Get involved – that’s the message to Yorkshire Evening Post readers as preparations continue for this year’s Leeds Digital Festival.
Taking place for the fourth time, the festival will feature dozens of tech events in venues across the city over the course of 11 days in April and May.
And today organisers urged people to make the most of the opportunities on offer, telling them: “This is your festival.”
Festival director Stuart Clarke said: “The Leeds Digital Festival was set up to do two things – to celebrate the incredible talent and innovation we have in the digital and tech sector in the city, and also to encourage collaboration between individuals and companies.
“We’ve seen it grow from 56 to 115 to 170 events, confirming Leeds as the digital capital of the North.
“In 2018, there were more tech events in Leeds during the festival than in San Francisco, with 20,000 people attending events across 68 venues.
“We’ve had speakers and attendees flying in from all around the globe. Being an open festival, where any individual or company can put on an event, means that it truly belongs to the city.
“We’ll help you find a venue, speakers and an audience, but the inspiration and innovation comes from all our event hosts and attendees.
“The tech sector in Leeds is growing and we need to encourage more young talent to choose the sector, which is a key aim of the festival.
“We’ve got lots of amazing events planned and more are coming in every day, so please keep checking the schedule.
“Most of the events last year were sold out, so don’t delay booking a ticket.
“This is your festival, so please get involved as a sponsor, event host or as an attendee – or all three!”
Key events this year include the return of the ever-popular Code in the Dark competition and a full-day showcase of the part being played by women in Leeds’s digital successes.
The festival’s main sponsors are the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council, with support also coming from BJSS and Crisp Thinking.
Mike Buck, head of delivery at BJSS, said: “As one of the largest technology companies in Leeds, BJSS is thrilled to be supporting the largest digital festival in the North.
“We’re looking forward to collaborating with the 20,000-plus contributors, global experts and delegates that it attracts.”
Adam Hildreth, founder and chief executive of Crisp Thinking, added: “The Leeds Digital Festival has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and has put the spotlight on the incredible tech talent and innovation in the city.
“As a fast-growing tech firm based in Leeds and working across the globe, we’re really pleased to be a main sponsor this year.”
This year’s programme will also feature the Leeds Digital Festival Awards, sponsored by Amsource Technology and Leeds-based law firm Ward Hadaway.
The festival as a whole runs from April 23 to May 3. For more details, visit www.leedsdigitalfestival.org.
The Yorkshire Evening Post runs a regular Digital City column in partnership with Sky Betting & Gaming.
The platform aims to highlight the giant strides being made by a sector that boasts around 3,000 organisations in Leeds.