When considering the misfortune (a communist dictatorship that rules with an iron fist, poverty pedaled as "socialist equality," a lack of basic comforts like Tylenol and, oh, light after 8 p.m., and freedom of speech) that's befallen the once sweet island paradise known as Cuba, it's easy to forget that there are myriad other freedoms they lack, like all those little diversions that make us smile each day and grind through the work week. Like readily available skateboards.
Enter Amigo Skate Cuba, a one of a kind event, taking place tomorrow at Transit Lounge to benefit skaters in Cuba.
"There are no skate shops in Cuba and no chances of getting sponsored or going pro," explains founder Rene Lecour. "These guys skate because they love it. But unfortunately it can take months to get a replacement for a broken skateboard, which is like death to a skater."
The all-day event is a collaborative effort between Amigo Skate and local artists, combining skate culture with music and art. "[Artist] Alex Yanes contacted us a few months ago wanting more information about Amigo Skate Cuba. After meeting we decided to collaborate on an Amigo Skate event that would also focus on art and music," says Lecour.
"Not only is Alex an amazing artist, but he was also able to invite 30 other artists to join our cause. And together with our team and the guys at Transit Lounge, we have put together what we feel is the biggest, most original charity event in South Florida history, with artists donating painted skateboards, 16 bands playing music all day, live graffiti art, food, a mini-ramp contest, a game of S-K-A-T-E, a long board push-race, and a mini indoor skate park. And it's all to help our brothers and sisters in Cuba be able to continue skating."
Indeed, the event, which kicks off at noon and runs until 5 a.m., promises to be epic. The music will occupy three different stages with sets by Nobodys Hero, Enough!, Askultura, the Can't Stand Yas, To Be Hated, Guerrilleros de Nadie, and Gorrilla Pussy -- not to mention late-night sets by Spam Allstars and ArtOfficial.
"There are so many awesome bands playing that it's hard to pick, and they range from punk to funk to hip-hop," says Lecour.
Amigo Skate Cuba. Saturday, April 16. Transit Lounge, 729 SW First Ave., Miami. The benefit begins at noon and $5 donations will be taken at the door. All ages until 10 p.m. Call 305-377-4628 or visit transitlounge.us.