The first ever Skate Or Die Fest, a single day, all-ages skateboarding and music experience, is confirmed to take place on the grounds of Gas Monkey Live in the heart of North Texas on October 22.
Programming includes live music on two stages, world-record-breaking skate competitions, a puppy petting zoo, and live art installations, along with plenty of angst and nostalgia.
Music headliners include Denton-based Platinum-selling, Grammy-Nominated pop punk powerhouse Bowling For Soup and New York City indie rock darlings Frankie Cosmos. Other touring artists set to perform include Surf Curse, The Greeting Committee, Summer Salt, Guantanamo Baywatch, and Okey Dokey, along with local bands Not Half Bad, Hall Johnson, Loafers, and Pearl Earl. The selection is extremely curated, focusing on bands which complement skateboarding’s angsty and sweaty vibes, including the genres of indie, garage, surf, and punk rock.The lineup intentionally and importantly features diversity: half of the acts include female talent, and multiple races and sexual orientations are included.
Skate programming is headlined by the world’s largest Game of S.K.A.T.E. Tournament, a world record-setting event with 200 participants. (Think H.O.R.S.E., but with skateboarders.) A single-elimination tournament with 9 rounds of exciting head to head competition over 4 hours, all competing for the top spot and a piece of the $3,000 cash purse.
The top 16 competitors from the tournament earn a spot in the best trick contest. Skaters will also compete in a highest ollie contest. Skaters can apply to compete at skateordiefest.com/skate.
Cultural attractions include interactive art installations, murals from local artists, a Vendor Village – bothcurated by local startup Artist Uprising, a puppy petting zoo with adoptable puppies, a politician dunk tank (where you can dunk impersonators of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and more), food trucks, and plenty of angst!
Skate Or Die Fest comes from the mind of local entrepreneur and music blogger Harley Barnes, who has teamed up with event producer Kris Norvet, investor/landscape architect Zac Miller, and the team at Gas Monkey Live. Barnes is the founder and editor of ThisNewBand, a data-driven indie music blog and community of teen music enthusiasts, and has previously founded 2 technology startups, including concert app CrowdFeed which went through the Dallas accelerator Tech Wildcatters in 2013. Norvet has over 15 years of experience producing events, including working for NYC-based Trevanna Entertainment (Hot 97’s Summer Jam, Red Bull Music Academy NYC).
Gas Monkey Live is a state-of-the-art live music venue in Dallas, Texas started by entrepreneur Richard Rawlings (who is also the star of Discovery Channel reality television show Fast N’ Loud), along with Alex Mendonsa (former House of Blues Los Angeles Manager), and Peter Ore (former Vice President of Talent Live Nation Denver). The 38,000 sq ft venue accommodates 3,000 patrons, along with a world-class sound, lighting, and video setup. The Festival will be making use of the entire indoor footprint of Gas Monkey Live, as well as an outdoor portion of their parking lot in front of the venue.
Tickets are on sale now at skateordiefest.com. Blind presale tickets which went on sale in August have sold out. GA tickets range from $20 to $35 in advance, and $40 at doors. VIP tickets are $70 advance, and $80 at the door. VIP perks include priority entry into the festival, and a private indoor VIP area with exclusive bar, seating, and excellent main stage viewing.
Skate Or Die Fest would also like to thank all of the amazing partners and sponsors who have helped bring the 2017 event together. Early partners for this year’s fest include Gas Monkey Live, Artist Uprising, Austere Magazine, and ThisNewBand.
“Skate Or Die Fest is the ultimate experience for the angsty teenager in everyone, combining the excitement of skateboarding with its deep connection to music and art.” – Harley Barnes, Skate Or Die Fest Founder
“Growing up in the suburbs of Dallas in the 90’s and 00’s was pretty stale and boring, but my neighbor and I would turn on the TV and watch Rocket Power, Viva La Bam, and ESPN’s X Games, as well as play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. It connected us to a world that was much cooler than our shitty suburbia, so we got our own boards and spent years in the driveway just trying to be as good as the pros. Earlier this year, our team was working on another music festival that ended up falling though, and I had recently been to this skatepark and it gave me the idea to combine a skate event with a music festival. I recruited the amazing team from the former festival and we made it happen. I wanted to create an experience that is current and relevant, but also brings back those nostalgic memories from skating in the neighborhood.” – Harley Barnes, Skate Or Die Fest Founder
“Gas Monkey Live is thrilled to be a partner and host of Skate Or Die Fest in its first year, which brings a high-caliber lineup of talent to our facility. I’ve been skating since 1979. Long before there were skate parks, only backyard pools to sneak into or whatever you could find on the street. It’s great to see events like this taking place these days since it wasn’t available to me when I was a kid. A lot of the Gas Monkey crew skateboards as well so it’s a perfect fit for our venue.” – Peter Ore, Gas Monkey Dallas