Binary Festival: The Story So Far

The Binary team announces the first players of this year’s inaugural festival in Liverpool; revealing an eclectic mix of pioneering virtual reality software, performances in live coding and poetry, and radical funding ideas…

A recent Guardian story ran with the headline: ‘Liverpool tech startups out to prove there's life outside of Shoreditch’.

It’s quite a funny notion, right? That Liverpool, or any city feels the need to prove the very existence of a technology sector outside of East London. Because successful startups and established tech businesses are most definitely here and thriving across the city region. From the Baltic Triangle to the Science Park, businesses and institutions are developing world leading, award winning and commercially successful products across a host of disciplines – from virtual reality, e-commerce, internet of things to gaming.

And that really was the starting point for the Binary Festival. In a shed in the Baltic Creative, a group of people sat around a table and asked the question: Isn’t it time to open our doors a little wider, and show what’s driving the motivation and approach of innovators across this city?

In May 2016, the first Binary Festival will take place. It’ll be a lively two-day gathering that celebrates and connects communities of innovators, inventors, leaders, makers and creators of our future. The ambition is to attract new business, new ideas and, most importantly, new people to be part of Liverpool’s digital revolution. Targeting local, national and international audiences, Day One of the festival will offer a series of Binary Gatherings: showcasing the great work and talent of the creative and tech sector within the Baltic Triangle and across the city region. This will include a session from Liverpool Girl Geeks entitled ‘Get Your Head Around Code’; a ‘3D Audio for the Digital & Creative Industries’ workshop at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology); ‘The Do’s & Don’ts of Crowdfunding’ with JUXDIT; and ‘An Introduction to Virtual Reality’ with Starship in the Baltic Triangle.

Day Two of the festival will focus on Binary Keynotes at FACT: a day of inspiring talks from great speakers with new insights and fascinating ideas. The talks will focus on themes from the worlds of technology, web, digital media and mobile, and the topics will be diverse and relevant to a vast range of sectors. Confirmed speakers for Binary Keynotes include the Southbank Centre’s associate artist, poet and playwright Lemn Sissay (MBE); live coder, researcher and performance artist Sam Aaron; Indiegogo’s crowdfunding evangelist Kelly Angood; independent games developer and co-founder and CEO of Six to Start, Adrian Hon; founder of the UK’s largest independent gadget and technology news site Pocket-lint, Stuart Miles; and MD of Liverpool-based, award-winning agency Starship, Clemens Wangerin.

So yes, there is a tech life outside of Silicon Roundabout, and in bucket loads. More Binary Gatherings and Keynotes will be announced over the coming weeks; and for any inspired business, organisation or individual looking to get involved, we welcome you.

We’d love to hear your ideas and see how we could help you become part of this year’s inaugural event. Email the Binary team: info[at]binaryfestival.com

Binary Festival 2016 Blog: a special media partnership between The Double Negative arts magazine, Creative Tourist culture and travel site and Binary Blog. See the Festival on 24 and 25 May 2016 in Liverpool, UK

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