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You can't move history: four decades of Southbank demos

  Van2013.2Dustin Dollin at the Vans Demo last summer (Photo: Dawn Crumpler)

On the 5th February 2014 Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of the Southbank Centre, said in a public statement:
“Our battle has never been with the skateboarders, whom we have welcomed and guaranteed a future on our site”.

Yet in September 2013 Southbank Centre CEO, Alan Bishop, tried to stop one of the fundamental aspects of Southbank culture by attempting to cancel a Skate Demonstration – where people of all abilities get to watch, and then show and practice tricks, alongside professionals who come to Southbank from all over the world.

The public and non-public messages from the Southbank Centre Board and Senior Management are contradictory and conflicting.

Demos have been part of Southbank since the 1970s.

smellofdeathThe Smell of Death Jam, from R.A.D. magazine, May 1988
(Skater: Morbid; Photo: Frankie Shea)

Safe to say, we did not let them stop us or destroy our culture and the inspiration and enthusiasm it brings to thousands.

Don’t listen to the Southbank Centre propaganda stating the skateboard community is ‘divided’. We’ve shown that we have never been more UNITED.

Check the images from the UK part of the Vans Pro Tour they tried to stop which started at Southbank in a show of support of Preservation, here.

And here’s a list of just some of the Demo’s at Southbank over the years. Let’s hear your memories or any others not on our list:

1976-1979 – Various Slalom Events inc. ‘UK Championships’
1984 – Curb Dogs BMX Demo
1987 – Smell of Death Jam
1988 – Powell Tour
1988 – Smell of Death Jam
1989 – Freestyle In Street Terrain (FIST) – Jam Sessions
1990 – Rodney Mullen Demo
1991 – BSD BMX
1994 – Plan B Second Hand Smoke Premiere best trick
1995 – Chocolate Las Nueve Vidas de Paco – Premiere Session
1998 – Shorty’s Fufill the Dream Premier and Best trick contest
1999 – Osiris Tour
2004 – Cliché Roast Beef Tour
2004 – Girl Oi Tour Demo
2006 – Zero Skateboards UK Tour
2006 – Emerica Wild In the Streets
2007 – Girl/Chocolate Skateboards- We’re Eur’OK Tour
2007 – Nike SB Nothing But the Truth Demo
2010 – Emerica Wild In the Streets
2010 – Blueprint Skateboards: Make Friends With The Colour Blue Jam
2011 – Cliché Skateboards Bullseye Tour
2012 – Nike Go Skateboarding Day
2012 – Girls Jam
2013 – Huf Demo
2013 – Nike Go Skateboarding
2013 – Vans Pro Tour Demo
2014 – Long Live Southbank Skate Community Demo

fistF.I.S.T. (Freestyle In Street Terrain), from R.A.D. magazine,  December 1989
(Skater: Chris Howell; Photo: Tim Leighton Boyce

You Can’t Move History.