With only nine days to go until Derby Revolution, we caught up with Miss Miyagi, one of the organisers and member of Gent Go-Go Roller Girls, to ask some questions about the event itself.
Registration for Derby Revolution ends on Sunday.
Various people have been comparing Derby Revolution to RollerCon. Do you think this is a good comparison?
The comparison to RollerCon is an obvious one to make; our formula is very much alike: Derby Revolution is four days of non-stop skating, partying, networking, skating some more, basically celebrating the sport and culture of Roller Derby. Like a big bootcamp or event, we offer on-skate classes with world-class skaters, off-skate work-out sessions, seminars, social events and parties. It's a package deal: you learn some new skills, pick up some info on how to run your league, make friends with skaters from all over Europe and at the end of the day get to drink some great Belgian beers (which they don't have in Vegas!).
Differently from RollerCon, however, we try to keep our event rather 'small and cosy': by limiting our tickets to a couple of hundred, we can guarantee that every skater will live the experience to its fullest potential. No endless queues, no frustration over missed classes. Granted, we won't have a giant open-air pool, the weather conditions will be unpredictable at best and Gent simply isn't Vegas, but we still hope to live up to the expectations. After all, RollerCon is the biggest derby event in the States so it's an honour to be compared to such an amazing event!
How would you contrast the purpose of Derby Revolution to that of EROC, the existing pan-European derby meet up?
EROC is an initiative that was born from a growing need for organization within the European roller derby community; before, leagues had only America to look for examples, but it became apparent very quickly that there is quite a distance, both in space and in culture, between the two continents. EROC is a yearly conference for European leagues to gather and exchange ideas on how to organize derby in Europe specifically. So it's truely a conference: serious business and not a whole lot of skating.
Derby Revolution is an ahtletic event first and foremost: most of the time, you'll be on skates, learning rad new tricks and playing fun scrimmages. It's an excellent way to spread derby-knowledge across Europe and make us all better skaters. We will also offer seminars that could concern organizational aspects of the sport, but these are not our main priority. This is an event for skaters to grow individually, meet up with other derby girls, discover some new derby product that will change their lives and, afterwards, spread their freshly acquired knowledge to their leagues.
Why now? Are you planning on making Derby Revolution a regular event?
Why not? Europe is evolving rapidly and is definitely ready for an event such as this. We hope to make the Revolution a yearly event which can democratize derby skills and knowhow. We don't want one team to better than the next, simply because they can afford a great American coach and the other can't. A mass event such as this opens up a lot of information to a lot of skaters, who can then share and spread that knowledge.
With the next World Cup set for 2014, how do you guys feel about a European hosting for it?
The World Cup is not on our minds at the moment. Let's first make this first Revolution a resounding success! It would of course be very exciting to organize an event such as this or the European Cup, but we should consider the pros and cons. After all, it's hard to organize these events and play them at a competitive level at the same time.... to be continued!