It’s official… Ultralab are going to be providing staffing for the forthcoming BBC Blast tour of the UK!
BBC Blast have commissioned a truck to be built which converts to a studio and workshop area. This is quite amazing on its own, but add to that twelve PC laptops, three MacBook Pro laptops, High Definition DV cameras, networking, A3 colour printing and scanning, a sound studio, video editing capabilities and all manner of digital creativity tools, and you have some idea of what can happen inside the vehicle.
And that’s not to mention what goes on outside! The outer area is going to form a workshop space with a stage for performances, too. Covered by a large awning, the space has room for about 100 people when showcasing work, which is quite a number.
So what is Ultralab’s role?
We have been working with the Blast team for a while in different capacities. At the BETT show last January we were part of the collaborative venture between BBC Blast and Apple computers that became the ‘Create at BETT’ stand. Since then, we have been talking about how to take the ideas ‘on the road’ and the BBC wanted to run a creativity roadshow… seems like the two were destined to meet!
Ultralab staff will form the lead facilitation team on the tour, with one person at every location acting as the head of a small team of local freelancers brought on to run the workshops. This will then provide for a good deal of continuity between cities as the tour takes place, ensuring someone with a clear understanding and years of experience of the creative opportunities is at every venue.
I am delighted to be a part of all that, along with colleagues Matt Eaves and Hamish Scott-Brown. Between June and September the three of us will be on the tour taking on the lead role between us. Starting in Liverpool with Matt, then going over to Northern Ireland with Hamish, the tour then moves into Scotland and works its way south through Sheffield, Norwich, London, Reading and many other places along the way. The North East is hosting the truck as well, with Hull and Newcastle carrying the responsibility.
Each location will have a mix of dance, video, audio and graphic creative activities, running over a number of days and culminating in a showcase day. This is going to be a 15 week tour, and if all goes well then next year becomes a 30 week tour!
Amazing to be part of something so exciting, and I am thrilled to be working with such a forward thinking team at the BBC.
More news as the tour progresses!