Natas Kaupas guest Lakai Camby Echelon shoe

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You would have to search hard to find a bigger skateboarding legend than Natas Kaupas, his contribution to the scene will be firmly set in the history books forever. Lakai, being one of the top skater run shoe companies out there, have rolled out a guest shoe with Natas this week as part of their exclusive Echelon range. Three colourways have been designed from their amazing Camby shoe that have a water-resistant film built into the canvas.

Look out for these beauties at those special skate shops that carry the Lakai Echelon range and click here for our interview with Natas in Marseille back in 2004.

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Folkestone’s Multi-Storey Skatepark gets green light

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Good news arrived on the South Coast this week with an announcement that Folkestone’s proposed £10m Multi-Storey Skatepark has been approved to be built by Shepway District Council.

The world’s first ever project that would see multiple floors of skateable structures have been developed by the forward thinking talent at Guy Hollaway Architects and Maverick Skateparks who will start work on the site soon. It’s a new development for the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust who obviously have exceptional vision.

The skatepark, that will be built inside two layers of perforated mesh for ventilation, will also host climbers and bouldering, a café, boxing club and more and will take between 18 months and 2 years to build. Watch this space.

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Gorilla Biscuits live at Dome, London

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“Fuck Live Nation!” states frontman Civ, following charging live versions of New Direction and Stand Still that blew the pit of the Dome apart within seconds. It was a rallying call from a band that come from a no barrier rule, and unlike their show at the Electric Ballroom the night before, tonight is a hardcore show with only one rule. A rule that allows their people not only to share blood, sweat and tears, but to become brothers and sisters in the same square of wet flooring too. Fun.

This togetherness, born from a vibrant 80s hardcore scene, is a mentality that has reached every generation since. Having fun is the only thing on your mind when going out to see a band and that’s what you get from this lot. Strong, positive energy with a key message from hard working people who have non-stop promoted fun since they formed, and tonight’s set is rife with the good stuff.

From the building riffs of High Hopes, to the punching stomp of No Reason Why, the NYC crew smashed the Dome with classics from start to finish, on par with the electric show we saw them play last summer at Ieper Fest, where a barrage of stage diving did not stop until the final riff. Crowd participation was on point throughout this gig. Civ’s mic was shared with the lemming catchers at the front throughout the show. One cheeky punk even sneaked up on stage for a drink of his water in between tunes. I guess that’s to be expected though when you tell everyone what’s mine is yours. All fair game when you have a Big Fucking Mouth.

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Do Something from CIV’s own Revelation classic pummeled the audience before Time Flies and Competition sped by like rockets. The former with a nod to old friend (and Turbonegro frontman) Tony Sylvester, who took the mic for a cover version of Judge’s New York Crew and smashed it. Their banging cover version of Minor Threat went down a storm too. There’s a lyric in that song that says something about “we’re all heading for that adult crash,” but those who managed to attend this show tonight never stacked it – they/we are the lucky ones, still wearing it on our sleeves, still getting away with it and it’s a damn good feeling.

As Walter’s harmonica wailed out the infamous solo to Start Today, I closed my eyes and thanked my lucky stars that hardcore came into my life. Thanks to everyone who played their part in it, especially Gorilla Biscuits.

Words: Zac
Photos: Natalie Wood / Wondergirl Photography

Enjoy the entire show if you missed it, courtesy of Max Horn.

Throwback to Day In The City 4 (2005)

ditc1Ye olde dusty hard drives in our office shelve many old photos that need airing, so first up are a bunch of party photos from 2005’s Day In The City video comp, the fourth in an annual series that Snickers sponsored back then featuring many faces you may remember from London’s ever changing skate scene. Most of them still shredding too.

Those around back then will also remember the winning entry by Jono Verity featuring Brendan Ryall and a young Tom Knox as they cruised London’s spots, plus Matt Hirst’s edit featuring Dan Beall and Jerome Campbell, and the hilarious Only Fools and Horses parody with Zorlac, Cates and Moggins repping for Death. Fun times.

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Halloween at the Bombshelter

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“I’m building a mini ramp in an arch that’ll be ready for Halloween.” The words that sealed the deal. Tom Wilk’s DIY project in South London grew stronger every week. Nail by nail, sheet by sheet, the build was completed bang on time on the day of the party. The Bombshelter, born and open for NBDs.

This BYOB shindig went into the early hours, everyone was mash up. We’re thankful that we could take a year off to enjoy someone else’s chaos for once and were not disappointed. Thanks Tom.

Noteable observations:

1. Kev Firth’s Satan Cruz surf stunt took the entrance of the night. Lad paddled into the line up like a don.

2. Character of the night was Colin Uout, the Hackney council rep who busted everyone, all night long, with a selection of superbly written official paperwork. Nobody was safe around his durastrictions, especially if you were seen parking on the coping. Pay the fine bitch.

3. Chroliver won Man of the Match. Frontside shuv, first wall rides. Yes fam.

Look out for footage from this session soon. Until next time…

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Bath Skatepark – have a look around

Photos: Tom Sparey

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Bath’s Royal Victoria Park has been a staple meet up for locals in the area for decades. The vert ramp that once stood tall brought legendary sessions, copious amounts of folklore and also launched a few memorable names too.

The build, funded by North East Somerset Council didn’t hold back when it came to their support of this project. With new design plans coming from locals in a strong user group and the council’s will to go big, they’ve ended up with a reputable park that should serve generation after generation.

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Since it was redeveloped by Canvas Spaces and opened to the public on the 26th September the new concrete has had visitors coming from afar to check it out. Josh Young was pretty much the first to get some footage on the new bowl. Canvas Spaces’ super smooth ‘crete supplied the tools whilst Josh made it look easy.

Veteran ripper Sean Goff also made a trip there from his hometown of Oxford and vowed that it’s “well worth a visit”. A lot of bowls are being built around the UK but “most of it is small though. This is one of the few decent size bowls built this year.” Scroll down for his footage.

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The NPNG crew from Bournemouth laid down this new edit for Danny Bulmer’s lens to give you a good understanding of the hubba, ledge and stair set up near the bowl. Nicky Porter, Tobias Moors, Todd Langdon and Alex Tibble all in the mix with Bulmer too. Have a good look around and plan your trip soon before the winter arrives.

Address: Royal Victoria Park, Park Lane, Bath BA1 3BA. Map here.

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Well played Bath….

First roll at Baths new skatepark…It's well worth a visit.

Posted by Sean Goff on Sunday, October 11, 2015

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Trespass – Oi Polloi On The Beach Of The Thames

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Mark Thomas
Flowers of Flesh & Blood
Thames Beach (Gabriel’s Wharf)
London – 26/9/15

tresspassoi_polloi_thames_beachWhen last week rumours began circulating of a proposed gathering of punks somewhere along the Thames near the Southbank and Waterloo that was to be hosted by comedian, presenter and political satirist Mark Thomas and included live sets by Scottish Oi/Punk/anarcho legends Oi Polloi and London punx, Flowers Of Flesh And Blood, it was debatable whether this would be allowed to happen in one of the busiest tourist areas of South London.

Yet, sure enough, come the day the event had been revealed as ‘Trespass – Oi Polloi On The Beach Of The Thames’ and as we walked down to Gabriel’s Wharf, next to Oxo Tower, onto that small beach area where I had previously built sandcastles with my kids (up the punx), a huge hardcore punk roar was already rising from the beach area up onto the bank and Flowers Of Flesh And Blood were housed on a small stage in the sand, surrounded by two hundred or so punx as the band carved through a tight set of metallic anarcho thrash to bemused and amused looks from the tourists looking down on the beach.

We quickly headed down and joined the crowd, bumping into many friends equally bemused by the surreal situation as Flowers kicked into a Minor Threat medley of ‘Filler’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Hear It’ as the sand-mosh-pit exploded. There’s a small girl on the beach building a sandcastle, she flattens it with her shovel. Up on the bank two young kids with giant teddy bears make them pogo in time to the music. An old fella looks down onto the crowd of punks falling over in the sand, laughing and grinning from ear to ear. The atmosphere is great, pure fun. There are no police here yet, no trouble. The organisers had the foresight to hand out a few yellow ‘official’ looking security vests to give the appearance of some kind of official organisation, which amazingly, works.

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But there is a point to all of this. As Mark Thomas takes to the mic, among many jokes about gammon nonce David Cameron, he talks about how it’s people, not buildings and corporations that make cities and we have every right to reclaim public areas for protest and events to cheers from the crowd as Oi Polloi take to the sand and kick into ‘Resist The Atomic Menace’ from the first single back in 1986. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Oi Polloi (probably not since the early 90s), but they’re as good as they ever were. Frontman Deek is irrepressible, funny, charming, energetic yet still railing against the world.

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As ‘Punks Picnic’ bellows from the PA, there’s still no sign of any police to break up the party and as the sun starts to descend and the booze is flowing, Oi Polloi inspire bedlam in the sand as the pit reaches fever point and the crowd piles in, singing along to every word, punching the air as the tourists above take photos and film what they can to take back home to their friends and family…”you’ll never believe what we saw in London today”.

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Then later that evening, the so called ‘Fuck Parade’ organised by Class War, kicked off in Shoreditch. A supposed protest against the gentrification of London, it saw an angry mob of so-called anarchists target an independent business and scare, frighten and intimidate people. A total contrast to the positive, fun vibes felt earlier in the day by the river where the message was delivered in a good and uplifting way, educating the public and making them think. ‘Fuck Parade’ was an ugly event that achieved nothing but to terrify the public by acting like thugs. A sad end to a righteous day of protest and music but the fun memories will remain for those that rocked on the beach that day and the public that stumbled across it.

James Sherry

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A visit to Banksy’s Dismaland with Sleaford Mods

Words: Steve Cotton from Art of the State and Zac
Photos: Nice ones by Steve, shit phone snaps by Zac

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The hype on Banksy’s latest art project Dismaland became justified before we even managed to get through security. The woman’s smile in front of us was deemed to be too wide so she was sent to face the wall until the happiness drained enough for entry. “Who are you here with?!”, the security woman demanded, looking at my wristband. “Sleaford Mods”, I replied, trying not to smile as my pockets were frisked with a make shift cardboard bomb detector. “They’re shit”, she barked from her taut face and I was finally let through to the next check point – leaving the poor womans’ happiness, still draining against the wall.

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There was not a smile in sight on entry from the staff apart from the one on Steve Cotton’s face, owner of Art of the State, promoter of many infamous hardcore punk shows who has managed to get close to Banksy’s work for over a decade now. Luckily we were about to get an inside tour of Dismaland with someone in the know.

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Featuring work by more than 50 artists from 17 different nations Bristol’s finest street artist has assembled a mass of thought provoking, topical and challenging art at Dismaland. The exhibition occupies the site of the disused and derelict Tropicana Lido on the sea front in Weston Super Mare. Through a clever piece of deception, its existence was kept quiet right up to just a few days before the show by claiming that a film entitled ‘Grey Fox’ was going to be shot there. A perfect excuse to explain all the construction work and to have security stop prying eyes.

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One of the pieces that gave the game away was when Mike Ross’s Big Rig Jig piece loomed above the walls of the Tropicana. It’s an eye catching sculpture, born out of “reckless optimism”, that required a fairly hard to conceal crane to put it in place.

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Another colossal vehicle is this security forces truck from Northern Ireland repurposed as a fountain and with a a children’s slide sticking out the other side. It appears beached in the Lido pool which is full of weeds and worse. Definitely not a place for a dip.

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Dismaland installations often relate to animal themes. On the fairground carousel one of the horses has been hoisted by its hind legs while a slaughterhouse worker takes a break underneath from preparing lasagne – a clear reference to the horse meat scandal of recent years. Round the other side a marauding bunch of anarchists who seem to be part of the show jump on the ride waving banners whilst standing on the backs of their steeds.

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Near the back of the venue where the arched diving boards structure used to stand an orca whale jumps from the confines of a toilet through a hoop into an unfeasibly small paddling pool full of dark liquid. A personal view on these beautiful creatures being trapped performing tricks in pools that are microscopic in comparison to their natural habitats.

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Again from Banksy, is this over the top illustration of seagulls attacking humans. Seemingly referencing recent media stories about the “menace of seagulls” but taking it to extremes it also provides a photo opportunity for anyone who cares to sit on the bench. A miserable member of staff obviously reminds you not to get close to this savage pecking of human flesh.

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Animals aside, tonight is Friday, which means there’s more than just art to admire. With Portishead’s production master Geoff Barrow taking care of the artist invitations to play live, his inclusion of Sleaford Mods proved triumphant who played alongside The Pop Group and Savages on the back of a truck.

The Nottingham duo have moved from strength to strength over the last two years with their unique brutal attack on the greed that has seen this country fall apart at the seams and they were in no mood for apathy once again tonight. Stage right hung a huge billboard poster of David Cameron’s smug face holding a glass of wine, parading like a red rag for frontman Jason Williamson’s bullish outbursts. He ripped into Piglet (as he’s always named him) with a butchers knife throughout the set whilst the crowd bayed for more. Monday morning’s pig fucking scandal only made this part of their set more legit, as if the band knew that the Mail was about to drop a bomb on his reputation well in advance.

As red flare smoke filled the skies and the smell of skunk wafted around the crowd in Bisto-like trails, the Mods steamed through an hour-long assault. Williamson’s anger raged into the mic as Andrew Fearn stood smiling, nodding, double fisting two bottles of lager, admiring the carnage from his laptop. Dad dancing was encouraged throughout that aided at least five new tracks from their Key Markets album, barked out so aggressively that Williamson’s throat clearing job almost became part of the show.

You could not have picked a more fitting band to play this exhibition, they speak for so many people with belly laugh humour and shocking truths that none of today’s culture would dare to get involved in. In your face, savage punk rock, rapped, poetic and proud. Fucking exemplary too, get on it.

Of course this show is not all about Banksy (more from him later) – there are around 50 odd international artists who have either contributed work or are actively engaged on site during the show. Time for a whistle stop tour around some of the other works.

Nettie Wakefield was working on site producing portraits in pencil of the back of guests heads. This really gives her the opportunity to show off her stunning technique in capturing every last detail including the way the light falls on each strand.

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Wasted Rita from Portugal has a wall of her dark advice at the rear of the castle. The power of the simple written word.

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Dotted around the site are a series of yellow signs to make you think about the your stay in Dismaland.

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More direct thought provocation is provided in the form of these bus billboard take overs. A nearby stall provides instruction leaflets on how you can open these ubitiquous advert stands and place in your own posters. We were even given a demonstration of how to break in. A selection of special spanners were on offer, all made to fit the various corperate companies’ bolts that bring you the dogshit you don’t need in advertising form.

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Ben Long’s scaffolding pole horse dominated early pictures of the exhibition and it’s easy to see why. Now dwarfed by the nearby big wheel it has plenty of competitors for the most iconic image of the show.

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Vying for ‘best in show’ in its scale and detail is Jimmy Cauty’s (ex KLF member) simply breathtaking ‘Aftermath Displacement Principle’. 23 crates worth of riot torn city featuring around 3000 1/87th scale police officers all uniquely made from modified model railway workers. It’s an exhibit you can stare at for a very long time and still find something new. Can you find one of the royals making an official visit?

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Moving inside for a bit you enter what is essentially a gallery space but first you walk past illuminated display boards from Jenny Holzer and Banksy’s reaper bumper car installation. Every so often disco music pumps out, the lights come on and Death attempts to escape the confines of his electric prison by slamming into the edge of the arena all to no avail.

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Entering the main hall there’s a plethora of different style on show. Damien Hirst’s standout piece ‘The History Of Pain’ has a beach ball held constantly aloft over a bed of blades by the push from air being blown upwards. If it ever stops, the balloon will surely drop and burst.

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Some of the painting technique on show is exquisite. From a distance Lee Madgwick’s paintings of urban buildings in idyllic countryside settings look like photoshop creations. A closer inspection reveals their intricate detail.

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Paco Pomet’s Cookie Monster painting should win an award.

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The message within this bleeding trees painting also hits home with a jagged nail.

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Nearby is the embroidery of Severija Inciraauskaite-Kriauneviciene. Instead of being encased in wooden samplers, her cross stitched work has been punched into the bonnet for the threads to go through. Incredible detail.

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Banksy has an almost unnoticed piece near ground level, and to the left of it is his tribute to Russian graffiti artist P183.

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Outside again there are yet many more highlights to see. The Cruel bus has an exhibition showing how design is used to maintain power and control over us all whilst a large tent contains a mass of both beautifully painted and hurriedly scrawled protest banners and signs. Of particular note are the ones by Ed Hall who has a long history of providing trade union groups and others with memorable protest art and the much publicised anti Arms Fair posters that were found on the London Underground last week.

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There’s a wide variety of untypical fairground attractions with loaded outcomes – I tried my hand at both the duck pool (hook the duck from the muck) and Insect and Bast’s bling stand both to no avail, but it was still a lot of fun. Elsewhere there are rotating caravans, rickety big wheels and a children’s sand pit with a sandcastle so large that Dad’s on the nearby Weston beach will struggle to impress their kids in comparison.

Australian Dietrich’s Wegner’s mushroom cloud tree house dominates the central room capturing a moment of beauty borne out of destruction. In that cloud are the debris of peoples lives, the structures they lived in and everything they held dear to them.

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Then you have the finely detailed tattooed ladies by Jessica Harrison. So tiny you need to get up close to take in every single one.

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For me the most haunting exhibit from the exhibition was the boating lake. Looking like it’s set in front of the white cliffs of Dover, you put your pound in the slot and take control of either a boat full of “migrants”, as the Daily Mail like to call them, or a patrol boat. In the water, bodies float by conveying the deadly serious plight of those still breathing on board the boats.

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On the wall of the lido buildings down the left hand side is this ingenious painting of a woman taking a shower while a boy peeps in. Is the other boy on look out duty or is he still more interested in his childhood toys? Either way he is not joining in on the other’s curiosity.

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Of course everyone wants to go into the Castle and here Banksy has a surprise in store. If you are asked to have your photo taken do as instructed and look to the right. Maybe even crouch a little and pretend to take a photo while doing so – you’ll understand why when you exit this scene of a princess in a coach crash being photographed by paparazzi, an obvious reference to the death of Princess Diana.

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Despite the length of this post there is still much more to see in this place, including Banksy’s take on the Little Mermaid.

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Oh and of course, knowing this is hosted in Weston Super Mare, the nightly burning of Jeffrey Archer’s novels is a popular team sport.

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Fireworks, thought-provoking imagery and very talented artists aside, Banksy’s bemusement concept for Dismaland is a truly unique experience, there to remind us of the trappings of a capitalistic and brutal world that unfortunately most people voted for. You have one week left to make it down there and get some for yourself, plan nothing else.

Note that This Friday’s final show with Leftfield, Pussy Riot, Kate Tempest, De La Soul
and DJ Premier (not Massive Attack as they have had to cancel unfortunately) has a dress code. Due to the amount of paparazzi staking out the park in recent weeks Banksy has requested people come masked-up so he can attend the event without being photographed.

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Canvas Spaces final design plans for Bath Skatepark

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Bath’s outdoor skatepark found in Royal Victoria Park has a solid past in skateboarding history. Its transitions were a travel magnet, attracting people from afar to skate its ramp set up back in the day. The likes of Flynn Trotman and Ben Nordberg cut their teeth on those metal structures but that era is long gone, making way for amazing, new concrete parks, and Bath are next on the list to receive a complete refit.

The good folk at Canvas Spaces have sent us their final plans for the new Bath skatepark to exclusively announce today. The construction for this new spot is underway as you read this, backed by Bath and North East Somerset Council who worked with a user group of locals who chipped in what they wanted, and it looks like they chose well.

The main feature is the bowl, a replica of the old vert and midi ramp in terms of transitions and depths (10’+ and 6’) for continuity. It has a rounded end (for those who enjoy rock n’ roll slides) and comes with tight corners and hips that connect to a huge new 16m long midi ramp. Imagine the sessions on that for a second.

There’s also room in the plan for a 3.5ft high mini-ramp that has an adjoining steep bank with a grindable, rounded concrete lip. A free-standing concrete painted curb should provide many slappy sessions that will take you into the flat land area. You will also find a long mellow bank with a ledge, a classic pyramid driveway and hipped jump box and the raised area has a Wembley gap with stair set, hubba’s and a handrail.

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Canvas Spaces have added a couple of nice touches in homage to the previous park, so expect to find some of the old, original coping gracing your trucks. Also, when the excavation of the land was underway, it revealed a bunch of amazing fossils from Bath’s incredible historical past, so these will be used for seating in the existing mound. Perfect for summer chill outs overlooking the sessions that will be going down.

Finally, the area around the large existing tree will remain relatively low level and spacious with a concrete ledge wrapping around the tree area – one side of it hosting round coping.

As the concrete pours over the next 4 months, take in the final designs and await the news of the opening jam in September. The new skatepark can be found in Royal Victoria Park, Park Lane, Bath BA1 3BA. Map here.

Canvas Spaces are also close to finishing the incredible new swimming pool refit, the Campus Pool Project in Bristol. Follow them on FB and Insta for updates on their quality design work and builds.

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Glow in the dark skatepark coming to Liverpool?

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The legendary glow in the dark skatepark installation, conceptualised by leading South Korean artist Koo Jeong A, has been commissioned to be built in North Liverpool, following the success of her work on the popular Otro Park in France (pictured below).

Liverpool Biennial in partnership with Friends of Everton Park, Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision are behind the project who have invited Wheelscape to build a flourescent, glow-in-the-dark bowl for skateboarding with Koo Jeong A’s involvement.

“This will be the flagship project of a citywide scheme by Liverpool City Council to produce and build five wheels parks in Liverpool” say Liverpool Biennial, which can only mean good things for local skaters and those who wish to visit one of the best cities in the UK.

The installation should be open in Everton Park on October 5th, Halloween in Liverpool just got a new twist!

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Her previous work. Ph: Pilar Corrias

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