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claire goes to culture tech

Our Arts Correspondent Claire Carlin attended the recent CultureTECH event which ran from 9-15 September in Derry/Londonderry. Here are her thoughts…

CultureTECH is a week-long festival of technology, media, music and arts. Running this year for the second year in Derry-Londonderry, it included over 150 events, 100+ speakers, and 100+ acts. According to the organisers of CultureTech, they do not do ‘big and flashy.’ They prefer to have their events spread around the city, whether it is in small coffee shops, bars, restaurants, historic buildings or unloved and unused retail spaces throughout the city. Running events from morning till night, there is something for everyone at CultureTECH. With the intentions of being accessible for everyone, a large majority of the events are free to go to and open to the public, encouraging everyone in the city and visitors to get involved.

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Throughout the week of CultureTech there was an increased buzz in the City of Culture, with the numbers of participants and spectators at the festival almost doubling from the previous year. Workshops in the shopping centre, Foyleside, attracted many members of the public but events throughout the city such as conferences in The Playhouse, gigs in Ebrington Square and  creative writing challenges in the Millennium Forum did just as well. Video gaming, film screenings and music gigs are just some of the events that had the best attractions throughout the week.

On Monday 9th, the first day of CultureTech, events for children ran at the Millennium Forum and An Culturlann, emphasising that CultureTech is for all ages. CultureTech Junior ran with Young Enterprise for NI, which gave school students the chance to participate in workshops which were supported by industry experts and helped them explore the digital industry in detail. An event called BABBLE also ran on the Monday which was for babes between 0-18 months and their parents. This was a magical journey of lights, soft textures and the story of a fish that goes to the end of the earth to find its friend. It used video and music to tell the story and was a very successful event.

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Throughout the week the festival ran exhibitions such as WITHOUT, which was on display at ECHO ECHO Dance Theatre. Choreographed by London based director, choreographer and performer, Rosemary Lee, in collaboration with ECHO ECHO Dance Theatre Company, “WITHOUT” has been produced to show all sides of the city, creating a gentle and permanent panoramic work that encompassed the living city and its people. Some performers were gliding around the city, some dancing on the hills, some riding around on bicycles, skateboards and roller blades.

Workshops such as ABC Sales were also on display. Supported by InvestNI, the industry professionals were introducing topics to help members of the public make their start in design, sales, e-business and export. The ABC Sale workshops focused on topics such as lead generation, generating referrals and closing the sales.

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Music events were very popular throughout the week at CultureTECH, with many gigs played at different locations in the city. Some gigs were indoor, outdoor, during the day and at night. On Saturday 14th, the Glasgowbury Picnic was at the Guildhall Square. Bringing a slice of their, ‘small but massive’ festival and joining CultureTECH for the first year, Glasgowbury brought performers such as, Silhouette, The Greased Palm, The Clameens, and The Wood Burning Savages to name just a few. A fantastic way to finish a successful week, a family fun day was had by all, with face painting, stilt walkers and drumming packed into the Square. With the sun shining and good music playing, Glasgowbury Picnic was enjoyed by all.

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This entry was posted on October 11th, 2013 at 1:22 pm by Desima

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