I went to the Green Man Festival 2014

Wide shot of the Mountain Stage at Green Man Festival 2014

I attended this year’s Green Man Festival, held at Glanusk Estate, South Wales, on 14-17 August 2014.

Christina, Des and myself have been to the festival every year since 2011, and since last year, have stayed for seven days as a Green Man Settler.

We therefore got to the site on the evening of Monday 11 August 2014 and erected our tents using our extensively rehearsed procedure (?).

Before the festival started proper, we spent plenty of time exploring the local (repositioned) Settler’s Bar (formerly the Holiday Inn), the settler’s late night bonfire and the local town of Crickhowell, particularly the magnificent Bridge End Inn beer garden overlooking the River Usk.

At the start of the actual festival on the evening of Thursday 14 August. we saw the rousing Waterboys on the Far Out Stage, followed by visiting the first night of the Green Man Bonfire.

The Friday was spent mainly at the second Green Man Beer and Cider Festival in the gothic Courtyard, followed by our first late night visit to the Far Out After Dark and Chai Wallahs dance areas, along with a second visit to the Green Man Bonfire.

On Saturday afternoon we heard a fascinating interview with Peter Howell of the Radiophonic Workshop. Later we saw the fantastic The War on Drugs and the semi-legendary Mercury Rev on the Mountain Stage, followed by a second visit to the Far Out After Dark and Chai Wallahs dance areas combined with our third Green Man Bonfire.

On Sunday we attended an amusing interview with Gruff Rhys on the making of his last album. Later on the Mountain Stage we experienced the heavier-than-expected Anna Calvi, the laid back Bill Callahan and the crystal sounds of First Aid Kit. We then went to the Far Out Stage to witness Kurt Vile and the Violators, who, surprisingly to me, looked like Status Quo roadies! The night inevitably concluded with the Far Out After Dark and Chai Wallahs dance areas along with our final Green Man Bonfire.

The next day was mainly spent de-rigging our tents and moving Christina’s bag, which had mysteriously quadrupled it’s weight! Moving the centre of operations to the Bridge End Inn beer garden, we discussed our next move. Des then decided to return home, and after further in depth discussion, we decided to move to The Old Rectory Hotel for one night of luxury.

The next day, following an impromptu day long review of the national press in the hotel reception, we then moved to the Park Farm Camp Site, and re-rigged our tents.

The next day we discovered the reason for Christina’s baggage weight increase – some of the clothes were wet! Following the use of the site clothes drier, we took the fifteen minute walk into Crickhowell to stock up on supplies and visit some of the local hostelries.

We spent the rest of week visiting the local area, and checking the local supplies of ale and cider, before finally returning to reality on the afternoon of Friday 22 August 2014.

All in all, an excellent two weeks – roll on Green Man 2015!

Thanks to all involved: WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014

WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014 strip logo

WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014 took place on the sun drenched weekend of 12-13 July 2014.

As coordinator of WPUK, who produced this event, I would like to thank all of those involved:

  • All of those who attended, who ensured the weekend was lively and engaging
  • The speakers, who gave a wide-ranging and stimulating range of sessions
  • Bournemouth University – the Executive Business Centre was an ideal and modern venue
  • The WPUK Core Group, who with Alison Boyle, worked behind the scenes to ensure a smooth running weekend

As I said during at the end of the event, we are planning to move to a six month event cycle in the future – with Birmingham, the close runner up to Bournemouth in the venue selection ballot, planned to take place in the first quarter of 2015.

4 weeks until WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014

WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014 strip logo

There’s now only four weeks left to get your tickets for WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014.

The two day event will be held at Bournemouth University on the weekend of 12-13 July 2014, and you can still propose presentations for the running order.

Sponsorship options are open for individuals, companies and organisations.

The WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014 logo is by Jonathan Harris.

Cranes on Queen Victoria Street EC4

Picture of cranes in Queen Victoria Street EC4

Construction work on Queen Victoria Street London EC4 at 1002 on Sunday 2 March 2014.

Half price tickets: WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014

WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014 strip logo

£10 half price Early Bird tickets are now available for WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014.

The event, previously known under a working title, takes place over two days on the weekend of 12-13 July 2014 at Bournemouth University.

Details of sponsorship options, and how to propose sessions, are on the WPUK site.

This is the follow-up to WordCamp Lancaster UK 2013 and is number 7 in the WordPress weekend series for WordPress publishers, designers and developers.

The WordCamp Bournemouth UK 2014 logo is by Jonathan Harris.

I went to WordCamp Sheffield 2014

Picture of WordCamp Sheffield 2014 main hall closing session

I attended WordCamp Sheffield 2014 in the imposing University of Sheffield Mappin Building on Saturday 26 April 2014.

Here’s some of the sessions I attended from the twin track running order:

  • Theme development workflow from start to finish – Jonny Allbut gave practical advice on developing bespoke themes for clients.
  • The challenges of running a multi-author blog – Samantha Deakin outlined running the University of Sheffield Enterprise blog from the content editors point of view.
  • How do I know if my WordPress website is accessible? Graham Armfield showed 16 tests to ascertain the accessibility of sites.
  • Tips for front-end performance in WordPress – Ian Parr gave an entertaining session on improving front-end site efficiency.
  • Social media law – Peter Wright detailed the many legal implications of posting online.
  • Keynote – Mike Little summarised his journey from being WordPress co-founder to the present day running zed1.com; this was followed by an interview with Kimb “Paxman” Jones.

Many thanks to Kimb for organising an excellent conference.

Help decide the venue for WPUK Unconference 2014

You can take part in the ballot to select the venue for WPUK Unconference 2014 (working title).

The event, to be held on the weekend of 12-13 July 2014, is the follow up to WordCamp Lancaster UK 2013.

As for previous events in the series, participants can vote to select the venue – the year the choice is Birmingham or Bournemouth.

Find out how to vote on WPUK Discuss.

St Paul’s at night

Picture of St Paul's at night

St Paul’s Cathedral from the junction of King Edward’s Street and Little Britain London EC1, at 0045 on 2 March 2014.