In Leeds? You can still catch these unmissable tech and digital events

26 Apr, 2017

Whatever tech topic tickles your fancy, Leeds has you covered for the next five days. The city has not one, but two festivals covering everything from FinTech to videogames this week  but hurry, as tickets are going fast.

Leeds International Festival, which runs until April 30, kicked off this weekend with talks on biohacking, hacking culture and the future of CyberPunk. Leeds Digital Festival, which features more than 100 events, bows out on April 29.

The good news is that you still have time to peruse each festival’s schedule and plan your time. We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting events from both that haven’t sold out at the time of writing.

Wednesday 26th

The Digital Debate (Leeds Digital Festival)


A discussion that was last year declared, “Engaging, important and relevant to the future of Leeds’ digital sector”, The Digital Debate returns and will once again place the big digital topics of 2017 at centre stage. This year’s panel features NHS Digital CEO Rob Shaw; ODI Leeds founder Paul Connell; Epiphany Search Managing Director Tom Salmon and ZiMovi CEO and Co-Founder Paul Greaves.

Thursday 27th

Tech North Digital Jobs Action Summit (Leeds Digital Festival)


The Digital Jobs Action Summit is a participatory, parent-friendly event that will showcase exclusive #digitaljobs data from Tech City UK’s first ever Tech Nation Talent & Skills report, being created with one of the world’s largest recruitment brands, alongside a new Northern Skills Spotlight from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies.

The Future of Technology (Leeds International Festival)


Expect a straight talking, jargon-free discussion from this session. TechCrunch Editor-in-Chief Mike Butcher and Internet of Things expert Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino are gearing up to explore emerging and future tech trends — from connected fridges to drones — and their impact on consumers and businesses.

Code In The Dark UK (Leeds Digital Festival)


A front-end programming competition with a difference, Code in the Dark returns to Leeds following a scintillating debut at last year’s Digital Festival. It will once again see competitors spend 15 minutes attempting to recreate a website’s design from scratch using HTML and CSS. The catch? None of the contestants will be able to preview their work.

The Work/Life Talk Show by LightStart (Leeds Digital Festival)


The digital sector is experiencing a collective work/life crisis, and if you’re interested in hearing some horror stories on the topic, this informal get together at Duke Studios/Sheaf Street Cafe should be etched into your festival timetable.

eCommerce 2020: The key trends to drive future growth (Leeds Digital Festival)


The UK is a leading light in eCommerce, but how can it keep its nose in front? Head over to Futurelabs to hear some suggestions at this event, which will see some of the region’s top eCommerce professionals discuss where the industry is headed in the next three years.

Friday 28th

Leeds Digital Job Fair 3.0 (Leeds International Festival)


Freshen up your CV, because Leeds’ Digital & Tech Job Fair is back at the First Direct Arena with a bang. Its third incarnation will give job hunters the opportunity to meet 50 of the city’s employers, who are on the hunt for everyone from developers and designers to product managers, analysts, IT specialists and engineers.

Lumen Price Exhibition 2017 (Leeds International Festival)

Returning after a huge success in 2016, the Lumen Prize Exhibition will showcase the best in global, award winning digital art. From ‘painting’ in virtual reality and augmented reality to 360-degree projects, spherical screens, and projection mapping, this isn’t your conventional art exhibition. Held at Leeds Dock, it runs until Sunday 30.


Founders Friday Special (Leeds Digital Festival)


Regular meetup group Founders Friday is holding a mentoring special this year. Business brains from a range of regional companies including NHS Digital, EMIS, Cocoon, Pitchero, ADV, and Capital Enterprise North will be on hand to impact their knowledge on everything from creating a pitch deck to securing legal advice. For any early-stage startups seeking advice, this is a vital opportunity to swot up for the princely sum of nothing.

The Algorave (Leeds Digital Festival)


Turning up the volume on Friday night, The Algorave returns to ODI Leeds for another session of code-generated beats. Curated by Alex McLean, currently artist in residence at ODI HQ, this year’s Algorave will once again see live music, composed using lines of code, blasted from every nook and cranny in Munro House. Rock on.

Saturday 29th

Leeds City College: Digital Games Cafe (Leeds Digital Festival)


Get a chance to take a peak at the latest Unreal Engine developments and the chance to play on some retro consoles. The opportunity to get your own digital avatar is the most compelling part of it, though, as detailed here: “We will take your photograph and then take you step-by-step to turn it into an avatar, using Photoshop and other software that is used in the games industry. You can then print off your avatar in A4 and take it home to stick on your fridge or proudly hang it over the fireplace in your front room!”

Sunday 30th

Get Into Games (Leeds International Festival)


Looking to join a company like Rockstar Leeds, or maybe form your own videogame development agency? This could be the event that starts it all. Held at FutureLabs, it features a raft of top notch speakers from the gaming indsutry.

They include: Lizi Attwood, Programmer and Owner of indie studio Furious Bee; Catherine Woolley, Senior Designer from BAFTA winning The Chinese Room; Hollie Bennett, PlayStation Access Channel Manager at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Anisa Sanusi, UI/UX Artist, who recently worked on hit game Planet Coaster, Laura Dawes, Freelance 2D/3D Artist, Simon Barratt, Owner of VR studio Cooperative Innovations.

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