Why Leeds Digital Festival will kick off with a 'mini-fest' this week

Organisers of Leeds Digital Festival have announced details of a ‘mini-fest’ ahead of the main event in September.

Stuart Clarke: “The Leeds Digital Festival has grown over the years to become the most inclusive tech event in the UK, where everyone from the newest startups to the largest tech giants can take part."

The open platform festival is usually held at this time of the year but last year was split in two owing to the pandemic.

The festival, which has been running since 2016, saw over 400 events attended by 45,000 people during two Covid-interrupted festivals in 2020.

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This year, organisers are holding a smaller, curated festival of just 12 events starting today, then returning in September with the usual two-week open-platform format, where everyone is invited to put on an event.

Over 300 events are expected in September.

Hosts include Crisp discussing The Rise of Safety Tech, Leeds2023 looking at the collaboration between artists and the tech world, Leeds City Region LEP on the Future of Work, BJSS discussing their international growth and Credera looking at a post-cookie future.

Other events are being presented by organisations such as Asda, Leeds City College and Morrisons.

Stuart Clarke, director at Leeds Digital Festival, said: “The Leeds Digital Festival has grown over the years to become the most inclusive tech event in the UK, where everyone from the newest startups to the largest tech giants can take part.

“We’ve never charged firms to take part as we believe anyone should have the chance to celebrate and collaborate with their peers in the tech world.”

He added: “We’ve always had an international element to the Festival and last year really pushed the Leeds tech sector out to the world, with attendees from over 60 countries.

“I’m sure this year’s Festivals will further help to put Leeds on the global tech stage.”

Adam Hildreth, founder and CEO of Crisp, said: “As a Leeds-born and bred tech firm, we’re really pleased to be one of the Leeds Digital Festival’s Premier sponsors as well as hosting an event at the ‘mini-fest’.

“The Festival has really helped to bring the sector together and it’s great to see how it’s continued to grow despite the pandemic.

“We’re looking forward to taking part in both Festivals this year and contributing to another successful year.”

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