This is my significantly late review of LUG Radio Live UK 2008. 🙂
Having taken the Friday off work, the drive up the country was fairly leisurely, stopping to pick up bits of equipment on the way. Having had walkie-talkies at the US event the gents were adamant they wanted them for the UK, mainly so they could look important and pretend to be spies. Having arrived at the Novotel to find the power out in the room (not good when you have several video cameras to keep charged up) and a £4 car parking fee we headed over to Jono’s for a chat with him and Aq about the plans for the weekend and pizza. Then back to the hotel for a shower and off to the Hog’s Head for the traditional Friday night piss-up. It was great to see so many members of the LUG Radio community there. It was impossible to talk to everyone, such was the size of the crowd, but importantly all the crew heads who had been annoying each other on conference calls for weeks finally got to chat without the “satellite delay.” And Neuro, mrben, Dave2, oojah and many more! It was also good to see new faces there, not least Ciemon who seemed to settle straight into the LRL vibe. Brilliantly Emma Jane, ultra-lovely lady who we hung out with at the US event was there, having flown from Canada to speak in the UK. I also chatted to Matt Garrett for ages, discussing social etiquette in geek circles. I avoided having more than a handful of drinks (which is quite enough for me these days anyway), unlike some people who spent the rest of the weekend suffering. 😉
The Saturday morning get-in was much more straight forward than last year. It really helps when you know where the plugs are, what equipment you can expect to encounter and what you need to bring with you. One of the highlights for me was having such a great AV crew. It was four times the size of the crew last year, and that meant that everyone got some time off to enjoy the event, as well as ensuring we got coverage of all the talks. It really made the whole weekend go much more smoothly. Barring a power outage when we tripped a circuit and found out that the caretaker wouldn’t be in to reset it until Monday, it all went pretty smoothly. So much so that Jono had time to think up stupid ideas like the “Furries for Justice” protest during the Second Life talk.
As ever I didn’t get to see any talks from start to finish, but I saw bits of Emma and Bruno as well as most of the Gong-a-thong, featuring more of mrben than I’d ever wanted to see. I gave my little contribution, a re-written version of the “We happy few” speech from Henry V on the end of LUG Radio. It got a few laughs which was good, but I’m not sure how many people in the audience knew the speech that was parodied. The live show, which was supposed to be the last ever LUG Radio episode, turned out not to be. After many loving kickings from the community the gents relented and we will be running another LRL event next year. Nothing is planned yet of course, but it will be a lot of work to make the event as popular without the regular podcast episodes to provide publicity. I think it’s really great news though because this year it seemed like LRL had really grown-up. Without being more mature. 🙂 I’m sure next year’s event will rock.
The next best bit of the live show was that the gents gave me the coveted title of “Community Hero.” It’s a real honour to be given this title, even if I unluckily won the year there was no prize to accompany it. 😉 It also shows, I think, how open the LUG Radio community is. Like all communities from which friendships have grown, accusations of cliquishness are sometimes pointed at the LUG Radio community. But I’m not part of WolvesLUG or the Scottish Mcfia, I didn’t have any special “in”s. I just listened to the show and sent a couple of e-mails. I joined the IRC channel and the forums, admittedly early on when it was easier to get to know people. I went to the first LRL event and noticed that the presenters spent quite a lot of time helping speakers get their laptops working with their projector. I thought they probably should be doing other things and afterwards collared Aq and suggested that I could help out doing that if they held another event. They did, and I did. It went from there. I just volunteered for stuff and showed that I could do it to a reasonable degree of competence. It’s a great community and I’m proud to be part of it, and especially proud that the gents would think I’m “hero” material. Now I just have to get the conga line off Xalior. 🙂
After the show was the after party, but that’s a post for another day.Pin It