CultureTECH was established in Spring 2012 with generous support from the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. We host the largest technology and creative industries event in Northern Ireland, run one of the largest education outreach programmes and deliver a variety of innovation programmes across technology, the arts and social innovation.
Our aim from that start has been to encourage the growth of the digital sector in Derry-Londonderry and more widely, across Northern Ireland and the globe.
Over the last three years our focus has shifted squarely towards working with young people (over 75% of the festival audience is under 25) encouraging them to get creative with technology across a range of cultural domains and creative industries.
Everything we do is done in collaboration with an exciting list of partners from government departments to commercial brands, media outlets to philanthropic organisations. As such, we are always open to conversations – so please do get in touch.
The CultureTECH Festival takes place each September in Derry-Londonderry. Every year we work closely with a variety of partners who help design the programme – but it’s an open access festival – so there’s room for anyone who wants to come any get involved.
The first event in 2012 was organised in a little over 4 months and focused on industry with a fringe of public facing events – it lasted 3 1/2 days and attracted around 8,000 people.
For 2013, we decided to up the ante in line with Derry’s term as the inaugural UK City of Culture. We ran for a full week, shifted the focus to incorporate more public events and ran our first “Junior” programme for schools. Around 24,000 people attended, including 8,000 students.
2014 was undoubtedly our best event to date, attracting over 43,000 attendees across 200+ events hosted by 134 partner organisations. We brought the education strand into the main fold of the programme – with 16,000 students taking part – and shifted even further towards a family-friendly programme that encourages everyone to get hands-on with technology. Highlights included an enormous Minecraft event, a conference designed and delivered by young people, our HD video dome, Friday Night Mashup, DANI Awards and the launch of the NW Regional Science Park.
For 2015 (Sept 11-20) we’ve even more ambitious plans. The festival is now squarely aimed at an audience of young people and families and we’re planning for in excess of 60,000 people. We’re partnering with the BBC’s Make It Digital programme for a huge public engagement programme, will host CoderDojo’s annual global conference and we’ll crank up the volume on our gaming events. Attendees can expect 5 industry conferences and Ireland’s largest Maker exhibition.