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Meeting minutes, 9 July 2014, from 7:30pm at London Hackspace

Already many more people here than ever came to a planning meeting in 2012. Maybe ~25.

Teams present: core org, stage (Tim), info (SamLR), security (Martin), bar + site (Russ), networking & power (Will-h etc), volunteering (Lyndsey, Kate, etc),

Unfortunately nobody from the "kids" team was able to attend. First-aid was also busy. Video/AV also not here. And: badge, sponsors, content.

Camp intro

Will-h showing a map of the site. It's just outside Bletchley.

Canonical map is at dxf files available at

Check out the quadcopter video to get a good impression of the site:

Focus of the map is on camp layout, and the stages. It also shows water, power, etc. Green areas are grass, yellow are field -- some of it will be covered with flooring. Darker green: hedges. The camp area looks quite thin on the map but it's actually remarkably large. Info tent will be near the lake, next to main entrance. Family camping will be right at the north end of the camp. Some other parts have been allocated, but much is still developing. We have access to a lot more field than we will need.

We're not allowed to enter the lake -- it's for irrigation. Will be fenced off. As will be parts of the forest. Track along the forest will be used as fire access / emergency route.

Transport and vehicles on site

Shuttle buses likely from Bletchley station (3.3 miles, "a 9 minute drive"). Paul is looking into this. This year we won't be driving shuttle buses ourselves as last time. We found that hiring someone to drive is not a big deal financially.

Road from parking spaces to camp site is only single-track, so all transport to site will likely be restricted in some way. It causes some concerns about operations/logistics so we'll likely regulate access somehow.

Key concern about vehicles on site is attendee safety. Once the site is open we will heavily control vehicles on site.

If you intend to unload your car you should best arrive on Thursday evening to ensure you get fairly easy access.

Camp setup and teardown

Would be good to hear from people who can be available between Tuesday the week before and Thursday the week after the event. It helps greatly if we know you and know that you are reliable.

Set up will start on the Tuesday because the Monday is a bank holiday. We have the site until Thur (in theory), so expect to have been cleared out by Wednesday.

We ask that you only do camp setup or teardown, but not both. If you turn up before mid-afternoon on Thursday you WILL be helping us with the setup. You will also be fed by us.

This year we are paying people to put tents up (the marquee hire company). The tents are massive, and there will be a lot of them. Tents are our biggest single expense.

We most likely need volunteers to put up fencing. The fence will be provided on stillage so we can telehandle it in the right place -- 6-7 volunteers should be able to do that in a day or two.

If you help with camp setup we will require you to wear a hi-vis vest. We will train you in some basic safety procedures -- always stay aware of what's happening around you.

We expect ~10 articulated trucks to arrive on the first day -- bringing in hundreds of tons of equipment and stuff. 1.5 tons of cable alone.

Catering, on-site supplies, fire safety

We have 4 external food vendors, and the coffee guy from last time.

Closest supermarket is a Sainsburys in Bletchley (Brunel Centre, MK2 2JS)

We will NOT allow open fires. It's a big safety risk.

We will NOT have a vendor for camping supplies -- the ones we talked to don't serve "small" festivals of our size.


Set of bins for mixed recycling, some for other kinds of rubbish. 1,100 liter bins, skips, etc. "It's quite complicated." These will be distributed across the site. There will be no collections during the event, everything will be picked up at the end.

Since this meeting an order has been placed, details: Rubbish

Power & network

Same as 2012, just three times larger.

Another microwave link. Line of sight survey in the next month, to a local data centre.

Event license

Last time we had a TEN. This time we're getting a proper event license. This means: no hard restriction on attendee numbers, but lots of admin overhead. Sent forms to 9 orgs for consultation. Currently still in that process. We're confident that we will be able to deal with any potential objections during this process.

Press/event promo

We would love to hear from people who want to write blog posts and help us document and promote the camp.

So far we've sought limited publicity, there will be more of that closer to the event. Same as last time, this "delayed promo" approach worked really well.

We have friendly contacts at BBC, Guardian, misc hacker sites, etc. But do tell us if you know any friendly/interested journalists/media people.

We're not publishing the number of tickets we sold ahead of the event -- last time had an unfortunate experience with a potential caterer who bailed because we hadn't sold enough tickets early enough. We did of course sell out, so (as Russ puts it) "the joke's on them".


We really need help writing code for the badge. Talk to Marek or Jonty. The hardware this time is really fun.

(Funding was a bit of an adventure; 2 early sponsors didn't come through. Got it sorted in the end.)


The bar is set up as a village square. Sitting area, stretch tent, that kind of stuff. Social area, to eat food, drink beer. There's lots of interest in setting up installations there, we're currently figuring out how much we should put there.

There will be good beer. And cider. Probably no spirits -- harder to deal with leftovers at that scale. Looking at chilled containers atm.

We will need lots of volunteers for bar servers. This will be announced closer to the event, same as for all other volunteering positions.

Lounge tent

There will be a more quiet lounge tent, separate from the bar. A chillout area. Likely nautically themed. There may be carpets and other nice things. Likely a "take your shoes off" tent.

Currently seeking sponsors.


Have 75 talk submissions so far. We can fit ~40 a day in the schedule. We expect there'll be some space left for improvised sessions. A committee reviews submissions, we're very open to all kinds of talks, even by people who've had little prior experience.

First aid

(In Ben's absence)

We're looking for trained first aiders. You will get a free ticket.


We don't give free tickets to general volunteers. None of the organisers gets a free ticket either. Running a camp like this is very expensive.

Experience showed that night shifts are harder to fill. We will need people to cover these!

Info tent

Spreading information. Having contacts for everyone. Area maps. All that stuff.

We will look for volunteers to run this.

Our experience from last time is also that info tent is often first-line ops/tech support -- power, network, toilet rolls, etc.


(Team not present)

Entirely sponsored by UCL -- e.g. fully funded child care for kids under 5. Big kids area. By law every young child gets 7.5m² of space! Adults get less. We sold approx 35 kids tickets already! (Combined child and teen ticket tiers.)


There will be a phone team setting up a mobile phone network. In collaboration with O2. You will need a different SIM card to get on this network. Coverage level tbc.

Radio station

(Not present)

Won't have an FM license -- too expensive. But there will be continuous online streaming.


There will be toilets. They should be not unpleasant. Portaloo Portable toilet style. Disabled and urinals as well.

We will have showers. We will consider the setup/teardown schedule in their provision.

There will be clean drinking water (This time also a water supply near the bar.)


We need at least 2 people at the front gate at all times. Likely more during peak times. There's a constant need for small security matters throughout the event. We will seek volunteers for this.

We really hope we can avoid getting an external security team. This is still to be determined. (Having them would avoid any SIA qualification concerns, among other considerations.)

There will be some kind of secure and free storage. Maybe a container or dedicated tent. This is still in planning.


£5k shiny budget. There's unlikely to be any of that left by now -- all kinds of interesting things are planned.


This team is focused on technical aspects of stage management.

3 stages, 40 speakers a day, 3 team members currently -- we will need volunteers to run this.

Talks will definitely be recorded on site and then uploaded/archived somewhere. They will almost certainly be streamed live. There's a dedicated A/V team for this.

Stage management

"Heralding" etc. Announcing talks, preparing speakers. The mostly non-technical parts of stage work.

There is no team for this yet. We can sort this out closer to the event. Let us know if you'd like to run this.


Need someone to coordinate villages. There is no team for this yet. Let us know if you'd like to run this.


Currently evaluating volunteer coordination systems. Engelssystem looks ok so far. Info tent will have a computer with access to the coordination system. There will also be a large shared whiteboard, signup sheets for small tasks, etc.