, Berlin’s got it all. I’ve been around a lot but theres nothing compared to it. Berlin never sleeps, and there’s so much to experience and so much inspiration wherever you go. If you haven’t done it before you should give it a try. I highly recommend staying a few days before or after the Summerclash, to enjoy the city.
What’s some of the practical information our readers will need to know about Summerclash, such as accommodation arrangements, transport links, etc? What’s the schedule looking like for the full version website going live?
All the detailed information will be found on www.summerclash.com which is going live early March. But I can already tell that if you don’t like camping there are tons of cheap hostels and hotels, and the public transportation in Berlin is also perfect.
The event itself will be on Friday 21st June and Saturday 22nd June 2013, but camping will be possible until Sunday 23rd.
The Summerclash logo and branding identity is looking slick and professional. Who’s behind the visual goodness of this event?
The guy behind all the beauty is Robert Winkler. We’ve been working together for around 10 years now, and these days we understand each other blind. He created the face of Winter- and Summerclash and everything he does today looks exactly how I had it in mind, and transfers the feeling I had, without talking too much about it. He’s also behind loads of the slogans and some promotional activities. In 2010 he was also deeply involved in the organization of the event itself and in the past few years he’s designed for Be-Mag as well. I believe his work is a huge reason for the success of our whole event over the years. Theres no point in checking his personal website right now (under construction), but you should do so in a few months: rrrrw.com
For those already convinced that Berlin is where they need to be this coming June, how may our readers get there hands on Summerclash tickets, and when? Will you have any special offers on early adopters?
We had to limit the total amount of tickets to 1,000, so you should be fast with purchasing yours. There will be “Early Bird” tickets for €30 available at the Winterclash, which are limited to 200. In March we will start selling in the shops. The price will be €35 (limited to 800 tickets).
You see, if you’re at the Winterclash this is your chance to save some cash and be one of the first to say “Fuck the rest, I’m the best, because I already have my ticket for the best weekend of summer 2013!”
Thanks for your time and good luck with the event!
Thanks guys. We’ll see you in a few days in Eindhoven!
Make sure you check out the intro from the Summerclash 2008 DVD here.