A beloved staple of London’s winter season, Skate transforms Somerset House’s spectacular neo-classical courtyard into a magical festive destination, complete with a picture perfect 40ft Christmas Tree featuring dazzling decorations by Skate’s headline partner Moët & Chandon around which skaters and spectators can toast the glad tidings of the season.
A host of festive experiences for all ages will be available to enjoy on and off the ice across the season, from a new series of rink-side deck takeovers from contemporary DJs, artists and collectives at Skate Lates with UNIQLO, the the ever-popular day-times skating lessons with Skate School. For 2022, the courtyard will feature a bigger skate space, welcoming friends, family and loved ones to celebrate time together on the ice.
Skate Lates with UNIQLO returns throughout the season with a new series of late-night takeovers from a specially curated line-up of DJs and artists making waves in the contemporary music scene. On 17th November, ESEA Sisters, a platform creating space for women, trans, non-binary and genderqueer people of East and Southeast Asian heritage, kick start the Skate Lates series with an evening of celebrating the latest sounds from new and upcoming acts. South-London based DJs and label Deptford Northern Soul Club takeover the rink-side decks on 2 December with the infectious sounds of the Northern Soul, whilst Lexii brings the ultimate late-night party vibes to the rink on 9 December with their floor filling underground club mixes. Music promoter, record label and events producer nonclassical present the best in new classical, experimental and electric music on 8 December. Manara a favourite of underground club circuits across the world, whose recent residences include BBC Asian Network and NTS, brings her signature fusion of South Asian sonics and club bangers to the rink on 13th January. A special Skate Lates on 24 November celebrates Somerset House’s major winter exhibition, The Horror Show! which explores how ideas rooted in horror have fuelled 50 years of creative rebellion, hosted by DJ Mark Moore and featured The Horror Show! artist and musician Martin Green.
For those looking to brush up on their skating skills, or first-time skaters looking to build confidence on the ice, the ever-popular Skate School returns with a new series of professional coaching sessions for adults and children with National Ice Skate Association (NISA) instructors. There will also be special Kids Club sessions for children aged 6-10, allowing children to take their first glide on the ice in a safe, fun, friendly environment supported by skate stabilisers and experienced ice marshals. Stabilisers will also be available to children throughout all Skate sessions on a first come, first served basis. Groups from 4-15 people can also book sessions with a Skate Mate, a dedicated ice marshal who can be booked to provide support and guidance on the ice.
The season will se the return of Chilled Out Skate sessions, which take place on selected weekday mornings and run at a reduced capacity, designed for skaters who benefit from skating in a quieter and more spacious environment, or are looking to take their first steps on the ice in a relaxed setting. The rink is open to wheelchair users across all skating sessions, as well as hosting two dedicated skate sessions for wheelchair users on 27&30 November. Wheelchair accessible facilities are available throughout, and from 25-27 November, Somerset House will be working on Mobiloo to provide a Changing Places toilet which features an accessible toilet and changing room space with an electric hoist, changing bench, and friendly attendant on-hang for any assistance required.