Introducing MakeFest Memories

Hello everyone, Dan here, I’m back a mere week after posting about Young MakeFest 2018 and all the brilliant activities surrounding that. This time I’m here to introduce an exciting new series we’ll be running on this very blog over the coming weeks. So without further ado, drum roll please maestro (you can drum your fingers on a desk if you like but it’s not compulsory) we present to you….

MakeFest Memories!

What exactly is that you’re wondering, to be honest it’s pretty much as it sounds. Liverpool MakeFest has been running since 2015 and in that time we’ve all built up a lot of great memories from past events. We want to share some of those stories and we need help from lovely smart people like yourself (flattery will get us everywhere), yes you reading this. If you have a story you’d like to share, some photos or maybe even both, let us know via email to lpoolmakefest AT or send a message via Twitter / Facebook.

Don’t worry if you’re not quite sure what I mean because I’ll demonstrate by kicking us off with some of my own MakeFest Memories…

I became involved with Liverpool MakeFest back in 2015 at the very first event, before it in fact. I can’t remember exactly who I spoke to first but I do remember my OggCamp buddy and occasional partner in crime Les Pounder saying he was visiting Liverpool to meet someone called Mark at the library and talk about a Maker event. Armed with a healthy curiosity and thoughts of a sausage roll after the meeting I made my way to the library. I met Les outside the main entrance with Mark (Feltham as it turned out) one the founders of Liverpool MakeFest. I agreed to help Les with crewing for the event and also hatched a plan to record audio and produce a podcast for the event, more on that later.

A photo of a pizza not unlike the one we mistook for a vegetarian option
It’s not cheese, it’s chicken!! – This isn’t the actual pizza but looks very similar. Any similarity to other pizzas living or dead is purely coincidental

Les and I agreed to help feed all those hungry Makers and crew members on the day and the events surrounding that are one of my favourite MakeFest memories. I arranged a deal with the owner of a local Italian restaurant to provide us with up to 100 pizzas at a discounted rate, well we’d need a lot, Les and I could probably polish off 50 between us before the crew got near. So around midday on the Saturday of MakeFest 2015 the two of us piled into my trusty Citroen Berlingo (other cars are available) like the Dukes Of Hazzard, although we did use the doors instead of the windows for reasons best left to the imagination. We fought the Liverpool city centre traffic on our mission to basically fill the vehicle with as much pizza as possible and return it to the grateful masses at the library. We managed to make it there, load up and pay for the food in pretty good time. On returning to the library we entered the staff car park at the back and unloaded our bounty into the break room. All was going well until a slight flaw in our perfect plan reared it’s ugly head.

We discovered upon opening the first box that the pizza hadn’t been sliced, no worries we thought it must be one they missed at the end by mistake. It wasn’t. We had around 100 unsliced pizzas to dish out and a growing number of impatient hungry people outside the door. Best of all we couldn’t find a knife, there were people running around the building in search of one. “A knife, a knife, my kingdom for a knife”. Perhaps even a laser cutter, that could do pizza right?? Luckily crisis was averted as a wonderful member of staff managed to find us a knife from somewhere, I’ve no idea where they got it and I wasn’t inclined to ask but you’ll be relieved to know we gave it a rinse in the sink first to be on the safe side. We began to slice up the pizzas as best we could for distribution and nothing else could go wrong could it? Nooo.

The restaurant had supplied 4 types of pizza: pepperoni (always a winner), margarita (a classic), a veggie option and what we assumed must be a second veggie option as it appeared to be topped with olives, little bits of Feta cheese and some leafy salad. It was good to have 3 veggie options anyway I thought. However, just as we were about to distribute the pizzas one of the crew tried some of the exotic feta option and quickly blurted out “it’s chicken!!!” through a mouthful of pizza. “IT’S NOT CHEESE, IT’S CHICKEN!!”. They were right, it was perfectly cut little cubes of chicken the like of which I’d never seen, at least not on a pizza.

Luckily we realised before there was a real problem but it could have been pretty disastrous and we all had to scramble to get the word out. Since when has tiny chicken cubes and green leaves been a desirable pizza topping? Honestly.

We were able to see the funny side though and I suggested we call it “Vegetarian Surprise”, the surprise of course being that it’s chicken. Everyone was well fed and we avoided giving meat to anyone who didn’t want it which was a relief.

A photo of Dan Lynch and Chelsea Slater in the makeshift studio with microphones and headphones
Chelsea Slater of Liverpool Girl Geeks was one of my guests on Radio MakeFest.

Another memorable part of that first MakeFest for me was setting up a little podcast studio upstairs on the top floor. I moved my desktop PC, mixer and a load of other studio kit down from my flat and we broadcast the days events over live Internet radio, which the good people of DoES Liverpool were even picking up on their speakers down by the entrance. I set up a podcast page, feeds, and even made some artwork. I called it Radio MakeFest and you can still actually find all that content on the website. We had some great people stop by to chat as the day went on, I also played some Creative Commons music and probably talked a load of rubbish in my usual way. “Dead air is a crime” as Alan Partridge would say. We actually plan to revive Radio MakeFest this year and record some new interviews to be published before the event. So head over the website, have a listen and if you it you could even subscribe to get the new content as soon as it comes out.

Overall I had a great time helping out at that first Liverpool MakeFest and the after party was pretty fun too. Sadly I wasn’t able to be involved as much in the following 2 events for health reasons but I’m back this year like a bad penny. No more pizza runs though I’m afraid and no Vegetarian Surprise I promise hehe 🙂

Tell Us Your MakeFest Memories

Ok so I gpt the ball rolling but we want to hear your stories of Liverpool MakeFest. Maybe something cool that made an impression, maybe you were inspired to start your own project and want to tell us about that. You don’t have to ramble on as long as I have, just a couple of paragraphs is more than enough if you like. Photos would be good too. Frankly we’ll take whatever we can get, so please do get in touch. You can email lpoolmakefest AT gmail.comFind us on Twitter – or get in touch via Facebook.

Finally I’ll leave you with this quick video. I had thought of doing an adaptation of the song “Magic Moments” by Perry Como for a MakeFest Memories theme tune but that might put us in choppy legal waters over the copyright. So here’s the next best thing, watch the video below and sing along using the words “Make…Fest…. Memories… Memories we’ve been sharing…”

Anyone good at whistling out there? Maybe you can suggest some more lyrics?

Get sharing those moments with us please.

Dan Lynch


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