A speaker from a prior Digital Media Festival in Woodstock.
Last week, Woodstock was the place for all things books. Later this year it will be the place for all things digital.
The Digital Media Festival will take place five months later than usual this year. On Nov. 1, five leading digital innovators from across the country will share their work with each other and other festival attendees.
The event has taken place in June for the past two years. Digital Media Festival organizer David McGowan hopes the later date will be more convenient for people.
“It’s a lot people who are working all week to come indoors and work at a computer screen on a beautiful afternoon in June,” he said. “We decided to move it to Nov. 1 to be more in synch with the academic calendar.”
The first Digital Festival in 2011 attracted about 150 people. The event nearly doubled in 2012. This fall it will be more focused.
“I think we’ve learned what we do best and that really is featuring and spotlighting people and projects that are more informational to the public,” McGowan said. “We decided to zero in on that this year.”
The event attracts people from businesses, nonprofits, the arts and academia to Woodstock to share their work with each other and with the public.
Among this year’s speakers are Afron Smith, the Director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Ben Vershbow, Manager of NYPL Labs at the New York Public Library and Gabriel Dance, the Interactive Editor for The Guardian US. There also be Jon Voss, Strategic Partnerships Director at Historypin and Laurie Leob, Director of the Digital Arts Leadership and Innovation Lab at Dartmouth.
“It’s a bit like Sundance taking place in Utah,” McGowen said. “Removing busy people from their normal (mostly urban) environments to spend time with each other creates a great vibe for good things to happen.”
This year’s festival will also showcase the digital work being done nearby in “Digital Vermont.” The exhibit may include a startup company like Green Mountain Digital or the Tiltfactor Lab at Dartmouth.
McGowan has been a part-time resident in Woodstock since 2008. He talked about doing a digital event for a long time and three years ago, finally found the perfect town, and perfect opportunity to do it.
“I am interested in the ways that the digital economy can contribute to the economic vitality of the town and the region,” McGowan said.
More details about the Festival program will be made available through www.woodstockdigital.com in the weeks to come.