Emo Skate Night NJ - 3/24/19

On Sunday, March 24th we're going to be co-sponsoring an Emo Skate Night event taking place at Jackson Skating Center in Jackson, NJ. Take a break from screaming out emo lyrics and skate over to the INTHECLOUDS vendor table to check out some goods and say Hi. (Negative points if you're on rollerblades and not going true old school on quad skates!)

Want to know what Emo Skate Night is all about? We caught up with founder Quinn Bott and got a few words about it:

ITC: So how did the idea for Emo Skate Night come about?

Quinn: I grew up going to shows in Las Vegas where I'm from. I started going to concerts when I didn't know too many people so I talked to the people running the soundboard and tried to help with loading gear in and out of venues. Eventually I got to know enough to start booking my own shows. I bought a PA system and booked a number of punk rock and hardcore shows and even a large music festival in Vegas before I even graduated high school. I went away to college and kind of lost touch with doing shows, but I've always had the itch to get back into it and love the music of that time period in my life. I wanted to come up with some new creative idea that I was excited about. 

ITC: Rad, that makes sense. So why the roller skating element?

Quinn: I was never a big roller skater growing up. I skateboarded and rode bikes, but actually have pretty bad memories of getting made fun of and hurting myself at roller skating birthday parties. It was partially those memories that made me want to pick it back up as an adult after I had learned to ice skate, just to prove to myself I could do it. I ended up loving it and having a lot of fun learning some moves on quad skates. I found the roller skating community to be a really cool subculture of diverse people, from old school 70's disco skaters to aggressive inline skaters, younger kids, and roller derby athletes. They all had an ethos that reminded me of punk rock, not caring about how you look, and just having a ton of fun doing it. It was gritty, but also very smooth, and always closely related to music and dancing. But It was always pop or R&B music on the stereo and it got me thinking...

ITC: It's a pretty solid combo, I will admit.

Quinn: I figured there might be enough people out there like me who enjoy roller skating and emo music enough to try to do an event combining the two. We did our first show at the roller rink I went to in elementary school near my house in Vegas and it was a huge success. Even on a Monday night, we had over 400 people show up. It was awesome and really cemented the idea in my mind that there was a demand for this kind of party. It's two awesome nostalgic things that people of all ages can enjoy, and it was so cool to see my generation of friends bringing out their own kids and sharing this type of music with them!

ITC: So I assume it's much like booking a concert - you've gotta get the venue and then bring the people in the door. Except you're working with a very different type of venue...
Quinn: In doing some market research for these shows, it's been amazing to see the variety of different roller rinks that are out there. I've learned a lot about skating and it's history in the process. Lots of historic places have died off, unfortunately, but the ones that remain are really cool - usually with owners that have been in the game for a really long time and care deeply about their communities. It's sometimes a little hard to explain the concept, but most places have been really supportive and receptive to doing it. We hope to continue to take the idea around the country and maybe even the world some day!
ITC: Well, we're excited to be on board to help you out for the New Jersey date. It's a cool idea you've got, so thanks for having us and for making your contribution to the scene.
Quinn: The idea of supporting the local music community comes naturally from my history with the scene. Usually these rinks have lots of open space to spare, so we're really interested in partnering with local independent music vendors, bands, or other folks doing related DIY things and having a "punk rock flea market" type atmosphere at these events. It gives folks something to look at when they need a break from skating. I love helping my friends to promote their creative projects so having as many great people involved is always my goal when we go to a new city. It's a win-win for everyone. 
Thanks to Quinn Bott for taking time to chat and for having us be part of the event. Be sure to check out the other Emo Skate Night events (they're on tour!) to see if they're coming by your area. We'll see you on March 24th in Jackson, NJ.


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