Video by Craig Johnson
By Craig Johnson
The first-ever Phoenix Skatercon International brought together a large community of skateboard fanatics for one day to celebrate the vibrant underground culture in its entirety.
The event took place on Feb. 20 at the Pressroom in downtown Phoenix and showcased the art of dozens of skateboard artists, the stories of several old-school skaters, the music of several punk bands and the talent of any skateboarder who rode on the mini ramp.
The event had no corporate sponsors and was instead made possible by several local companies including Cowtown Skateboards and AZ/PX Industries.
The Skatercon sprawled across both the Pressroom’s inside room and the large dirt lot out back, entertaining around 1,000 people at any given time.
Inside, rows of tables showcased the work of talented artists, using mainly prints and skateboard decks as their medium. Several pro-skateboarders attended the event, such as Phoenix native Aaron “Jaws” Homoki.
On the main indoor stage, two separate panels of well-known skaters discussed the history of Arizona skateboarding and the state’s own legends in skateboarding culture.
Local punk bands like Poolside Sacrifice and the Phoenix Hooker Cops performed in the early afternoon on the AZPX Records stage to an ever-growing crowd, who took full advantage of the Pressroom’s large bar.
The focal point outside was the nearly 6-foot tall and 20-foot-wide wooden mini ramp. Kids and sponsored skaters alike took turns showing of their moves.
Every well-executed trick was met with excited cheering and the appreciative pounding of skateboards against the ramp’s metal coping.
As the light outside faded and the art show inside came to a close, several unique pieces of skateboard art, including an autographed guitar and a wooden rabbit made of recycled skateboard decks, were raffled off.
Later that night, the venue was cleared out and a skate-punk concert headlined by Johnny Rad and the Eggplants brought the event to its conclusion around 1:30 a.m.
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