The North’s Largest Digital Festival has finished and what a week it was! 115 events across more than 50 venues with over 10,000 people in attendance, it was a monster. We celebrated and shouted about all that is great about Leeds and opened up new conversations and opportunities for collaboration within the city and had a great time doing so. Following that we can all say with confidence that Leeds truly is the Digital Capital of the North.
We had a great finish to the week with Leeds Digital Job Fair 3.0 at the Leeds First Direct Arena trending all day on Twitter, a full house for the all day NUX Camp 2017, learning more about our Monster with Creative Race’s Moving Content and tying off Friday nicely with a series of great talks at Founders Friday.
All followed by some well deserved drinks and a dance at the fantastic return of the Algorave at the ODI, with some top class music and visuals produced live right in front of your eyes.
Saturday saw the last official day of the festival with Leeds City College Digital Games Cafe, the sold out Kids Tech Day at Leeds Dock and the first day of the very successful Lead It: Tech & Entrepreneurship weekend conference for women. This saw women from various backgrounds form teams around their entrepreneurial ideas and mixed between educational and inspirational talks from women leaders, develop them into a pitch for sunday afternoon to a panel of judges for feedback and prizes. Hosted at Sky Betting & Gaming the weekend had a great buzz around it and we look forward to seeing the ideas grow over the next year.
The last event of the festival was quite suitably named &Exhale by MALA where after experiencing the calming visuals and music which you controlled with your own hands we were all able to do exactly what it said and take a huge breath knowing the week had been a huge success for the city.
Having now had a little time to reflect (and sleep) we still can’t believe the support and enthusiasm we received from the Leeds digital community in the lead up and during the week. With the final count at 115 events, the festival more than doubled in size from last year, we had printed programmes all across the city and in another new addition from last year who could forget the Festival Monster on outdoor electronic screens around Leeds.
There’s so many people to thank, from our sponsors, partners and all those who organised an event, all the speakers and panelists, the fantastic venues that opened up their doors, anyone who shared or liked a social media post and of course all the people that turned up and engaged with Leeds’ vibrant digital community.
And as much as we’d like to give a shout out to you all individually, here’s some that we want to give particular mention to:
NHS Digital, Sky Betting & Gaming and Leeds City Council, our wonderful premier sponsors who are proud to be here in Leeds and support the community and whom without the festival would just not be possible.
Thanks also need to be given to Engage for their fantastic work on our paid advertising and producing some great artworks for our social channels. To Futurelabs for hosting us and being a fantastic Festival HQ and hub for the city, CreativeRace for dreaming up and bringing to life the Leeds Digital Festival Monster and to ZiMovi for providing the video hosting platform for the festival. As well as to our other partners Berwins Digital and Garbutt + Elliott for their guidance and support.
Lastly we’d like to thank Jake Harding for his video blog throughout the week, Haydn Rushworth for his creative cinemagraphs and all the student teams that filmed, interviewed and have featured us in their university news channels. A special note of thanks goes to the Leeds Digital Festival steering group for supporting the festival from day one with their advice, connections and ongoing support.
Again we’d like to repeat there are countless others we could mention, you were all a key part of the festival and its success so thank you all for putting on the North’s Largest Digital Festival.
Thank you and we’ll see you next year!
From Stuart, Tim and everyone at Leeds Digital Festival 2017.
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