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At the beginning of 2018 at the annual performing arts gathering, D&D, a session was called on Theatre and Tech. A group of people talked for an hour about exciting projects that take place at this intersection; how we might share knowledge more effectively; how we might develop critical frameworks; cool new stuff; and of course, funding. At the end of the session, a plan was made for quarterly gatherings, potentially coinciding with festivals, where performance-makers, computational artists, creative technologists and other interested peoples could come together, see work, share practice and potentially spark new relationships. These meet-ups would be open to anyone to attend.
The first Performance & Digital Tech gathering will be Fri 3 - Sat 4 August 2018, in Newcastle Gatehead in the North East, hosted by local companies Unfolding<http://www.unfoldingtheatre.co.uk/> Theatre and fanSHEN<https://www.fanshen.org.uk/>. It coincides with the Great Exhibition of the North<https://getnorth2018.com/>, so it’ll be a chance to see some the fantastic work that is part of this, as well as meet new people and visit one of the UK’s greatest cities<https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/nov/22/newcastle-travel-best-uk-city-galleries-restaurants>. The programme will be confirmed closer to the time -and will very much be informed by the people who come - but will look broadly like this:
Friday 3 Aug:
people arriving around lunchtime and there is food
some kind of short intros of people and their practice
people go and see stuff that is part of Great Exhibition of the North
drinks and dinner somewhere affordable and chilled
Saturday 4 Aug:
discussing the new opportunities, tools and challenges posed by technological innovations for performance, or maybe exploring a certain tool
planning the next event
lunch
something else
people can get trains at about 5pm
Newcastle Gateshead is not an expensive place. If you need accommodation, we may be able to find this for people on tight budgets; otherwise digs are around £25 (ask hosts for details). There are also hotels and airbnbs. We will meet in places where food is cheap. Your main expenditure in coming will be getting here, so book this now, as prices increase the closer you get to the dates. (If you’re also planning to go to the Edinburgh festival, you could head there afterwards, just a further 1 hr 20 north…)
If you’re coming from a venue or organisation which has some kind of budget, could you consider sponsoring a place for an artist, or bringing an artist with you? Often it’s independents who don’t have the resources to attend events like this, and the £100 it would cost your organisation to support that person could make the difference between them being able to come or not.
If you’d like to come, please register (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/performance-digital-tech-gathering-tickets-45564359225)  and then get on and book your trains!
We look forward to seeing you.
Love from
(the unnoffical Performance and Digital Tech steering group)
Annette Mees, Royal Opera House
Annie Rigby, Unfolding Theatre
Dan Barnard, Performance and New Technologies Research Group, London South Bank University
Rachel Briscoe, fanSHEN
& Richie Warburton, Theatre-in-the-Mill


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