OggCamp News

Doing It For The Kids

Mere days left now until OggCamp 2019, it’s getting exciting! You may have seen talk about our first ever official kids track but what exactly does that mean? What activites might you expect to find there? Relax, sit back and allow to explain…

Thinking back to the first OggCamp in 2009 there’s always been a strong family presence. People with their kids enjoying the day and getting involved, just as it should be. Anyone remember the OggCamp baby? I’ll never forget walking through the exhibition at one of the Liverpool events and seeing a baby in the middle crawling around on the floor, playing and laughing. Despite my obvious worries about whether this was really completely safe our young guest was totally fine, her parents were watching nearby and it brought a nice atmosphere to see future generations at play.

Back then we didn’t have any content specifically aimed at kids or familes but they came and got involved anyway which was brilliant. Many times over the years we discussed the idea of a specific kids event, someone even coined the name SproggCamp which we didn’t use in the end but still deserves an honourable mention. So in this our 10th year it felt right to finally have a formal offering for young OggCampers and a dedicated room to run it.

In our first OggCamp kids track the day will be spent helping up to 30 children learn new skills using Micro:bit robotics. This session is ideal for kids aged 8-12, especially if they haven’t done any programming before. A laptop is required for coding your robot. However if you don’t have one don’t fret a simple robot can still be built in an hour, and who doesn’t want a robot huh? I know I do.

That’s not all though. In conjunction with Code Club North West there will also be the opportunity to take part in the Shaun The Sheep Movie competition. Code Club are challenging kids to create an animation in Scratch showing Shaun’s alien friend Lu-la going home. A full write up with instructions can be found at Code Club’s Shaun The Sheep Mission To Space Competition.

The kids track room will be open Saturday from 11am-5pm and there may even be a few other special surprises and activities to take part in. So if you’re bringing some young OggCampers along with you it’s well worth checking out.

Come and say hello :-)

Warmup Webinars

OggCamp is a month away and we can’t wait! No really, we literally couldn’t wait that long to talk to everyone so we’ve scheduled some Warmup Webinars to prepare for the event. We did some detailed research on the topic as you can see here:

The first webinar is on Friday 27th September at 8pm UK time and will introduce you to how the OggCamp scheduling works. We’ll run through how to find out what talks are going on, how to suggest a talk, how your suggestions get scheduled, and how to request a talk topic when you can’t give the talk yourself. There are also lightning talks so we’ll chat about that too!

There is another webinar on 2nd October at 8pm UK time and this second session is about preparing to give a talk, even if you only have a little bit of time available. Hopefully it will give you an idea of how you could give a talk of your own - at any event, not just OggCamp!

Both webinars are hosted by our content curator Lorna Mitchell, herself an experienced conference speaker and event organiser. The webinars are interactive, there are ways to ask questions and interact with Lorna and the other attendees, and if you can’t make the sessions in real time then there will be recordings afterwards.

Sound good? Sign up here and we’ll see you online soon!

P-A-R-T..Why? Because We Gotta!

Hello OggCampers! There’s only 5 weeks now until the big event. In fact, 5 weeks tonight the OggCamp pre-party will be in full effect and that’s what I want to talk to you about today. The various social events.

You’ve probably heard about the talks, the workshops, the exhibits, the panels and many other things, but one of the most important aspects for me in organising the event has always been the parties. The social events where everyone gets to let their hair down and catch up with friends they might see online regularly but rarely get to meet in person. We have food, drink, live music and most of all a really friendly atmosphere. So let me fill you in on the party schedule.


Friday October 18th - The OggCamp Pre-Party!

Many people arrive the day before OggCamp and we traditionally have a gathering on Friday. This year will be no exception. On the Friday evening before OggCamp we’ll have a party in the Garden Bar at the Pendulum Hotel, which is our venue for OggCamp the following day. There will be food available to order off the menu, drinks to be had and much chatting to be done I’m sure.

This will start from about 18:30 and run until late but if you arrive early the bar should be open so don’t worry.


Saturday October 19th - The Main Party

After we finish in the main room on Saturday at 17:00 the hotel staff will be beavering about changing the layout from theatre style to banqueting style. This gives you a couple of hours break to head to your hotel and drop stuff off, nice and easy if you’re staying at The Pendulum of course but plenty of time if you want to head somewhere else and freshen up. Alternatively you could easily just kill a couple of hours in the hotel bar or one of the many nearby pubs with other attendees.

Then at 19:00 we’ll kick off the main party!

A selection of food will be available to order from the menu in the main room, for anyone who hasn’t already eaten somewhere else should that be your preference. There’ll be a selection of burgers, pizzas, salads, pastas and other things to choose from. The bar will be open of course and there’ll be plenty of tables to gather at and chat with friends.

After dinner have live music lined up in the form of Dev Null & The Kernel Panics. A band consisting of Linux engineers who’ll be playing a mix of stuff but crucially only tracks that originate from before the Epoch Unix timestamp, which began on Jan 1st 1970. So lots of 60’s tunes and older then, delivered in their own garage rock style. Plus a few surprises no doubt and guests joining them on stage for a song or two. It should be fun. Have a look at this video to get an idea of what they sound like…

If live music is not your thing then of course there’s plenty of space to spread out into the Garden Bar and other areas. The party in the main room is set to finish at about 23:00 but I’m certain there’ll be many people staying the bar till late and of course Manchester’s famous Canal Street isn’t far away if you want to party into the night.


Sunday October 20th - The OggCamp Post-Party

After the main event finishes at 16:30 or 17:00 on Sunday there’s traditionally another gathering for those who don’t have to rush off home. Many attendees stay till Monday. This tends to be much more low key and chilled. Mainly because everyone is worn out after 2 days of OggCamping and socialising. We’ll probably gather in a nearby pub for food and drinks but the specifics haven’t been nailed down at the time of writing.

Details will be circulated widely on social media, announced on stage and generally disseminated on the day.


So lots to look forward to on the social side. I always said from day one that I wanted to make OggCamp like “a music festival for geeks” and I hope we’ve gone some way to achieving it.

I can’t wait to see many of you in Manchester and chat in person. If you have any questions in the meantime feel free to ask me via Twitter, Discord or Email.

Party on Wayne… Party on Garth!

Dan Lynch

The Oggcamp Chief needs your help!

The Oggcamp Chief is back and he needs your help! Many of you will already know what Oggcamp is, but just in case…

“OggCamp is an unconference celebrating Free Culture, Free and Open Source Software, hardware hacking, digital rights, and all manner of collaborative cultural activities and is committed to creating a conference that is as inclusive as possible. If you’ve got a story to tell, no matter your background or current status, whether it’s your first talk or you’ve loads of experience, as long as the talk is connected (somehow) to our theme then we want to know about it.”

For one weekend we come together to celebrate our projects, communities and stories.

This is made possible by YOU the Oggcamp Crew!

Why do we need a crew?

  • Meet and greet the delegates when checking in
  • Help delegates find rooms and talks using The Grid
  • Answer any concerns and try to resolve problems
  • Help move equipment and setup rooms
  • Connect and use audio & video equipment
  • Post content to social media

You may now be thinking “What do I get for this?” For your work you will receive a limited edition Oggcamp Crew t-shirt, and an Oggcamp mug, but most importantly you will receive the thanks of the delegates and organisers who cannot run Oggcamp without you. You will also have the time to take part in Oggcamp, watch the talks, take part in workshops etc.

UPDATE 15/09/19 - We have now closed the crew sign up form as we have enough volunteers. Thank you for the amazing response, we appreciate it!

Thanks for reading!

Les “The Chief” Pounder

OggCamp Joins Forces With FlawCon

Hello everyone, Dan here. Can you believe it’s only 2 months to OggCamp 2019 now? I can’t. Then again I can hardly believe it’s been 10 years since we created this event and there’s some old guy staring back at me from the mirror… but enough of my problems because today I have some exciting news. Drum roll please maestro…

We are delighted to announce that we’re joining forces with FlawCon, a security and Open Source event that was due to happen in Huddersfield but sadly had to be cancelled. We’ve long had an interest in security subjects at OggCamp, with many talks from FreakyClown amongst others but we’ve never had a dedicated space for it. We wanted to see FlawCon happen in some form. So we’re handing over the keys to one of our talk rooms on Sunday October 20th to the great folks who run FlawCon to use as they please. I’ll be honest though, I’m really hoping they’ll use those keys to open the doors and put on some security talks/discussions rather than do anything else with them hehe :)

This all came about when an OggCamp regular contacted us to say FlawCon was having issues and wondering if we could help. “Of course we can” I thought, it’s the Open Source way right?!

So in addition to the many awesome things happening at the OggCamp 10th Birthday Extravaganza you can look forward to a mini FlawCon on Sunday and get your security geek on!

Don’t forget OggCamp19 will take place October 19th & 20th 2019 in Manchester, UK and tickets are already going fast. So book now to avoid disappointment!

GET TICKETS HERE

I’ll be back with more announcements and news very soon, there’s so much to look forward to, eeek!

Until then take care of yourselves (and each other) out there :-)

Dan Lynch

Announcing Our Scheduled Track Speakers

OggCamp is an unconference, but we do like to pin down some likely characters for one scheduled track - it gives you some idea of what you can expect and still leaves two tracks open to fill on the day. This year, we’re opening the bidding with:

  • An update on the state of MQTT, a fun and fantastic technology that was born at OggCamp
  • A beginners perspective on Ubuntu
  • An introduction to IndieWeb and owning your own platforms/content
  • A selection of fun and geeky side projects

Remember that it’s an unconference so there will be much more schedule appearing during the weekend itself, but until then you can check out speakers page for more details of the scheduled track.

Accommodation information

This year our OggCamp venue is at the Manchester Conference Centre which has a hotel on site: Pendulum Hotel.

If you want to stay on site, we have a block of rooms reserved, but they can only be booked by telephone. The prices for this discounted block are:

  • Friday 18th October: £89
  • Saturday 19th October: £119
  • Sunday 20th October: £89

All prices include breakfast

To book: phone 0161 955 8062 and quote code GA01775

Since we’re in central Manchester this year, there are PLENTY of other options nearby and by easy transport connection. Particularly look out for the Ibis next door, the reasonably priced MotelOne and plenty of other more and less expensive options. The nearest train and tram stations are both at Manchester Picadilly.

If you need recommendations or local knowledge, try asking on our Telegram group - IRC channel or Discord server.

We are hearing that hotels are booking up fast due to other events on the same weekend, so do please make your arrangements when you can!