Coding, hacking and girl geeks combine at Bath’s pioneering Digital Festival

March 13, 2013

Bath Digital Festival launches today with the aim of transforming the city into a 21st Century showcase of tech innovation.

The Festival, which lasts until March 24, is aimed at celebrating the considerable impact of the digital sector on Bath’s economy and is jam packed with events including the debut of a new Creative Masterclass Series run by the internationally-renowned X Media Lab team, and featuring sessions with the special effects experts behind Skyfall, Batman, Inception and Harry Potter.

A unique two-day hack event will be hosted by former Genesis frontman and digital innovator Peter Gabriel at his Real World Studios in Box. Hackers will get access to the API for a visual language called ‘Gabble’ developed by Gabriel and his team, with a potential £10,000 investment opportunity for the best idea.

Britain’s very first Rails Girls workshop will also be hosted in Bath during the Festival. Rails Girls is an internationally-acclaimed event that takes women from the very basics of coding through to building simple apps in a day.
Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, will be giving a rare talk this side of the Atlantic at the University of Bath. He is also is founder of the GNU software system, which includes Linux.

The SPARKies, the West region’s tech and digital awards, will highlight the very best talent in the region at a ceremony hosted by award-winning comedian Jarred Christmas. The awards have attracted a record number of entries and promise to be a highly-exciting evening.

The Festival will also include a family weekend, setting Bath’s very first digital funfair and other fun activities against the city’s Georgian architecture, and giving the wider community an opportunity to get involved with tech.

Teaching digital is a theme being explored at this year’s Festival, with code clubs planned for local school children, an event aimed at preparing IT teachers to deliver computer science lessons, and roundtable discussions for those involved in petitioning the Government to address computing provision in schools.

Other events over the course of the week include talks and discussions on a variety of subjects, a performance of Kraftwerk music by the Balenescu Quartet, a WordPress workshop, a designer hack event and a Girl Geeks event, among others.

Festival director David Kelly said: “Yet again Bath’s digital sector is competing on a global scale. For a small city we’re attracting huge amounts of investment and have an extraordinarily high level of digital enterprise and entrepreneurship.
“A competitive commercial sector combined with two outstanding local universities specialising in computer science, engineering and design, really put Bath on the map for digital. The huge groundswell of activity demonstrated through the growth of the Festival this year reinforces that.”

For a full programme of Bath Digital Festival events and to sign up to attend them, visit, follow on Twitter at @bathdigital, using the hashtag #BathDigiFest, or check out the blog at


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across the Bath area for just £75 a month. Email for more information.