In Bristol, Good Vibes Are in Motion

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Shining a light on one of the largest underground After Hours Athlete playgrounds in Europe.

Q: Where do we skateboard by day, take a break-dancing class by evening and roller-disco into the wee hours?

A: Hmm, there’s really only one place we know of, and it’s Bristol's very own Motion. This ad hoc After Hours Athletes’ village is at the heart of Bristol’s underground scene, a cavernous fortress of good times concealed within a series of repurposed canal-side warehouses.

After-hours Bristol has always been a beat-making city of play that thinks outside the dance floor, and Motion carries that torch in a truly full-service way. First conceived as the city’s only indoor skate park in 1996, the Motion team started out with little more than a fantastic space and a vision for taking the party off the ramp and into the club. Soon, founder Tom Kilford expanded the venture to include private parties and massive club nights. But oh, the heavy lifting! The team had to dismantle and assemble the giant skate ramps every time they hosted a party in the giant main space (and seeing as they partied every weekend, that was a whole lot of manual labour).

Never ones to let logistics ruin a good party, the Motion crew went about acquiring the surrounding empty warehouses. Now, the giant skate park lives permanently in one end, leaving plenty of space for other AHA-approved activities. Such as? Well, we guess that depends who you are and what you’re looking for…

Skater? BMX’er? Hit up their massive half pipes and ramps. Break-dancer? Drop in to a popping and locking class hosted by their resident breakdance crew, Break in Motion. Good (or bad) dancer? Groove the night away to some of Europe’s best DJs. Hungry? Yes, us too, so fuel up at the resident burger bar and crave-worthy street food carts outside. Sweaty? Cool off by the canal-side patios before jumping back into the madness.

For those Bristolians looking to get a dose of Motion in the near future, be on the lookout for the next ‘Bump’ roller disco on 26 April as well as the recurring In:Motion series featuring world-class DJs. So grab your kicks and come play at one of the largest After Hours Athlete playgrounds in Europe, nestled right within our little city that knows how to party.


Top photo courtesy of Benjamin Price.

Middle photo courtesy of Tom Paine.

Bottom photo courtesy of Tom Horton.