Issue date: 04 March 2010
Alumni from the University of the West of England's Science Communication course are behind a music festival with a difference. Geek Pop '10, a celebration of science-inspired music and geek culture, kicks off with a live gig in Bristol on 11 March.
Run by Sounds of Science team members Jim Bell, Hayley Birch and Vicky West, the previously online-only event is branching out with live performances in Bristol and London for the first time this year. The team's original idea for a virtual pop festival helped them win a merit award in UWE's theBizIdea competition in 2009 and the event, now in its third year, has become an established annual event.
A total of 30 bands from around the globe have been signed up to perform across its virtual and physical stages in 2010, with music from every set available to download for free.
The event is sponsored by Computer Geeks and the British Science Association, and runs during National Science and Engineering Week which takes place from 12–21 March 2010.
The Bristol live gig at Cube Microplex will kick off proceedings on 11 March ahead of the virtual launch. Geek Pop crew member Jim Bell is organising the Bristol event. “It's been a huge undertaking this year,” he says. “But we've got some great geeky acts booked and there's no doubt that adding live gigs to the programme has really helped get the word around.”
Many artists involved this year have written and recorded new material specifically for the festival. Canadian hip-hop artist Baba Brinkman, known for his unique fusion of rap and evolution, will be unveiling his rationalist anthem “Off That” at Geek Pop. And returning for the second year in a row, UK-based Spirit of Play will be performing brand new and specially tailored science songs at both the online event and a London gig at The Miller on 18 March.
According to Festival Organiser Hayley Birch, the festival has evolved rapidly since 2008. “In the first year, we only had about ten artists and none of the music was specifically written for us,” she says. “It's great to see we're establishing ourselves as an annual event and especially that we're giving creative inspiration to musicians to make music about science.”
Previous years saw musicians perform online across the Tetrahedron and Reproductive stages, and Tesla Tent. This year, organisers commissioned Bristol-based illustrator Sam Church to re-design the site and have added another stage, The Comical Flask, where acts will be entertaining audiences with nerdy, science-based comedy.
Live audio from the events can also be heard online via the Naked Scientists website at http://www.thenakedscientists.com
or in the Naked Scientists auditorium in the SciLands on the internet platform Second Life.
More information about the festival can be found at:
Ready-made clips of Geek Pop '10 music and images of the crew are available in the Geek Pop virtual VIP room, online. Journalists are welcome to use these for articles and broadcast, as long as both the artist or photographer, and Geek Pop, are credited. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
to receive a VIP pass.
For more information on sponsors Computer Geeks and the British Science Association visit http://www.cgeeks.co.uk
. This year's National Science and Engineering Week is themed 'Earth' and supports International Year of Biodiversity.