CultureTECH - it was ‘epic’

So, it’s all over and the cleanups/roundups have begun. Whilst the final numbers aren’t yet in, here’s a quick look at what we did ....

The Conference

Over 90 industry speakers across 3 days, 1100+ tickets allocated and some top notch presentations from fabulous speakers. There are literally too many to mention (and thank) but to quote one of our sponsors it was ‘epic’. The feedback from our speakers has been hugely positive and many have already asked to come back next year!

The Music

Nearly 50 music acts played across 8 venues. Not every gig was a sell-out but there were some immense highlights - particularly the Smalltown All-Dayer, which packed the Craft Village throughout Friday and Saturday. We also had the pleasure of hosting the launch of a new local record label (CultureGlitch) and helped commission a brand new collaboration between electronic producer Figure of 8 and trad vocalist Grainne Holland.

The Gaming

Literally thousands of people checked out the various games arcades across the Craft Village, Forum and Foyleside. Thanks to Core and Dragonslayers for the fun - and Bloc54 for showcasing so many great games made right here in NI.

The Screenings

Secret Cinema was a big success, with over 200 people taking part - well done to Peter Davidson and the Nerve Centre. Renga brought something unique to the festival and wowed just about everyone who took part. The STA documentary brought applause from the 100+ who stayed on the Craft Village to watch - and a similar number caught a preview of the locally-made Things You Need to Know series, upstairs in Sandinos.

The Companies

The launch party rocked and the Dog Ears party very nearly stole the entire show on Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t a bad few days either for local startups, with three companies picking up £20,000 (supported by ILEX) to help launch their ideas. We’re expecting some cool announcements soon too, on the back of the many great meetings which took place.

The Family Fun

Perhaps the most exciting part of the whole festival was the number of young people who got involved. Dozens of school kids took part in the various workshops hosted by the Void Gallery, Link Music Academy, Movin Music Academy, Young Enterprise / Blick Studios and Coder Dojo - which had kids as young as 11 learning to write code, and loving it.

The Coverage

The festivities picked up coverage on TV, on radio, in print and online. Thanks in particular to The Derry Journal, Radio Foyle (including both the Electric Mainline and Mark Patterson Shows which broadcast live from CultureTECH), BBC NI, UTV and SyncNI.

The Announcement

Last but not least, we unveiled a major new partnership between Digital Derry and London’s Tech City. The ‘twinning’ will include a series of investment conferences, trade visits and the showcasing of local companies to potential investors in London.

Mark Nagurski was principal organiser of CultureTECH as Derry’s ‘digital champion’. Contact him via twitter @digitalderry or at