Big news! Maker Faire Bay Area will return this October

Maker Faire
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 at Mare Island

For the past couple of years, I have had plenty of people ask me when Maker Faire was coming back.  For example, Adam Trinklein wrote me recently:

I’m a 17 year old high school student. Ever since I was little I remember going to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. I remember being thrilled by all of the awesome fire sculptures and drone battles and giant Tesla coils and the dark room and everything else. They were some of the most unique and awesome experiences I’ve ever had. When I heard the 2019 Maker Faire was going to be the last one I was super sad to hear it (although it ended up being timed well with COVID hitting in 2020).

The reason I’m sending this email is partially to thank you for everything you’ve done and for inspiring a new generation of makers. I also appreciate the time and effort you put into organizing such an event that surely impacted thousands of people’s lives like mine.

I’m also just curious about what it would take to bring the Maker Faire back in the Bay Area?

Finally I have an answer that I’m happy to share. We have finalized plans to bring back Maker Faire Bay Area this fall at a new location.

Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 will be held along the waterfront at Mare Island, an historic former naval shipyard across from Vallejo. It will be held over two consecutive weekends (Friday through Sunday), October 13-15 and October 20-22.  

This Maker Faire will be different than the Maker Faire in San Mateo.  It’s part of the challenge of starting over again to reimagine what Maker Faire should be. One of the comments I heard about Maker Faire was that it was “overwhelming” – referring to the size of the event, the number of people and the logistics of getting around.  At Mare Island, our intention is to produce Maker Faire in a smaller footprint while still being engaging and vibrant, full of fun things to see and do.  Because the venue has a maximum capacity of 10,000 people on site, Maker Faire Bay Area will be less crowded and a more enjoyable experience for families.  We will be open for two weekends (Friday to Sunday) and feature a different group of makers on each weekend.

This return of Maker Faire Bay Area is an opportunity for us to start over again and create a new event with the same spirit of all Maker Faires. Our goal at Maker Faire, as always, is to showcase the amazing projects of makers and encourage more people to become makers. 

We need a lot of help from the maker community to create this new edition of Maker Faire Bay Area. We need makers — artists, roboticists, cosplayers, hackers, tinkerers, crafters, fabricators, builders, model makers, musicians, and so much more. Your creative work and amazing technical projects are what have made Maker Faire so unique and so popular over the years.

If you would like to learn more about Maker Faire Bay Area, please follow this link to Maker Faire Bay Area. If you would like to participate, go to our Call for Makers and tell us about your project. We are looking for:

  • Project demonstrations
  • Hands-on workshops
  • Maker businesses  
  • Interactive Art installations
  • Live music
  • Games

We are curious about the kinds of projects makers have been doing since 2019. If you have new ideas for this year’s event, please let us know. In addition, because Maker Faire will run over two weeks, we are looking for standalone projects that can run over two weekends without requiring the maker to be on site.

If you and your family plan to attend Maker Faire Bay Area, go here for ticket information.

We are looking forward to seeing the maker community in the Bay Area come together again, as well as introducing the Maker Faire to a lot of new people for the first time.  Please help by spreading the word and tell people to go to makerfaire.com.  

I look forward to seeing you at Maker Faire Bay Area on Mare Island in October. It’s time to celebrate all kinds of makers in the Bay Area again!

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!
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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty

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