Words | Photographs by Jonathan Labez @JMLabez

Running the pop up studio at Blading Cup is much being at the circus — everything and anything can happen under that tent. You are outside of time and space where anyone can appear at any second. Every instant is a serendipitous surprise. You see the familiar and the astounding magically materialize with the snap of a finger. It’s a carnival with every shape and character you can imagine which disappears just as quickly as it came. When it’s all over there’s nothing but awe and the lingering question of if it actually happened.

In two short days, I felt like I had lived for years. I ran into a friend from my college crew I hadn’t seen in 15 years. I ran into friends I only get to see a few times a year. I ran into names I had only known from edits, sections, and instagram handles. I ran into friends scattered across the globe met only here. I even ran into into a chunk of my childhood heroes from my earliest earliest days in rollerblading. All of this having never left a 10×10 foot tent. It’s a breathless experience—of which I’m only just catching my breath from.

I cannot wait to engage in this madness again. I cannot wait for faces scattered in wind to gather again at the bazaar that is Blading Cup. That’s the reason we all go to these large events. For a moment, we get to live in a fantasy where everything and everyone feels so right. You’re exactly where you need to be—if only for a little while.

I’ll see you all again when the circus is back in town.

Click here for the first installment of portraits from ‘Faces of Blading Cup 2019
Click here for the second installment of portraits from ‘Faces of Blading Cup 2019

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