Sole Bloc - Scotland's first sneaker festival.

It had been long overdue, but finally, on the 1st of August 2015, Scotland had it's first ever sneaker festival - Solebloc, held in Glasgow, and it was an absolute banger. The event itself was held at the excellent SWG3, a warehouse in Glasgow's West End, and was the best setting for the event.

With months of planning, and many more months of talk about actually doing the event, there was quite a lot of apprehension in the air, but because of the consistently brilliant work from three of the most hard working guys I know - Rob, Al, and Mark, the event was a blinding success.

Even the typical Scottish weather wasn't going to be able to rain on our parade that weekend.

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First events aren't always expected to be a huge success, but with names like hanon shop, Main Source, Schuh, Ropes Laces, Angelus, Solegrain, Stance Socks, Forty Clothing, Abandon Ship, a number of names, Fat Buddha Store, Transalpino, Manifesto, Lace Jam, 80's Casuals, Red Bull, and our very own Sneakers ER and NB Gallery, as well as all the private sellers, it truly did seem like Sole Bloc had everything covered.

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My absolute undivided attention was given to our NB Gallery Exhibition which was held in the most perfect room on the second floor of SWG3, where we showcased over 250 pairs of New Balance in a unique pyramid style. You can check out some of the highlights below, but jump over the a full run down of NB Gallery @ Sole Bloc here. I must extend a big thanks to all of our friends who helped put on the exhibition, namely Blair Massari, Mark Watson, and Sean Taylor for providing their shoes, as well as Arkadiusz Skolak, and the rest of the guys who put in a good shift of building IKEA units and making copious amounts of NB boxes. It was all greatly appreciated, truly.

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Moving on from NB Gallery but not too far away, we had Sneakers ER out in the hallway of the second floor, where Rob himself put in an absolute shift answering any and every question put to him about all your cleaning and restoration needs. He even showed us all how good at multitasking he is, by not only being on hand to answer questions, but also on hand to demonstrate the full capabilities of the Sneakers ER product.

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It didn't end there though, if you were convinced by the product, then all you had to do was head down to the ground floor and grab yourself some of the product which they had for sale in the first room.

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Another attraction of the event which really has to get a mention is the sheer generosity from the guys at hanon shop, who held a lottery for three of their favourite collaborations, with all proceeds being donated to CLAN Cancer Support in Aberdeen, Scotland. Over £1700 was raised and donated, a pretty special gesture from the hanon shop team if I do say so myself.

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Without sounding like a broken record, the event had a great vibe all day, even when the heavens opened, this didn't dampen the spirits of everyone at the event. A really awesome day was had, and this wouldn't have been possible without every single person that attended, so thanks to all the old and new faces who swung through on the day! Thanks to the organisers, the sellers, the DJs, the bar staff, the food vendors, the helpers, every last one of you. You guys are the shit!

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Crepe City 13

If you can remember any of my previous Crepe City round-up posts, I've started almost every one of them by saying how each event is bigger and better than the last, but it's the unavoidable truth, and Crepe City 13 was no different. Although the number 13 may be regarded as an unlucky number for some, it definitely isn't for Crepe City as they put on another hugely successful event.

The event returned on the 25th of April, and once again, like the previous 5 events, CC13 was held in the Truman Brewery, just off Brick Lane in London's trendy Shoreditch area. Although the event has been held within many different rooms in the Truman Brewery, it seems like they're starting to nail down the event space, with this event's layout being one of the best so far.

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Doors opened at midday and the thousands of punters who'd been eagerly waiting started to file in and check out what was on offer. They were greeted in the first room by a mixture of brands and sellers, with Jason Markk offering a cleaning service (but we're sure everyone's kicks were spotless anyway) as well as their collaboration with Crepe City.

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If you were looking for socks, then you didn't have to go very far, as Stance Socks were also on hand with their huge range of socks available for purchase, as well as a seat on their sofa if you fancied chilling out.

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For the first time ever, new footwear brand Akio were on hand to showcase their Orion trainer in a bunch of colourways, which all looked really quite impressive. Definitely a brand to keep an eye on, very much looking forward to seeing what those guys do.

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Since we've detailed the brands in the first room, we might as well just carry on with this format and move into the second room which housed brands such as, The Basement who had collaborated with Crepe City on tees and pins, available to buy on the day, as well as Dutty Streetwear, and KWills. This room was constantly busy, but was well worth persevering the crowds to check out some of the clothing and accessories on offer.

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Swiftly moving through The Basement (which probably should have been in the basement) area of Crepe City, the next room named The Street housed Diadora who's N9000 collaborations have been causing a storm of late and were all on display here, and you could also pick up one of the fifty pairs of the exclusive N9000 MM which were available, debuting Diadora's use of no-sew technology. The good people over at Ropes Laces had their second collaboration with Crepe City available for purchase, and these proved to be a massive hit on the day.

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This room also featured the UK's own Soleheaven who regularly attend the event with a great selection of footwear on offer, and also heavyweights Main Source who had loads of rare deadstock goodness available. Crepe City isn't just about footwear, clothing and accessories, Luke's Barbershop were on hand to provide hair cuts if you so desired.

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By this point, you were probably ready to grab a drink or some food, and the adjacent room offered all of the above, with burgers and cans of Red Stripe aplenty. I tell you, those picnic benches were a lifesaver, great spot to hang out.

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The next room was a welcome addition to Crepe City this time around, and aptly named the Crepe City Boutique, this was an area that catered for the ladies, bursting with sneakers, clothing and accessories. Fingers crossed that this area gets carried over to the future events, and big props to the ladies behind it.

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However, like previous events, Puma were in attendance and they had situated themselves within this room, and were showcasing some of their latest releases, such as the Alife (which have just dropped) and Solebox collaborations, as well as a number of general releases.

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Moving downstairs now, and into one of the lower levels at Truman Brewery, this space was separated with two large rooms. Heavy hitters Prime were tucked away in the corner but their wealth of rare Air Max never ceases to amaze no matter how many times you've seen them.

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Also, Josh Cole, a name that may ring familiar had an extremely impressive setup once again with tonnes of amazing vintage pairs that was well worth checking out even if you had no intention of buying anything.

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A couple of new additions to Crepe City this time around were YR Store who offered a custom t-shirt and sweatshirt printing service, as well as Crepe Cam, which done the often tiresome task of taking a shot of your footwear, but with a 360 degree twist.

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The last room was the closest to the exit, but this didn't mean that the CC team had neglected it in the slightest, as the Crooked Tongues Forum crew were representing with a couple of tables, and also UK retailer Wellgosh with a huge amount of excellent stock from their store. 

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Another extremely successful event, which wouldn't of been possible without the continued effort of the Crepe City crew, and also all the sellers, traders, retailers, DJs, caterers, brands, and punters who pass through on the day. Keep killing it!

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