One of the best events I’ve been a part of during my career is the Vans Downtown Showdown. The event featured live art, the premiere of Stacey Peralta’s Bones Brigade documentary, free concerts and a carnival atmosphere complete with skate venders, a free barber shop, the girls from Wah Nails doing nail art and the original Steve Van Doren himself firing up the grill and barbecuing hot dogs for the masses. In 2012, I managed Public Relations and Media for Vans in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Among many other things, this meant I was responsible for public relations and media at all Vans Gold level events and Downtown Showdown was by far the pinnacle. We invited skate and lifestyle media to Amsterdam to check out teams of skaters competing on obstacles designed by the teams themselves. Over 10,000 people attended and the media coverage was a complete success. I’ll never forget what a privilege it was to be a part of a core skate event that shares skateboarding in an authentic way with such a large audience. For a complete gallery of photos, check out Vans https://www.vans.com/on Facebook.