Interview with Simon Hewitt about Silicon Dreams Vintage Tech event

Interview with Simon Hewitt about Silicon Dreams Vintage Tech event

In July there is going to be a great event for fans of vintage technology and fans of technology in general. Silicon Dreams takes place 5th-7th of July and I caught up with the man behind the event Simon Hewitt to explain more:

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ID:What is the Silicon Dreams event? 

SH: It’s a new festival aimed at families, fans of technology and computers, and schools. The tagline is that it’s a celebration of the silicon chip, but that doesn’t just include computer games and programming. We’ll also be celebrating the use of technology in the creative arts too, such as music.

ID: Where is it?

SH: Snibston Discovery Museum and Century Theatre, Coalville in Leicestershire. Not far from either the M1 or M6 and accessible by public transport too.

ID: What would we expect to see

SH: Vintage technology – not just computers. There will be gaming, coding, various collections and enthusiast groups present. We’ll also have new projects based around the likes of the Raspberry Pi. There will also be a few workshops and talks too. The Friday will also feature a screening of War Games from 1983.

ID: Will I see a ZX Spectrum ? (I had to ask this question!)

SH: You will see several ZX Spectrums, including some that use Twitter.

ID: What is Vintage Computer Fair?

SH: It’s a global festival that originated from Silicon Valley in the US. It’s an event where various enthusiasts, hobbyists and collectors meet and exhibit or sell old computers and related items. When we launched it in the UK three years ago, I changed the format slightly. There wasn’t much demand for a flea market, but retro gaming and music made it popular with all ages.

ID: How much will a ticket cost?

SH: The prices are on our website, but are value for money. A family ticket for the main festival, for the whole three days, costs £43 bought in advance.

ID: I believe there is a special concert in the evening. How is performing and are the tickets part of the day event?

SH: There is a very special music event for the Saturday evening – “An Evening With Martyn Ware” with Northern Kind and Heaven 17. Silicon Dreams originally came about after I met Martyn Ware (co-founder of The Human League, Heaven 17 and British Electric Foundation) about three years ago. Whenever I did another major event he agreed to do a talk, so he was one of the first people I told about this event. The evening event will involve food (most likely in the form of a hog roast as it’s July), Martyn’s talk followed by live music. This time we’ve got two bands – Northern Kind are an excellent duo from Leicestershire, plus Heaven 17. It’s a very special experience for just two hundred people, and the tickets will cost £49.

ID: When will tickets go on sale? 

SH: The beginning of May.

ID: Can I turn up on the day without a ticket?

SH: Yes of course – for the main festival. Tickets will be on sale on each of the three days.  The Saturday evening event will be advance booking only. There will also be an online booking system for schools visits.

ID: Can I bring my kids?

SH: Yes. The festival is for all ages, and we hope kids will love it too. The Friday is a schools day, with activities and talks tailored to them.

ID: How else can i get involved (ie supporting the event or volunteering)? 

We’d love to hear from people across the board. Collectors, those with an interesting (and relevant) story to tell who might like to give a talk, enthusiasts, experts, as well as people who might like to volunteer as a steward. If you represent a business and might like to sponsor or donate items for competition prizes, we’d like to hear from you too. First port of call is our website – you can contact us from there.

Thanks to Simon and for more information go to the Silicon Dreams site.

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