Long Live Southbank @ BRIGHT XXVI

“Southbank, in our eyes, is surely one of the most beautiful spaces in the world. It is first and foremost a skate spot, one of the oldest and most highly reputed in the world. But Southbank is much more than that. Southbank is a pub, the sort of place where you can go, after a long days work and find a dozen friends to catch up with. Southbank can be a space of peace, which you can pass by in the early morning light, it’s feeling completely different to the heat of a session. Southbank can be a theatre. I can hardly imagine a place with such a variety of people, and so much daily hilarity. Southbank is home. It is home for the many who are drawn to the space magnetically on a regular basis. Southbank is the sort of place which inspires passion. After 40 years of skateboarding history and two successive reductions in size, in 2013 the space came under threat of redevelopment. Long Live Southbank was formed and after gathering 150,000 signatures throughout a years high profile campaigning, the space - against all odds - was saved.

Precisely because Southbank is so unique, we are now working to reopen sections last skated in 2004, the legendary little banks and long ledge which appear in so many of those era defining 90s skate videos.

We have finalised plans for the restoration of part of the Undercroft and have achieved planning permission jointly with Southbank Centre and last summer launched our fundraising campaign. The target is high - it is a challenging project - but it is an important one too and we’re up for the job. Free creative space is an incredibly important thing for the vitality of a city.
Our crowdfunding campaign is going ahead full steam. However we’ve always wanted the project to come from the Undercroft community and the extended global skateboarding family. We’re honoured to have been nominated for the Lifetime Achievement award at Bright and are very much looking to speaking to as many people as we can while we are there, in the hope that many of us can get together and create the most secure possible future for one of the world’s favourite skate spots.“

image above: Casper Brooker shot by Chris Johnson
image below : Ben Jobe shot by Dom Marley