Last weekend, House of Vans stopped by Berlin for one of its largest pop-up editions to date. The three-day extravaganza drew in the crowds for a packed program of skateboarding, art, and music highlighted by live performances from Octavian and lauded rock band Nothing But Thieves. Also in attendance were pros from Vans' global and European teams including Lizzie Armanto, Dan Lutheran, Axel Cruysberghs, and Helena Long.
“This is my second House of Vans pop-up and the pop-ups are so awesome because they just take a venue and then make it their own,” tells Vans pro skater Armanto. “It's cool to see how they transform a space and invite people into this World of Vans.”
Located in a former Factory in Berlin’s Mitte district, just a few meters away from a remaining section of the Berlin wall, the event paid back to the local community by showcasing the work of Berlin-based artists, inviting local retailers to set up shop in the community market, and adding German DJs and rappers such as Antifuchs and Lance Butters to its music line-up.
As with everything "Off the Wall", skateboarding was central to the event and a skate park custom-built in conjunction with Yardsale, Alltimers, and Radio Skateboards was open to the public throughout the entire weekend. During the days, guests also had the chance to tap into their creative sides at a variety of free workshops from board upcycling and sign making to life hacks. A community market was also on site with gear from skate brands Civilist and Champagne Towers, as well as a number of other retailers offering jewelry, artwork, records, and even special edition porcelain Vans from Antikapratika.
Recently, Vans has been focusing its efforts on women and this House of Vans pop-up followed suit. The entire Saturday was dedicated to women's-related activities, including a girls-only skate jam, cash for tricks contests, and beginners' session. “For some people having a place where they feel comfortable is so important," explains Armanto. "It's cool that people are putting an emphasis or effort into giving people, especially young girls, a safe space to go and try to skate or encourage them to be active and try new things.” Following the skate sessions, the crowd was treated to a Q&A between Armanto and Olympic Team GB skateboarding coach Lucy Adams as well as a screening of the first episode of Vanguards, Vans’ new storytelling series that shines a light on the global skate community.
Music, like skateboarding, is intrinsic to House of Vans, and Friday and Saturday culminated in packed-out concerts that ran into the small hours of the following mornings. Crowds went wild on Saturday for Octavian, who even climbed down into the audience to get a moshpit started. On Sunday, those that weren't suffering from too worse a hangovers reassembled for more workshops, impromptu tattooing, and skateboarding. Rounding off the event was a cash for tricks contest with a total pot of €3,000 handed out over the evening.
Check out what went down in the visuals above and for more from Vans, follow them on Instagram.