The ultimate party

I have friends who have managed to get themselves tickets to Glastonbury and they’ve been talking of bands, mud, toilets and the free recycled bog roll they’re going to get.

This is fantastically exciting, I love music, I love music festivals and I’m not opposed to toilet paper either. BUT it holds nothing to the event I’m going to in the middle of June.

The event I’ll be attending (working) will have free pizza, beer, robots, handbags and a collection of top tech speakers. It will also be full of geeks talking about tech and building mash-ups of the most amazing variety.

The event is Hack Day 2007 – the UK version of the Yahoo! Hack Day put on at the Yahoo Campus in the US. But this one is going to be bigger, better and much more fun.

Mainly because it’s at one of the best and most historic venues in the UK and is a partnership between Yahoo and the BBC Backstage team.

The event is at Ally Pally (Alexander Palace), a venue with so much tech and media history it puts whole countries to shame. In 1936 Ally Pally became the headquarters of world’s first regular public ‘high definition’ television service, operated by the BBC.

The palace continued as the BBC’s main TV transmitting centre for London until 1956, interrupted only by World War II when the transmitter found an alternative use jamming German bombers’ navigation systems (it is said that only 25% of London raids were effective because of these transmissions).

After that it continued to be used for news broadcasts until 1969, and for the Open University until the early 1980s. The antenna mast still stands, and is still used for local analogue television transmission, local commercial radio and DAB broadcasts.

How incredible is it that the people working at the forefront of the next revolution/evolution of media and broadcasting will be getting together at such a historic venue.

Anyone working in media and or technology in the UK holds Ally Pally close to their heart – I’ve spoken to BBC engineers who see it as a sort of spiritual home – a mecha of media innovation.

Anyway – back to the event.

Hack Day will include speakers from Yahoo, the BBC and other high profile new media organisations – things to do and build – beer, pizza, pizza and beer as well as beer and pizza. They’ll also be a band on Sunday night.

You can sleep over, go home or stay away on the Saturday night and it’s going to be amazing.

There is only room for 500 people and it’s invite only but you can still register in the hope of being invited. It’s on 16 and 17 June.

More on the event from Tom Coates, Matthew Cashmore, Yahoo, BBC Backstage, The Guardian and Ian Forrester.

I’m hoping to get the inspiration and drive to make some of my own mash-up ideas happen after the event.