So, the news is out. 29C3 will be a whole new Congress experience in a new venue, not to mention that it will move to a new city (or come back home after 13 years in Berlin if you prefer that point of view). What made us do it?
First of all, it wasn’t because we didn’t like the wonderful crew at BCC anymore. In fact, we love them to pieces, rainbows and unicorns and all that. Over the years, we had much, much more than just a business relationship with the people at the Berliner Congress Center. Dare we say: friendship? Yes, it’s probably in order. When talking about the move, the first thing to mention is a huge, gigantic “Thank you!” to the BCC.
But then, the Congress had come to its limits at the old venue. The new venue is cool in more than one way:
- We had limited space at the BCC. Tickets for the event were offered in an increasingly unfair lottery. Visiting Congress became a game of chance and tickets were usually sold within seconds. It’s sad to see your friends miss the chance to get a ticket two years in a row. It’s frustrating to have too many people crammed into a place that is cool, but let’s be honest, too small for maybe 4000 interested visitors. All these problems will be over with the new venue. You will get your ticket.
- Again: Limited space. This meant only selected projects on display, not enough room to chill out and discuss stuff, mostly a rush from one talk to the next one to secure a seat. We will deal with this at the new venue.
- The event itself became too predictable. Everything worked well. Things went too smoothly. We missed the opportunity to make new, exciting mistakes. As John Brunner wrote in The Shockwave Rider: “There are two kinds of fools. One says, ‘This is old, and therefore good.’ And one says, ‘This is new, and therefore better.’” We’ve had enough of the foolishness of the first kind. Let’s see some new foolishness.
- The city of Hamburg likes us. They have offered their support in many ways that we’ll reveal in the next days once everything is finalized.
- The CCH is a wonderful place. In fact, had it been located in Berlin, there would not have been a second of debate to move the Congress there. Now it’s in Hamburg, Germany’s own version of Seattle, a place with a history of interesting political events and influenced by the openness of its harbor that has seen ships from all over the world come and go. It could even welcome a ship from, say, San Francisco, if you were inclined to pull off such a stunt, although a conventional airport also exists. CCH is located directly next to the ICE train station Hamburg-Dammtor and is thus much, much more accessible that the BCC in Berlin ever was.
This being said, there is more in the pipeline that we’ll communicate when we can, i.e. when the ink on contracts has dried etc. Please be patient. But by all means, please be also enthusiastic about a great, all new Congress!