H2O international weekend has always been about spending time with friends and having one last hoorah before the spring and summer schedule dies off until the following year. We’ve been doing the same thing for well over a decade. So we were bummed to get the news that the actual VW/Audi event that spawned the notorious iconic weekends was going to be postponed this year because of troubles locking in details at a new venue. It would have been the 20th Anniversary. We look forward to H2Oi coming back bigger and better for its 20th event in 2018 for sure. But, we knew that the last minute cancellation of the show wasn’t going to stop the OG VW/Audi scene from having a good time. We also knew that the thousands of “outcast” cars that roam the streets in search of social media fame – and those that experienced the fun of H2Oi weekend back in the days when they used to drive a VW – weren’t going to stay home either. We couldn’t get a refund on our condo rentals anyway, so we thought we might as well make the trip to Ocean City, MD as planned and kick it with the community. We had planned on doing our 2nd annual Big Easy Meet anyway… no reason for us to cancel when it was obvious that H2Oi weekend’s meets and cruising scene was going to be just as big as ever.
We hosted our first Big Easy Meet last year during H2Oi weekend, with the intention of helping to calm things down around town – to give a safe haven for people who wanted to act like adults to hang out, talk about cars, and not be chased away by the police. We teamed up with The Big Easy on 60, a new New Orleans themed restaurant on Coastal Highway aka “The Strip”. Chef Tracy and the gang make unbelievable cajun/creole/southern food and have been fun and gracious hosts both years. We went the extra mile and contacted OCMD City Hall and got the necessary paperwork to allow us to set-up a pop-up shop behind the restaurant, so that we could offer exclusive gear to our guests. With the official event not happening this year, it seemed even more fitting that we come down and show love to The Big Easy, help keep things calm (even if just one one block for one evening), and get some homies to set up pop-ups with us so that people who traveled for the event still got a chance to buy some cool stuff. This year’s meet was amazing – the verdict is out on how the rest of the weekend went around town – but we are more than happy and grateful with our friends and supporters who came and spent some time with us. We even got a chance to weigh in on “the scene” and the evolution of “stance” on film for an upcoming TV series being produced by Jalopnik. As they showed up, we had an entire city block filled with cars – everything from our OG VW/Audi friends, to JDM and VIP style cars, drift cars, daily drivers, etc. Also helping to bring people together, rather than dividing the different aspects of the scene and pointing fingers at who causes the most destruction around town throughout the long weekend.
Shout out to OC Car & Truck Show, StreetSeen, Formative Fitment, and Eurotrash Apparel for being a part of this year’s meet as well as all of our friends in the community. What will become of the infamous H2Oi weekend in the future remains to be seen, but for us it will continue to be about what it’s always been about – friends, family, and closing out another event season in a big way.
We hope to see everyone again next year! In the meantime, here is the full photoset from our very own, Nick Becker. Stay tuned for Part 2 of H2Oi weekend recap – featuring more pics from Becker from the streets and the meets. Cheers!