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After an intense set up session last night that was made more enjoyable by the provision of ale and pizza, Brighton’s second ever Maker Faire has kicked off at the Corn Exchange this morning. We have over 60 makers showing their projects, as well as workshops and talks going on all day.
Already the buzz is incredible, and we’re trending on Twitter! I caught up with some teachers from local schools just before they started their beginners’ coding workshop. Here’s a quick podcast of our chat…
We’re in full swing, and the workshops are selling out. I talked to Greg from Technology Will Save Us right before the DIY speaker workshop started…
In the midst of all the mayhem, we dispatched lunch parcels to our volunteers and makers, to keep them going for the afternoon. I chatted to a gang of volunteers and organisers who were hanging out in the kitchen awaiting their fuel!
After lunch I visited the popular Noisy Table exhibit, an enhanced ping pong table that makes sounds as you play. Here are inventors Will and Jason chatting about their creation…
Some of the most popular workshops of the day have been from the Science Museum, who’ve been teaching kids how to make a chair out of cardboard and creating and launching hot air balloons. Here’s one of the outreach coordinators talking about what goes on in the workshops…
I’m sitting in our media hub, listening to the sound of enthusiastic applause coming from the Mini Maker Talks that are currently going on next door in the Founder’s Room. Before they started, I managed to grab two of the speakers for a quick chat…
It’s all over. Well for the daytime at least. As the crowds started departing from the venue, I did the last interview of the day, with Mike Challis, who told me all about his Conductable project…
Oh my. It’s nearly here. This time next week we’ll be inside a whirlwind of noisy, colourful, eye-opening, bonkers, brilliant, beautiful, bold and clever creations. We hope you will be there with us, too, getting inspired and involved. If you haven’t looked at the Makers page lately, I urge you to have a peek, as we’ve snuck in quite a few late additions since the initial announcement, like Cub Cola – makers of open source homebrewed cola, Noisy Table – musical ping pong, Spiro-scope – make a sound and light show controlled by your breathing, National Museum of Computing – who were a big hit with all ages last year, Welding Workshop – with Tim Hunkin, and more fun felting with Wrap a Brighton Rock.
There will be hands-on activities all over the Faire, as well as bookable workshops in their own separate spaces – including sessions with the Science Museum, Technology will Save Us and a Coding for Beginners class. For details of these, and to reserve a place on any of them in advance (highly advisable!), visit the Workshops page. We’ve also got a glittering lineup of speakers in the afternoon; you can find out about them here.
Behind the scenes, preparations are coming on a pace, with Amy and her gang busily painting signage and decor to add some more drama to the space, and the Build Brighton crew about to spend the weekend laser cutting our lanyards. Emma reported RSI due to cutting out a giant hand for the after party (I’m intrigued, are you?!), and is still looking for volunteers to be part of the Nomadic Sound System gig (tweet us if you’re up for it @MakerFaireBTN / @ejosully). Ant is liaising with our volunteer ‘Interpreters’ to match them up with makers (if you want to know more about that, have a read of his blog post on the Education programme from a couple of weeks back).
One of the biggest challenges of putting on a Maker Faire is fitting everyone in the venue and ensuring they have the space and resources they need to show off their projects to full effect. This has been a bit like a game of Tetris, shifting and slotting people about for the past few weeks, and moving things to accommodate late additions. Here are some of the team at Build Brighton last week pondering over the latest shuffle…
The only thing that remains is to get YOU the public through the doors next Saturday. Last year we had over 5,000 visitors, but with a bigger venue and many more activities going on this year, we’re hoping for twice that to turn up. So please help us by spreading the word to your networks and helping to build on the buzz over the next seven days. If you’re on Twitter, give us a plug using @MakerFaireBTN / #bmmf, or there’s a Facebook event and Lanyrd page where you can sign up and invite your friends and contacts. Entry to the main event is free, but if you want to continue into the evening with us, you’ll need to get yourself a ticket for the after party, so don’t forget to tell your friends about that, too. If you work in a pub/cafe/venue and can put up posters or flyers, let us know via Twitter or Facebook. Or you can print some yourself here.
We’ll be tweeting and blogging all the latest updates in the run up to next week’s extravaganza, so stay tuned to keep informed.
See you in a week!
Last year at Brighton Mini Maker Faire there were a fair few musical makes dotted around the place, from the Blipbox to a subsonic submarine to a stringless ukelele. This year we wanted to do a bit more with the audio potential of some of our makers, and will be utilising them for the after party as well as the main event.
One of these musical makers is Ben Newland, whose Nomadic Sound System can best be described as an electronic marching band made from portable speakers. It creates new ways for people to interact with sound, and looks pretty cool, too!
Here’s Ben talking about his project:
Be Part of the Nomadic Sound System at Brighton Mini Maker Faire
We need to find nine participants to wield the portable speakers at the Maker Faire after party. It’s really easy and doesn’t require any musical or performing ability whatsoever, but would probably suit people who enjoy taking part in slightly mad events (!) and are comfortable interacting with members of the public.
Participants will need to be available for a rehearsal for 1-2 hours on the Friday evening before the Maker Faire (Friday 7th September), and then for the performance itself from 7pm to 8:45pm on Saturday 8th September (this includes 1 hour for set-up and 45 minutes of actual performing). For the first 30 minutes of the performance they will be walking around the New Road / Pavilion Gardens areas helping to draw in the crowd for the party, then there will be a 15 minute performance in the Dome itself. Afterwards you’d get to enjoy the rest of the after party for free!
If you fancy yourself as a member of a cutting edge technological marching band, then get in touch with our party organiser Emma: emma [at] ejosullivan [dot] com or tweet us @MakerFaireBTN.