Creative Camp Returns To Belfast

Creative Camp in Belfast December 3rd
Creative Camp in Belfast December 3rd

Creative Camp is returning to Belfast and it’s coming up pretty soon – this Friday to be precise.

Blick Studios and Trans Urban Arts are linking up to bring back Creative Camp, the free unconference for people from all walks of creative life. If you’re familiar with the BarCamp / BizCamp style setup then you’ll find yourself right at home with Creative Camp.

It’s being held at the Blick Studios building in Belfast and kicks off at 10am on Friday.

The blurb…

CREATIVE CAMP is a free un-conference event for people who are passionate about creativity and want to make things happen. CREATIVE CAMP is an event designed to combine the best of creativity, business and technology in a unique format to encourage networking, collaboration and peer on peer learning. Participants are invited to give talks, do demonstrations, and show their work and it is these participants who then set the agenda, decide on topics and generate the content, demos and portfolio presentations.

The event’s purpose is for people from creative industries to meet, network, and learn from each other. This includes Graphic and Web Designers and Developers, Artists, Filmmakers, Photographers, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Students, Educators, entrepreneurs and any other creative practitioners who have ideas, innovations, experience or inspiration they want to share.

Registration is closed for the event, such is the demand, but they are operating a waiting list system. If you want on it, drop an email to or stop by for all the details.

BarCamp Belfast May 22nd

BarCamp Belfast

REGISTRATION is open and underway for BarCamp Belfast, taking place at the University of Ulster on Saturday May 22nd. Already in the pipeline for talks are Freedom of Information … for coders and bloggers, Hyperlocal Belfast (would hyperlocal blogging work in Belfast), Location, Location, Location (looking at smarter phones and the mobile web in 2010), Making money out of fresh air (bootstrapping your startup), Project Management With a Client Focus (keeping your clients involved in the web development process).

There’s a list of attendees there as long as your arm already and it won’t cost you anything to attend.

After many promises to go north over the last few years, I made the trip to BarCamp Belfast last April (would be this weekend coming). If you can, it’s worth trying to make a weekend of it. As it was I’d made all the morning sessions before disappearing for lunch and finding myself caught up wandering around the streets of Belfast. Plenty to see and do, a ridiculous amount of places to eat and drink (or shop if you’re so inclined, including an Apple store).

Last year’s ship was run very well, great talks, great people, great buzz about those in attendance and I still managed to run into a few familiar places. I’d booked myself into the Premier Inn last year, which is grand in terms of accommodation and food but the parking is a no-no and wifi costs (I think) £10 for a 24-hour pass, the most of which you’d be sleeping or out and about. Andy might have suggestions on somewhere close by that has parking and free wifi access (can’t for the life of me remember the name of the hotel you’d suggested!).

Signups are here and follow the herd on Twitter.

Now It’s The Turn Of BizCamp Belfast

If you’ve not yet registered, you’ve still got time to put your name on the signup sheet for BizCamp Belfast, taking place this Saturday at The Black Box in Belfast.

Having enjoyed BarCamp Belfast loads at the end of April, I know the setting, people and topics would make it another great day to attend. If you’re traveling from “the South”, it’s possible to hit Belfast from Kilkenny in around 3.5 hours when you’re constantly moving. The spin back from Belfast for me to Kilkenny was a breeze thanks in large part to roads around Carlow and Newry, in between it’s pretty much motorway all the way.

If you’re driving up for the day, you’ve to pay for on street parking in a lot of areas or you can get multistorey parking about 2 minutes walk from the venue, though expect all day parking to be in the region of £20 or so. If you’re overnighting and don’t have car park access (as happened me when I stayed at the Premier Inn on Waring Street for BarCamp), parking is free on the streets after 6pm and all through Sunday.

Travel notes aside, some of the talks you can look forward to include

If you need a map, check here, and if you want to sign up, visit

Off To BarCamp Belfast

I’m off to BarCamp Belfast this morning, been around Belfast since yesterday and liking it so far. My last trip here was 2-3 years ago but went nowhere near the city. Next time around I’ll book a hotel with parking (point to note for those thinking on booking the Premier Inn on Waring Street) – nice hotel, but lack of parking is a pain.

Parking gripes aside BarCamp Belfast kicks off later this morning, registration underway in just under an hour, talks from 9:30pm to 5pm or so and it all takes place at the York Street campus for University of Ulster. Looking at the site this morning there’s over 370 people registered to attend 36 or so talks, panels and breakout sessions throughout the day.

At least I remembered to bring a notebook with me. If you’re in the vicinity, drop in, if we’ve not met yet then say hello. No tricks to identifying me but I’ll be there all the same and I’m looking forward to it. Rumour is there’s drinks afterwards in McHugh’s or the John Hewitt bar but I’m sure all will be revealed later.

Tis The Season For BarCamps

Tis the season for BarCamps, surely. Tomorrow I’m off to BizCamp in Dublin where I’ll join in the region of 200 other entrepreneurs, freelancers and free thinkers in the first business-focused BarCamp to be held here (nice to see another “themed” BarCamp running). Registration starts from 9am tomorrow and with the early train leaving Kilkenny pre-7am I’ll be hoping to make breakfast in Dublin. Talks are scheduled for between 10am and 5:30pm ish and there’s a draft schedule here.

BizCamp Limerick follows on March 21st for those who can’t make Dublin tomorrow (it being “sold out”) or are looking for another helping of talks from more business people. The Limerick session is being held in UL and at time of writing there are currently 71 attendees and 19 speakers registered.

Two events that I’m going to miss (will be out of the country) are the ACE (Awakening Creative Entrepreneurship) in Derry running March 25th – 27th and OSS BarCamp in Dublin on March 28th which runs in DIT’s Kevin Street Campus. While all the speaker slots have been filled, if you’re interested in going to OSS BarCamp, leave a comment on the attendees list.

Finally, in April we’ve got BarCamp Belfast coming up. I haven’t been to Belfast since August 2006, catching Steel Pulse in the Andersontowns Leisure Centre (what a gig!) and it will be good to get across the border and meet some more web heads for the weekend. It’s going to be held in The Black Box on Saturday April 25th and already there’s over 110 signups, the makings of another great day.

The best thing about all of these events is that they are free.

If you’re looking to get out and meet some likeminded people – business types, designers, web heads, geeks, startups, entrepreneurs and more – then get yourself to one of these events because that’s where you’ll find them hanging out.

Creative Entrepreneurship UnConference for Derry

ACE Awakening Creative EntrepreneurshipI like creative things. I like creative people. I like people who get up off their arse and start something, creative or otherwise. So it’s great to see word of the Awakening Creative Entrepreneurship UnConference hitting Derry at the end of March. With recent BarCamps, CreativeCamps and Unconventions hitting Belfast, it’s great to see another UnConference heading North, this one taking in the full weekend of March 25th to 27th.

What is it?

“Awakening Creative Entrepreneurship [ACE] is a collaborative unconference, a showcase, and a multi-track Creative BootCamp for creatives, business leaders, support agencies, students, developers, technology providers, and VCs looking to develop and/or discover the next big thing. ACE revolves around a multi-track creative business development programme which offers the opportunity to win on several levels – for traditional businesses, support agencies, and creatives alike! ”

Speakers over the weekend include Edward T Colligan (CEO at Palm), Andrew Shorten (Platform Evangelist at Adobe), Sean Melly (Chairman of PowersCourt), Brian Kelley (Senior Advisor for Deutsche Bank), Greg Rewis (Creative Suite Evangelist Worldwide at Adobe), BarCamp favourite Martha Rotter (Microsoft Ireland).

The Official Blurb

“The technology world will converge in the North West from 25 to 27 March when Silicon Valley comes to Derry/Londonderry for the ACE UnConference, which has been funded through the Arts Council’s Innovation Fund. The not to be missed three day UnConference for Creative Entrepreneurship will see senior figures from the world’s leading creative technology and communications companies visit the region including Palm, Adobe, Powerscourt, Deutsche Bank, Nokia, Microsoft and DemonWare among others. The delegate driven industry event provides an opportunity to showcase the talent of local creative industries and will act as a platform for local entrepreneurs to access global expertise within an open innovation environment. Tickets for ACE are free, and with demand expected to be high, it is essential you register your interest to avoid disappointment.”

I found more on it here or check the official site for details .

Booking & BizCamp

Tickets are FREE so if you’re thinking on heading along, book now before it winds up like BizCamp – sold out. There’s no way I’ll make it to Derry on the weekend (giving a course in Kilkenny on the 26th before heading out of the country) but I will be at BizCamp for the most of the day on March 7th. Registration for that is closed but if you’re in Dublin for breakfast on the day, let me know. Rumour has there’s breakfast nibbles on offer.

Registration, however, is open for BizCamp Limerick. If you’re around on March 21st, get booking for that too!

CreativeCamp Belfast This Weekend

The first CreativeCamp (in Ireland) hit Kilkenny this past March (I had a helping hand in organising the event), an event which started to bring in a nice concentration on design and the arts online. I had many a good conversation with film makers, visual artists, a writer, a theatre director – all of whom were starting to explore the online world as a means to promote their work and connect with fellow artists.

While artists and creative practitioners made up a small portion of the blend of people there (there were initially 120+ subscribed to attend and likely 80-90 there over the day), the key thing is that it brought creative people together from all walks of life both online and off.

So it was great to see Andy McMillan (who I got to meet at this year’s Irish Blog Awards, briefly) annouce earlier this year that CreativeCamp Belfast would be taking place. And wouldn’t you know, it’s taking place this weekend.

CreativeCamp is a self-organised “unconference” – made up of open, participatory workshop-events where the participants are responsible for setting the agenda, deciding on topics and generating the content. CreativeCamp Belfast brings together technology and creative enthusiasts who want to make things happen with web, mobile, open source, new media, music and design.

Of all the events and unconferences to provide some kind of online coverage or online archive of the day, this is one of those events I hope archives everything.

When I passed my driving test earlier in the summer (before the need to have a second driver regardless of your license kicked in) I thought, “this is great – have van, will travel. Dublin, Belfast, anywhere with a bit of motorway”.

Then in typical Irish form you get an invitation to a wedding and two fall on the same weekend, pinning me to Kilkenny on Friday and Mayo on Saturday. So there’s a slight part of me (the musician and music promotor / sponsor / butcher / baker / candlestick maker) gutted that I’m going to be missing out on talks like

  • Nick Fitzsimons – Music Licensing – What is it, how to approach it, and why it’s important
  • Rich Dale – A Manifesto for a sustainable NI Music Scene
  • Anto O’Kane – Building a new model of the music industry from the ground up – open discussion on the best way to keep a band afloat, and even make a few quid.

not to mention the rest of the talks that are taking place on the day, a number of which have yet to have their details published.

Plus it would have given me the chance to spread the wings and head to Belfast, take in a load of new faces on the day – the key thing for me behind these unconference events.

So, long spiel aside, here’s the facts –

  • CreativeCamp Belfast takes place this weekend, Saturday September 6th
  • It runs 10am to 5pm in Blick Shared Studios (map)
  • You can still register here, here or here
  • It won’t cost you a penny to attend

To those involved in CreativeCamp Belfast and those attending, have a good one!

3Dcamp Hits Limerick On May 24th

3DcampJames Corbett and Gabriela Avram are some of the names behind 3Dcamp, the next in a line of great themed BarCamp events to hit the country, and it’s taking place in the University of Limerick on Saturday May 24th.

The day will focus on

  • Virtual worlds (Second Life, the Metaverse)
  • Mirror worlds (Google Earth and Virtual Earth)
  • Mapping mashups
  • GPS
  • Location based Services (LBSs)
  • Haptics (eg. Wiimote hacks)
  • 3D modelling (Blender, Sketchup) and all things 3D.
  • …and more besides.

Partly due to running around like a headless chicken on the day of CreativeCamp (well, not completely headless, but I think when you’re involved in the organising of an event there’s an element of ‘work mode’ on the day moreso than ‘pure enjoyment’ mode) I missed out on a number of talks that I know are going to crop up at 3Dcamp.

So it pains me to say that while I can look forward to 3Dcamp happening and to the coverage of the day online, I won’t get within 50 miles of Limerick on the 24th of May due my summer gigging schedule (attending in Dublin on the 23rd, playing in Ballina, Mayo, on the 24th).

The day runs from 10am to 6pm with talks and sessions taking place in the University’s Engineering Research Building. For the moment, you can visit the University of Limerick site for directions or head straight over to the 3Dcamp blog and register for free.