June 12th, 2013
Here we go again: Portland Digital eXperience was a great beta test for what has become TechFestNW
You know how it is. You test a product, just to get it out there. It’s got some amazing features. A few people love it. A few people hate it. It’s not perfect. But it’s out there. And you get valuable feedback. So that you can continue to iterate and build something even better.
That kind of thinking isn’t just for products. It can be for events, as well.
So last year, Willamette Week was willing to take a risk. To extend it’s overwhelmingly popular music festival—MusicFestNW—by adding tech programming. And I was lucky enough to get the chance to work with them on it. We called it the Portland Digital eXperience (PDX).
And it was an experience—mostly a learning one—for all of us.
So we took all of that learning. And all of the things that worked. Then we burned everything else to the ground and started over from scratch. Salvaging all the best elements from last year and finding whole new things to test, this year.
What emerged from the proverbial ashes is TechFestNW.
We’ve had an amazing board of advisors who have totally helped us reform the vision—and the content—for the event. And I think they’ve managed to put together an incredible show. Granted, there are a few more reveals and few more tricks up our sleeves. But even the early stuff we’ve released is pretty awesome.
TechFestNW is designed to celebrate interesting people who are passionate about technology. Who are building a better world. And who value craft over commodity. The event will take place September 6-8, 2013, with speakers the 6th and 7th and a hackathon on the 8th.
We’ve already announced speakers like:
- Ryan Carson, Founder of Treehouse
- Ward Cunningham, Inventor of the Wiki
- Asha Dornfest, Founder of Parent Hacks
- Adam DuVander, Developer Communications Director at SendGrid
- Antony Falco, Founder of Orchestrate.io
- James Keller, Director of UX at WalmartLabs
- Scott Kveton, Cofounder and CEO of Urban Airship
- Michael Lopp, Author of blog Rands In Repose
- Matt Mullenweg, Founding Developer of WordPress
- Brendan Mulligan, CEO and Co-Founder of Cluster
- Alex Payne, Cofounder of Breather, formerly of Twitter and Simple
- Michelle Rowley, Founder of Code Scouts
- Kelley Roy, Director of ADX
- Joe Stump, Cofounder of Sprintly, formerly of Digg and SimpleGeo
- Jessica Zollman, Community Evangelist at Instagram
I know right? I can’t even believe it sometimes. And I’m just as excited as you to see all of these folks tell their stories and share their insights.
Hosted in the heart of Portland at the most awesome museum in the world
Just as awesome as all of those speakers? We’ll be hosting the entire event at OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It’s an amazing venue. Plus it strikes just the balance of curiosity, exploration, and education that we’re seeking.
And if you need to take a break or spend a few minutes in reflection after the sessions, OMSI has been kind enough to give TFNW attendees access to the museum, throughout the event.
Plus, we’ve got a few other surprises on the OMSI front. So stay tuned.
MFNW+TFNW: Two great tastes that taste great together
TFNW takes place in conjunction with MusicFestNW, one of the largest independent music festivals in the US. And it always has an amazing lineup.
Last year, MFNW attracted acts from up-and-coming artists to bands like Passion Pit, Dinosaur Jr, Silversun Pickups, and Girl Talk. This year, the list of MFNW acts is equally incredible. Young the Giant, Animal Collective, DIPLO, John Vanderslice, and Superchunk are all playing. Not to mention a ton of other great acts. Fred Armisen is even doing a comedy set.
We like to think that this combination of amazing tech during the day and incredible music at night makes for a diverse and inspirational festival experience. That’s why we make it easy to do both.
It’s truly an experience.
Early bird pricing ends June 15
But if you want to get the best price, you have to act fast. With early bird pricing, the best value wristband is the MFNW+TFNW general admission badge for $300, which provides access to six nights of music and three days of tech programming. If you’re just interested in tech, we’ve created a price for TFNW this year—which a number of folks requested last year.
And if you want to skip the line? You can get VIP access to TFNW+MFNW for less than $400.
But you have to purchase your TFNW wristbands by Saturday.
More TFNW is on the way
We’ll be announcing new speakers, new projects, new gatherings, and new events in the coming weeks. We’re just getting started. And we hope you’ll find some time to join us.
[Full disclosure: I'm a cofounder of TechFestNW, which is why I babble on incessantly about it.]