Kings of Concrete
If you’ve never been, Kings of Concrete is an annual two-day event that’s been running in Dublin for a few years now. It brings together loads of different elements of urban culture: skateboarders, rollerbladers, BMXers, break-dancers, free runners, graffiti artists and all the people who like to watch them skate, ride, jump, dance and paint.
Sports and art
For a couple of days, the space around Dublin City Council’s grey offices is taken over by a loud, colourful, creative mesh of people – mainly young people – from all over the world, who are into urban sports and street art.
We were there running a shoot the hoops basketball competition. We were raising awareness about ReachOut.com as a website to visit if people need it, or if they’re worried about a mate.
Being somewhere like that talking about mental health might seem a little out of place, but the point is anyone can go through a tough time. That’s what we’re about, acknowledging that we all could do with dig out every now and then and ReachOut.com can help you understand what you can do to help yourself or a friend. You may have heard about us giving it welly at Oxegen too.
At Kings of Concrete we met some amazing people and saw some awesome skill. People come to compete, learn, to defy gravity and but also some expectations. The sort of sport and art that these guys are into take a huge amount of dedication and talent, but tend to be banned from public places most of the time. For a flavour of the weekend watch the winning video entry.
You can’t skateboard or cycle or graffiti in this space at any other time without getting into trouble. A lot of this stuff and what young people want to do in the city in general– even just hanging around – isn’t really allowed. But for this weekend, it’s ok and actually celebrated.
You couldn’t walk through the place without smiling at the energy, the noise and the sight of people using the city: its buildings, its paths, every patch of grass, not harming anyone but expressing themselves and just having fun.