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Forums > Social Discussion > Advice needed: organising a (non-spinning) festival in the UK

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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:Hey,

It's been a while but I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share some advice. I know there are a lot of people on here who organise assorted festivals/camping weekends etc. A group of friends and I are hoping to organise a UK hacker meet up next year (similar to the Chaos Computer Camp in Germany). I was wondering if anyone on here had any tips for running festivals/camps that they would be willing to share? The aim is to have 400~500 hackers, in a field/aerodrone what ever for 3~4 days. The main requirements beyond the obvious (toilets, campsite, food/drink, good access) would be a reasonably robust amount of power (lots of computers/soldering kits etc) and good internet (400+ geeks won't survive without 'net).

Also if anyone is interested we have a mailing list (here [1]) where we are starting to sort stuff out.

One final thing this is hacking as in "tinkering/making/breaking/fixing" rather than "break into computer type" although there will probably be lots of programmers.

Cheers!

S

[1] http://groups.google.com/group/uk-hack-camp?lnk=srg


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:http://www.jugglingdb.com/compendium/world/culture/conventions/organising/guide.html
Start with that?

Am sure others can help more specifically.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:Ah thanks aston!

Will read now.


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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:If I haven't replied to this properly by mid afternoon tomorrow drop me a message to harass me. I'm just on my way out but I can probably help a lot.

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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:Excellent will make sure I do. Cheers!

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Seye
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK

Total posts: 1261
Posted:Hi Sam, I don't think we've met but it seems like a massive shame that we haven't. I'm an event manager but, I'm also about to start my final year studying physics at Salford. I'm working on a few projects that involve various bits of complex electronics and embedded processing so I'm very interested in your event.

Right,

The first thing you need is the purple book:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg195.pdf
(online version)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Event-Safety-Gui...5094&sr=8-1
(print version)
This is the government guidelines on event safety. Essentially if you use this as a guide (obviously a lot of it won't directly apply to you but you can infer from it) you should pass all H&S requirements for events in the UK. There have been rumours for years that a new, more generic, guide is being written but it has never materialised so we all still refer to this one.
In the middle of the book somewhere (although I'd advise skimming all of it) is a way to calculate toilets / medical provision. It's well worth following it through even if you decide not to use the exact numbers it gives you.

Your biggest problem is going to be net access. Getting high speed net access for large numbers of people in rural locations is absolutely determined by the local cable networks. I think you're probably looking at a dedicated 'leased line' from a provider like Metronet http://www.metronet-uk.com/Solutions/ManagedTemporaryBandwidthandCircuits.aspx
(depending on the area you may be able to lease direct from BT but I'm not too sure.
Most require annual contracts but a few (like the one above) will do short term deals. They are not cheap though. You could be looking at 100's to 1000's (probably 1000+) depending on the required bandwidth. Given the numbers you're talking about this should only equate to a few pounds each though.
I'd start contacting leased line suppliers about this as soon as you can. Maybe give them an idea of what you are planning so that when you have a potential site they can quickly give you a quote.

Power is easy. If the site doesn't have enough you can hire a generator (or two?). Generators / cabling / other electrical stuff, is easy enough to hire but needs to be accurately planned and include some redundancy.

If you have any specific questions feel free to post them here or drop me a message on facebook. My profile is /seyemon


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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:Thanks for this seye! Looks very useful; I'll pass it around the people organising.

If I think of anything that I need to know I'll make sure I drop the question here.

Will check back in with an update soon (sorry this is so short, been away from 'net all day and have work to clear before I can do fun things like this).

S


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