We’re about six weeks out from the 4th annual Maker Faire UK, the largest gathering of makers in Europe, taking place on April 27 and 28 at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. In 2009, O’Reilly Media and Newcastle ScienceFest brought Maker Faire to the UK, and there were Faires in 2010 and 2011. The 2013 festival will feature 300 makers, and thousands of visitors are expected to attend.
Paka’s horse in 2010. He’ll be attending this year, with his magical dragon too.
We spoke with Graham Cameron from the O’Reilly UK office, who’s been active in Maker Faire UK each year. Here’s the recap he offered:
The first UK Maker Faire took place in March 2009, under canvas in Times Square (Newcastle upon Tyne – not NY!). Fortunately it stayed dry (if cold) and the 30 assembled makers and 3000 curious members of the public all had a wonderful time! Having started from scratch it was a bit of lottery as to how the event would unfold but it more than delivered on the basic premise of having makers demonstrate their wares and engage with a curious and interested audience. This inaugural event set the tone for subsequent Faires in Newcastle, tied in to the same week as the Newcastle Science Fair.
We expanded in 2010 and again in 2011, utilizing both the space in Times Square but to a greater extent the great indoor space in Centre for Life. In addition to having stalwarts there from prior years we always have a strong contingent of new and interesting makers present. In March 2011, the event took place simultaneously at Centre for Life and Discovery Museum and attracted 13,000 visitors. We return to Centre for Life on April 27/28 where the entire event will be on a single site. It will be the largest Faire yet in the UK and promises to have something of interest for all ages!
Alfonso Milano’s Mechanical Marvels will be at the Faire.