Last weekend was the 4th OggCamp – a free culture unconference organised by Linux Outlaws and the Ubuntu UK Podcast, along with some co-conspirators.

I’ve been to every OggCamp so far, but this was only my second as an organiser, in charge of the schedule.  That sounds like an easy job as an unconference is traditionally unscheduled, but we like to have 1 track of scheduled speakers so people know what they’re getting.  We managed to book some great speakers this year including Alan O’Donohoe, Simon Phipps (making this his third year as a speaker) and a special video message from Stephen Fry, to name but a few.  Alongside this we had a record 3 unconference tracks packed with talks, all managed by CampFireManager courtesy of Jon Spriggs and his team. In case that’s not enough, we also had hardware hacking at the Open Hardware Jam!

The venue this year was the Art and Design Academy at Liverpool John Moores University.  The building itself was huge, with great facilities and some fantastic spaces.  We had a few issues with locations on the first day, but you never really know how a space will work until there’s people in it.

All in all, the event blew me away.  So many people said so many lovely things about the venue, the community and the event as a whole, I’ll just let you read for yourself.  I’ll just say this: When we organise OggCamp, we have no way to know if anyone will show up or if people will offer talks. It’s a pretty scary proposition. With the community that’s formed around the event, I don’t know what I ever worried about.

The following people deserve my (and your) thanks:

Laura, Fab, Popey, Les and especially Dan, for putting the time and ball ache in to make the event happen.

Jon “The Nice Guy” Spriggs for sitting up coding well past my bedtime.

Andy Piper for stepping in to the breach when we were down a speaker.

The incredible OggCamp crew, who work like trojans for a free mug and t-shirt, and always seem to know what’s going on even when I don’t. You guys rock my world.

Our sponsors: LJMU, Bytemark, Transitiv Technologies, Canonical, O’Reilly and ScraperWiki, who the event happen. Buy their stuff.

See you next year?