The first time I read about unconferences three words sprang to mind – ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’
Those three words mean two things to me (and no doubt a lot of other rock fans) – an iconic song from the Velvet Underground debut album and an alternative music festival, which runs every year as an antidote to more corporate music festivals.
Both encompass the spirit of everything that I believe unconferences should be, and none does it better than TruLondon.
I will explain…
One of Lou Reed’s greatest early songs, its lyrics were inspired by Reed watching the groups of people who gathered around at Andy Warhol’s parties, particularly at his studio The Factory.
Reed said : I watched Andy. I watched Andy watching everybody. I would hear people say the most astonishing things, the craziest things, the funniest things….
Now if you were at TruLondon1 you have to admit that this conjures up a recognisable mental picture…one bought to life by the pictures of Sara Headworth and Jill Elswick…
Could it be that Bill Boorman is the Andy Warhol of social recruiting…??!
Still need convincing? Try…
This was named after the song and was founded in 1999 as an alternative to larger, more corporate festivals like Glastonbury and Reading. It takes place in a holiday camp, an environment much more intimate that the usual stadium or large field. An artist, usually a musician, but also visual artists like Matt Groening, curates the festival, inviting their favourite bands and artists to play…crucially the organisers and bands stay in the same accommodation as the fans, mingling and talking, a truly multi-national experience. Setlists are usually driven by the fans. It’s a bit like an unfestival!
Any of this sound familiar?? To me this attitude represents the essence of an unconference, and TruLondon represents it best. Everyone mingling and talking, no pre-determined agendas..
and guess what…
the ATP format is so successful that it now takes place twice a year in the UK, and in the US, and last year travelled to Australia…still sounding familiar??!!
To mark the 10th anniversary of the festival a film was released. It was put together using material generated by the fans and musicians themselves, on a whole range of formats including Super 8, camcorder and mobile phone…’to capture the uncompromising spirit of a parallel music universe’
So on 18/19 Feb come and enjoy, talk and mingle, debate and challenge, meet as many people as you can, indulge in the uncompromising spirit of a parallel HR and Recruitment universe…
..and don’t forget to smile at the camera…
because I’ll see you all at the movie launch in 2020!!…
2 thoughts on “All Tomorrow’s Parties – what TruLondon and Unconferences mean to me”
Great post. I will get to LONDON in this lifetime!
I will be following along from PA all the excitement.
Yeah, Bill Boorman is the Andy Warhol of social recruiting! Nice post, Mervyn. I like how you made the comparison between the two events. I really want to go to an All Tomorrow’s Parties now.