Going Big With Snowboard On The Block Founder Adam Schmidt
After a long, hot summer, snowboard premiere season is an annual rite of passage and stoke fueler around the world. And while there are events in every ski town and feeder metro area around the world, the Colorado Front Range’s premieres are legendary. And are about to get a lot more so.
On Saturday, September 14, 10,000 shreds will come together in downtown Denver to kick off the season with an epic party including over 20 films, 20 bands, and a retailer sale for the ages.
We caught up with Schmidt this week as tickets are about to go on sale Saturday for the event that will be blocking off blocks to get the skinny on Snowboard On The Block.
The annual movie kick off is such a huge part of winter, and you’re looking to take that to an entirely new level. Tell us about your vision for this and where it came from?
The vision is all about the snowboard community coming together and having the type of fun that hurts really badly the next day. The film premieres are a very big part of snowboard culture. Everyone wants to be a part of them to get excited for the season ahead, especially here in Colorado where the snowboard season can start at any moment that time of year.
The problem is, not everyone can afford to see every movie they want. Other times, it’s a matter of having enough available time to go to all the different premieres. Well, here’s a festival for every snowboarder, rich or poor. We’ve brought together over 20 brand new, never before seen snowboard films that will be shown in HD on a variety of state of the art projector systems, both inside and out. We’re bringing all the core shops together for one giant sale where attendees can get deals they never thought possible. There will be a gallery where some of the best snowboard photographers in the business will be selling their work. To top it all off we’re going to be bringing in 20 very legit bands to play across two stages, all day and night.
You helped launch Snowboard on the Rocks–what lessons did you learn from that and how are you gonna apply them to make Snowboard On The Block live up to that vision?
There are so many things you learn producing an event at Red Rocks. It’s really an experience like no other. As the event grew over a couple of years, I learned that historic places like Red Rocks have many limitations. There was just no way we could have ever done everything we’re doing at this festival. Not to mention, something I know well about snowboard premieres is that people want cheap tickets. They want to socialize and they want cheap, easily accessible beer. Red Rocks is absolutely amazing but it just wasn’t the place for that.
You’re planning on shutting down several streets in downtown Denver. Where exactly will this take place and how difficult was it getting the proper permits?
There will be a main entrance just north of Coors Field at 35th and Walnut Street, with another on 36th and Larimer. I’m not sure I can say the same about other places across the country, but Colorado is a really progressive state that encourages festivals like this that have a national reach so it wasn’t very difficult at all.
Here’s a look at Snowboard On The Rocks:
What about insurance for an event of this size?
Insurance is the easy part, aside from being a bit costly. It’s the security, police, fire department, and paramedics that take a lot of coordination to make sure the event stays incident free.
On that note, is it harder to organize snowboarders or deal with the government?
I think both snowboarders and government workers can be easy to deal with when you have the understanding that people are busy as hell. Every snowboarder and government worker I’ve had to work with on this festival is so damn excited it’s actually been a pleasure to work with them.
Who’s on board at this point as far as brands, shops, films, retailers?
That’s a list that can really go on and on so I’ll just keep it short with highlights. You’re going to see films from Absinthe, Videograss, Think Thank, Burton, all the big dogs you know for making the best films every year. There will be films by Déjà Vu, Airblaster, Keep the Change, Lick the Cat, Green Bandit Productions, Yobeat, Film for Food (which is Zach Hooper / Aaron Hooper from the Givin’ projects), in addition to local videos like Zach Rawles’Smoke Signals and a whole lot more.
As far as retailers, it would be a lot easier to list the ones that aren’t involved but let’s just say it’s grown outside of Colorado now and we have some shops coming from surrounding states as well. For the bands, you’re going to have to wait on that one. See, this festival is focused on the snowboarding, not the bands. We don’t want to release our bands and have all our tickets sell out before the snowboarders get their chance.
You’ve got MFM hosting the whole thing – was that inspiration for the event’s name?
Can’t say it was actually. Those hotels were pretty sweet though. The name was picked based on us renting a whole block for this festival, including the buildings, parking lots and all. MFM, being one of the most legendary snowboarders from Denver is always an awesome host, so that’s why we asked him. He’s done quite a few things with us and in fact, he even hosted our Pennywise show during SIA this past year.
How can companies get involved?
We have a number of ways companies can get on board and we encourage everyone to get involved in this festival however they can. That’s what a community event is all about. All of our contact information is on the website at http://www.blockfestival.com.
What’s your goal for this event?
My goal for this event is to blow people’s minds! Everyone from the fans to the sponsors. I want this to be the best festival they’ve ever attended in their lives!
How can we get a ticket?
The festival will take place on Saturday, September 14th in Denver, Colorado and is open to the first 10,000 people that snag a ticket. $10 tickets are available for 24 hours only during our pre-sale this Saturday, June 29, 2013 starting at 8 AM MST. The official ticket release will be on Monday, July 1stthrough TicketWeb and Ticketmaster outlets.