With great success was completed on the 12th of September the “Skate ‘n’ Create Festival” (festival’s initial name that later changed to “Street Mode Festival”) a series of events that started from the 1st of September and took place as a part of “Thermi’s Dromena 2009”, in the central square of the Municipality of Thermi in Thessaloniki.
The visitors had the chance to enjoy exhibitions, seminars and contests related to skateboarding and graffiti.
Creator of this unprecedented, in terms of duration and happenings’ variety, festival is Giannis Efstathiou (Nox1). With the precious support of the Municipality of Thermi, the local council of Thermi’s youth, the extreme sports events’ organizer Alexis Florakis and with the contribution of many local young people, Nox1 managed to present a complete series of contests with great success.
A more extensive description of the festival’s program is listed below:
The innovatory exhibition of painting and artistic interventions on skateboards under the title “Skateboard Art Crimes” was presented by Alexis Florakis in the settings of the Municipality of Thermi’s Cultural Centre. The visitors had the chance to admire amazing artwork in a variety of colours and styles, created by the most famous greek graffiti, tattoo and fine art artists, as well as from foreign guest artists.
Children aged from 8 to 14 years old had the chance to attend free graffiti seminars performed by Alexis Florakis, one of the older and most famous graffiti artists of Greece. The three days’ seminars that gathered the interest of our little friends included:
On the first day the children were taught theory, getting an introduction into the history and the terminology of graffiti art, learning techniques of protective, precautionary and healthy spray usage. Furthermore, tutoring on the importance of valves’ usage and painting techniques was provided.
On the second day, the children had the chance to closely attend famous graffiti artists, to participate in discussions and get their questions on the techniques and the chromatic combinations answered. The seminars took place in a specially formatted environment under the guidance of Alexis Florakis and Jers.
The third day was free and pleasant for the children as they had the chance to paint on the abundant space assigned to them using the free sprays provided. The children were free to paint their own designs on the walls with the help of graffiti artist Nox1. The seminars were a unique experience for all the children as nothing similar had happened in our country by then.
Saturday’s program was a program capable of satisfying all possible tastes, as it involved skateboard games, graffiti exhibitions, DJ sets and a concert.
From the early hours of Saturday, some of the most powerful players in the graffiti scene were gathered in the area of the central square of Thermi in order to develop their artistic skills on the wooden canvases provided by the arrangers of the fest. Artists like Live2, Jason, Nade, Naster, Jers, Rino and many more developed their techniques and their vision, creating on their own unique ways and impressing even the people with the oddest tastes.
At noon it was the time for the skateboarding competitions to get launched. The area of the square is specially designed for that purpose. The type of the competitions was the “best trick” one, but due to the rink’s level of difficulty all the athletes that managed to achieve good tricks shared the amount of 600 euros, receiving this way from 20 to 50 euros for every good trick.
Simultaneously, the starting level skaters had their own chance to practice in the rink, as special constructions were added to the area for this purpose.
After the competitions, the night went on in the same area with the concert of Vodka Juniors. The concert was enjoyed by young and adults, closing this way the program of the festival and leaving everybody with the warmest of the feelings and the best of the impressions, especially the organizers of the fest who felt proud of their own initiative to organize an event like this.
The oldest citizens of Thermi saw for the first time the central square getting overflowed with people and children, coming from the early morning and leaving late at night in a complete state of tiredness but, more importantly, having their minds fully satisfied.