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06 August 2015

 Over 40,000 people are expected to take part in the annual CultureTECH Festival this September in Derry-Londonderry. The event, which celebrates all things digital, has been expanded to 9 days with highlights including a city-wide “maker” faire, 3 days of Minecraft gaming and over a dozen industry conferences and seminars.

Now in its fourth year, CultureTECH is the largest creative industries and technology event in Northern Ireland - and one of the largest family-friendly technology events in the UK and Ireland. It has also become a significant event for young people, something which is reflected heavily in this year’s programme. Over 15,000 schoolchildren will take part in events across the week including 7,000 at a huge science stage show at the Millennium Forum.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Mark Nagurski from CultureTECH said:
“The aim of CultureTECH has always been to make technology fun and accessible. So it’s not surprising that it’s families and the young people of Northern Ireland who have really taken it to their hearts. You can really see that influence in the 2015 programme; everything is about getting hands-on with technology and having fun. So if you know any kids that are into video games, robots and rockets - make sure they get down.”

Selected highlights from the programme include:

  1. Invasion Derry (Sept 12-13) - the popular Stars Wars fan event
  2. Comic City (Sept 12-13) - a new 2-day event focused on digital creativity and comic art
  3. DojoCon (Sept 18-19) - the annual global conference for the CoderDojo community
  4. City Arcade Minecraft Weekend (Sept 18-20) - three days of Minecraft gaming events in the Millennium Forum
  5. Ministry of Science Live! (Sept 14-18) - huge science stage show playing to 7,000 young people across the week
  6. Formula DerrE (Sept 19) - live racing in electric carts built by local primary schools
  7. Maker City (Sept 18-19) - over 100 technology exhibits and workshops across the city-centre
  8. BBC Make It Digital Marquee (Sept 18-19) - 4000ft2 of interactive digital fun as part of the BBC’s Make It Digital programme

Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, said;

“Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to see such an eclectic programme of events at CultureTECH in Derry again this year. The festival continues to encourage our young people to get creative with technology in an engaging and fun way – from comics to racing cars and Star Wars to Minecraft there’s something in there for everyone. We send our sincerest good wishes to Mark and his team for another successful festival.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Councillor Elisha McCallion says she is delighted that Council has pledged funding to support this year’s CultureTech Festival and help celebrate and support the city’s reputation for technology, music, arts and media. She said the festival is one of the city and region’s most creative and forward thinking events attracting top quality facilitators to participate in a wide spectrum of events aimed at showcasing and promoting creative talents.

“The CultureTECH Festival is hugely important in promoting our digital talents and inviting more people to get involved in a wide range of creative digital activities such as music and digital arts, gaming and computing as well as animation and multi-media. The Council’s financial support and commitment to the festival is in keeping with our pledge to promote our digital economy and encourage participation in the creative sectors,” she said.

President of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Gerry Kindlon said:

CultureTECH is critical to the NorthWest's development as a centre of innovation. As the 'Future of Work' increasingly changes it is important that our youth see how technology helps us become more creative and innovative. The event is unique and an important asset for the city.”

CultureTECH will take place at various locations throughout Derry-Londondery from Saturday, September 12 until Sunday, September 20. The full festival programme has just been released and can be found online at www.culturetech.co

CultureTECH is funded by Northern Ireland Screen, Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and supported by Seagate and Ulster University.


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