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Having "established itself [as a] constant venue for streetwear, sneaker, fashion and boardsport in Europe," the biaannual tradeshow plays host to a number of industry vendors, from actual skate companies to the host of clothing and street-related art peddlers at the periphery. The organizers of Bright, who have been hosting winter and summer editions of the event since early 2006, consider their setup, with a unique individual location, "as well as the product-orientated framework, consisting of an innovative contest/artist program," the ideal atmosphere for a marketing meet-and-greet. "Skateboard culture and the relating side-events (artist shows & nightlife) are important features of the tradeshow; still the commercial aspect takes a primary position."
The event's main attractions, including an open skate area and a section of bowls along with an "art-cafeteria" and vendor booths - are spread throughout the art nouveau building located in downtown Frankfurt, near the city's Messe convention center.
The weekend's bowl skating contests take place on both Saturday & Sunday on the building's second floor, with Element's "Another Trick On the Wall" contest taking place both days as well. In the latter, the apparel company has ponied up 3000 Euros in prize money to be divvied up for the winners of the Best Wallride, Longest Transfer, and Best Liptrick categories.
A couple of Habitat Skateboards pros will be on hand in Frankfurt this year for a Saturday skate demo that will kick off Continental Caravan 09, a two-week camper tour with stops in cities across Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Austria. Also on Saturday is a Vox USA Team Demo, with "The Mental Weirdo Race," sponsored by Carhartt, rounding out the programming for day one.
On Sunday, the Converse Shopriders Jam brings a unique twist to the notion of both the trade show and the skate contest. When considering what "every skateboarder's biggest dream" might be, the brainstorming led to an answer of "perfect granite benches." The Converse Shopriders Jam not only takes place on those obstacles, it offers them as a reward for the best trick and best line on the weekend. The winner can take the benches home to improve his local spot. The Shopriders Jam, which is open exclusively to employees of skateboard retailers, takes place in historic building's inner courtyard and includes Best Trick and Best Line Sessions, the winners of which - as judged by the skaters themselves - will have "the perfect granite benches delivered free to his local spot." Not bad for a day's riding, and an excellent way to involve organizers, retailers and fans into one exciting boardsport throwdown.
The weekend is rounded out with the German finals of ÚS Game of Skate, which is the thrasher's version of basketball's H-O-R-S-E. The rules are pretty straightforward: the first rider tries a trick, the others attempt to follow on the same line with a letter penalty for botched attempts. When they've spelled out S-K-A-T-E in mistakes, they're out, and after every missed trick the following rider gets a clean canvas to try his own move.
There are hundreds of exhibitors and vendors scheduled to participate in this weekend's show, from Alien Workshop skateboards to Lakai shoes to Vice magazine, and the atmosphere promises to be nothing short of a networking free-for-all. "With its concept the Bright tradeshow offers a very positive and comfortable atmosphere without neglecting the function as an interface between distribution and retail." SEE ALSO: brighttradeshow.com/en
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.
See other articles by Eric J Herboth.
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