Going to repeat something that was said here the other day – the suits, ties and pet Radio One DJ and Southbank (paid?) board member Nihal Arthanayake are throwing out their videos and missing so many points as they play  their new coffee shops and plot the profit they can make/ Once again here, right at the start of this latest bout of patronising propaganda we here yet another Southbank person ask what does anyone other than the skateboarders get out the space? Just don’t get it do they, it isn’t just the skateboarders who love the space, it isn’t just the skateboarders who see how important, in so many ways, it actually is, it isn’t just the skateboarders who see how it needs to stay right where it is for us ALL to enjoy and partake in. We don’t want some new hidden out of the way space, we don’t want more coffee shops, we want this beautiful organic space, a space that’s about much much more than just skateboarding ro stay right where it is. Right now we all have a space where we can be actively engaged in the creative process already  –  an ever evolving organic creative space that you can’t recreate, these  things just don’t happen over night…

Nihal Arthanayake on the Southbank Centre’s Festival Wing

organblackfist“BBC Radio 1 DJ (and board member at the Southbank Centre) Nihal Arthanayake gives an Oscar winning performance in his emotional plea to the public to back the Southbank Centre in its destruction of the iconic and world famous southbank skate area in its undercroft, which has been used since the 1970’s.

In response we )the save the Southbank people) would like to point out the following:

1. The Southbank Centre are the only ones constantly calling this a “battle”.

2. None of the campaigns have ever mislead the public by telling them that the Southbank Centre are getting rid of skateboarders. It has always been made clear that the goal is to save the current location because of its cultural and historical value.

3. The proposed relocation site is not larger than the current one and it is located under Hungerford Bridge which is owned by Network Rail, meaning that planning permission being granted is in no way guaranteed”.

Nahal, we already have a space where we can ALL be actively engaged in the creative process already – all of us, not just the skaters.


organ_fistTHINGS… .I need to exclaim! We’ve brought it up before but it needs to be brought up again.   We note that the suits and ties of the London Southbank art establishment, those suits who claim to really care about our art and our culture. the (elitist?) suits and ties (surely they’re not that elitist? Surely they’re not that out of touch?), the suits in control of our art – seems the suits are still hellbent on destroying the iconic (a word used far far too much, we use it here with much consideration, a term we don’t like to use unless something really really really is as iconic as the Southbank Skatepark Undercroft quite clearly is), seems the suits are still hellbent on destroying the skateboard/street art area on the beautiful bank of the River Thames,  and replacing something that has been such an important part of London culture for over thirty years or more now – hellbent on replacing it with more coffee shops and, yes, just what we need on the Southbank, more “retai l opportunities”, more cynically overpriced tourist-abusing moneysucking faceless corporate American coffee shop chains….  .


sosouthbankThe Southbank undercroft skateboard park area is one of the most important living breathing art-spaces in London – this is our heritage, this is our culture, this is our art, it isn’t yours to take away and shove out of sight around the back where no one can see it, find it, feel it. enjoy it, love it.   Those walls and ramps need to be right where they currently are, right there, right by the river, living, breathing, evolving, they need to be celebrated as a vital part of the Southbank – there for those of us who haven’t got a clue about skateboards as well as those who love to ride their boards. A space there for us ALL to enjoy as we head for a performance at the Festival Hall, or to the Tate (or rush past the embarrassing fast-food horror that is the old GLC building).  I’ve sounthbankknever been on a skateboard in my life, this is not just about skateboards, – this is about art, music, hip-hop culture, punk rock evolution, this is a place respected and celebrated worldwide, this is not about shoving a group of young people enjoying their sport around the back, out of the way, where they can get on with it out of sight and out of mind! This is about vitally important art happening in a very important, culturally significant, art space, this is about ever evolving culture, about every drop of paint that has ever touched those walls, about artists who’s named we’ll never know, about the colour on those ramps, the paint on those supports, about the evolving walls of art – art as important as anything along the path at the Tate or any operatic performance happening in the Festival Hall. Those walls are alive, they’re exciting, those walls are organic, things of ever-changing beauty, and to even consider destroying that space in the name of art or commerce or whatever you want to call it, is beyond arrogance, beyond criminal. What price art? Surely a little more than just another plastic cup of coffee and maximising earning potential? (Sean Worrall)


“On Thursday the 4th July 2013 LLSB journeyed to Brixton to deliver over 14,000 individual objections to Lambeth Town hall! After handing what we understand to be the UK’s largest public objection of its kind at 1.30pm to Councillor Diana Braithwaite, and while the objections continued to pour in, LLSB spokesperson Henry Edwards-Wood shared his feelings”   LLSB would like to thank all our supporters and volunteers for your hard work, passion and enthusiasm. Special thanks to Equality organisation and Music and Arts Festival UpRise for ongoing support and their understanding of the importance of out-the-box and emerging arts and culture, and for standing shoulder to shoulder with LLSB”   (Music: ‘AWAYNow’ by Tawiah feat Micachu)

further reading, exploring, viewing…



“I hope the Southbank Centre will think again” – The former Culture Secretary and MP for Exeter adds his backing to the Long Live Southbank campaign.

Long Live Southbank – The Southbank Centre’s plans to shut down that famous skatepark spot, which has existed as a hub for skaters, BMXers and artists for some 40 years to convert it into a shopping centre or a coffeeshop! “Hold Tight” Henry discusses the organic ‘Long Live South Bank’ petition campaign which aims to raise public awareness. Sign the petition before 5th July please (publish on YouTube on May 6th)


  1. Pingback: ORGAN THING: Peace breaks out between the Southbank Centre and Long Live Southbank campaign… | THE ORGAN

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