MAKER FAIRE 2014 –YEAR OF THE MAKER

By Nolan Apostle
Producer, Contributing Editor and Photographer
Event City Premier Magazine

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What is the Maker Faire?  At the Event City Creative several of us have been big Maker fans over the years and this reporter has attended almost every year since its inception in 2006. Although I’ve missed a couple of years due to personal reasons, my conviction and dedication to the Maker Faire – DIY (Do It Yourself) genre, and the immense amount of creative talent, positive attitudes and eclectic inventive ideas on display at this event – well simply put, as the Rolling Stones would say, “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away”. I would have to be laid out on a gurney to miss another Faire again.

To give you a fair definition of this eclectic festival of talent is a most difficult task, but one that we sure had fun defining. After talking with hundreds of Makers and attendees over the years we have come up with what we believe defines the Bay Area Maker Faire:

“A Creative’s Disneyland rolled into a

Futuristic Music Festival of the Arts & Sciences.”

Well that’s one definition of Maker Faire. The festival itself defines it as “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new”, whatever you might decide it is, Maker Faire is certainly a different type of edutaining, an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, tinkerers, inventors, crafters, educators, engineers, electronic wizards, science clubs, hobbyists, authors, artists, students, and even an interesting collection of commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come together at a Maker Faire event to show-off their wares, whatever they may be and to possibly help you learn more by sharing what they have learned.

Maker Faire launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 as a tiny display of DIY enthusiasts demonstrating their ideas, inventions and creative projects. The interest and excitement of this genre, if you can even label it a “genre”, has done nothing but spiral into an incredible adventure where one can see and most importantly, experience, the entire Maker community first hand in all its glory. Last year at the San Mateo (San Francisco Bay Area) Maker Faire the crowds were spectacular and truly as gigantic as some of the displays at the Faire itself – over 120,000 attendees showed up over the weekend to take in this grand event – and most of those we spoke with said they would be returning without a doubt as long as the Maker Faire existed!

Wow! Can one believe the incredible growth of an event that offers such a wide array of experiences with a general ticket price ranging from $17.50 to $60.00? The popularity of the Maker Faire expanded greatly over a short time and soon took over the entire San Mateo Events Center within a few years. Now almost a decade into the sprawling event its legions of aspiring makers, educators, moms, dads, sons and daughters and many others come to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills at the event. A record 195,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York in 2013, with 44% of attendees first timers at the Bay Area event, and 61% in New York. If you plan on going to the Faire here is some information to help you get there and around the San Mateo area. The Maker Faire is certainly family friendly – 50% attend the event with their children and many come from all parts of Northern California. Just last year alone there were 98 independently-produced Mini and Featured Maker Faires taking place around the world, including Tokyo, Rome, Santiago, and Oslo.

This years Maker Faire is expected to be the largest Maker Faire to date! Could it reach 150,000? Why is it so popular? Could it be that the event is primarily designed to be forward-looking showcase for Makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But the Faire is not just for those involved in technical fields; Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.

The Maker Faire is an exciting and extremely entertaining event filled with an extremely diverse audience, and a fascinating, fun, curious mix of people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It’s a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with an audience that can be just as eclectic as the makers themselves. All of this could be the result of the popularity explosion of this event, and as it continues to grow it will continue to present a tremendous opportunity for everyone who visits the Maker Faire; opportunities to learn, to grow, to walk away feeling real good about yourself, about your abilities to go out there and to do “something” regardless of what it might be. Some say it is an event that can easily become one’s obsession, as far fetched as that might be, it is an event that really does allow you to feel real good about yourself. Once you attend a Maker Faire one thing is certain, whether you become addicted to the eclectic fun and creative and inspirational atmosphere or not, you will come to appreciate the 950+ Makers displaying their projects and not only walk away learning something new, but truly, you will feel much better about yourself and that alone will urge you to return the following year for a whole different, but certainly just as positive, experience!

Maker Faire is brought to you by Maker Media.  Maker Media publishes MAKE magazine, produces Maker Faire, and offers DIY electronics, tools, kits, and books through its online and pop-up Maker Shed stores.

The Maker Faire Official App is available for iPhone and Android devices. You can download it here.
Event City is the new online Community for the Events & Creative Industries supporting the talent and projects within the Special Events, Hospitality, Music, Entertainment, Film and all Inventors and the full spectrum of the Arts. The Event City Creative Magazine is the online publication supporting Event City and the Event City Network. Event City launches in Q4 2014.

Here is a Maker Faire Sneak Peak for you:

Makerspace on Wheels: Building the Hackmobile

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http://makezine.com/2014/05/06/makerspace-on-wheels-building-the-hackmobile/

The “Ultimate Maker Vehicle” is revealed at Maker Faire on Saturday, May 17th, 2014

 

The Hypnotic Grooves of the Sand Noise Device

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This is what you get when you combine a box of sand with a Microsoft Kinect, an overhead projector, and a series of illuminated pucks?

 

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Test Your Skills at the Game of Drones Aerial Sports Competition

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The Game of Drones is announcing the launch of our their official drone sports competition at the San Francisco Bay Area Maker Faire, on May 17 and 18 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. Check it out, this is pure, unadulaterated, MAKER FUN!!

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Game of Drones is excited to announce the launch of our official drone sports competition at Maker Faire Bay Area, taking place on May 17 and 18 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. The Aerial Action Sports League (AASL) aims to be the premiere drone sports competition, showcasing pilot skills, engineering prowess, and technology innovation through aerial combat, flying obstacle courses, and other fun drone games.

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More to come on the Event City Creative Magazine.

Music Review: ‘So to These Blue Notes, I Say Goodbye.’

Country Blues Revue Scores Big With Blues For Too Long

By David McGee
Event City Premier Magazine
Writer/Reporter

Blues listeners will find themselves drawn to a newly released recording Blues For Too Long by Country Blues Revue for a number of reasons. We hear in Blues For Too Long the intimacy of blues: its hard, angry feelings, its jubilations, its regrets, its busting out laughing over nothing particular . . . the whole gamut of emotions that makes the blues a long-beloved musical form.

For instance, there’s the tight shuffle rhythm of “Hey Baby,” written and sung by co-leader Michael Handler, and reminiscent of Stax Records in its hey-day. Yet, Country Blues Revue, from Santa Fe, NM, pays homage to a primal blues style, the great incubator of the modern blues styles of Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, and B. B. King that followed country blues.

The recording includes covers of M. Travis’s “Cannonball Rag” and W. Brown’s “Mississippi Blues.” There’s a country feel to “Love Flows Round My Heart” by Marc Malin, Country Blues Revue’s other lead vocalist and guitarist. Malin contributes six original songs, one of which is co-written. His “Jasmine and Gold” evokes country blues’s classic images: “Way down on the Mississippi where the air is thick and slow. Well, I can hear my baby calling, but I just can’t seem to go . . . she goes to my head just like cherry wine.” Malin and Handler set up the song with several instrumental choruses before the vocals start; this was a wise choice. The introduction emotes a nice-and-easy feeling that’s unhurried, just like all good country blues does.

Handler and Malin began Country Blues Revue as a duo and have added support musicians who are quiet capable of setting up the grove for the two vocalists. In addition to singing and performing guitar, Handler plays blues harmonica, his choice instrument since the mid-1960’s. There are obvious influences from country blues forefathers who come to mind listening to Blues For Too Long: Robert Johnson, Reverend Gary Davis, Son House, and Blind Blake. “Cannon Ball Rag” features Malin’s adept finger picking and a walking bass line on guitar that blends nicely with sideman Vin Kelly’s mandolin work. Blues For Too Long excels because the musicians are all willing to share the limelight. It’s clearly a group effort, and the ensemble supports each member as they take chances in their solos. An interesting arrangement of “Love is Blind,” another Malin composition, presents a seldom heard harmonic device in the blues. The lyric laments, “Love is blind, and that’s a damn good thing . . . . If love wasn’t blind, I couldn’t see a thing.” In three-part harmony, the band’s vocalists sing “I . . . I . . . I” adding an intriguing tension to the song which the quip line pays off with: “I couldn’t see a thing.” Here, Country Blues Revue milks a blues technique of tension and release to the hilt and delivers drama the master country blues musicians from long ago created so well.

The joyful vibe of “Funny Feeling” features Cozy Ralston drumming a Charleston rhythm along with Larry Diaz’s bass setting up the groove on Handler’s song. What’s the inspiration for “Funny Feeling”? “Man, I think I was on a long drive, and I pulled over to write this song at a diner,” Handler recalls. “It is not based on fact as far as I know.” Again, winning backing vocals echo Handler who’s singing lead. Here, the band really stretches out. Throughout Blues For Too Long, Handler has matured as a blues harp soloist compared to his previous recordings. He’s tighter on the groove and matches the other soloists and vocalists superbly in the emotions they evoke. “My momma got a chicken,” Michael intones in a whimsical image, “she thought it was a duck, she put it in the oven with the legs all straight up. I know she’s got that funny feeling.”

Malin’s title song “Blues For Too Long” starts off with a reminiscent feeling accompanied by Handler’s plaintive and wistful harmonica playing. The song refers to the harmonic structures of Willie Nelson’s “Nightlife” and Ray Charles’s “Hard Times.” “When you first . . . said goodbye, I was alone, I couldn’t understand why. Even in my heart, I knew was wrong . . . . I’ve had those blues for too long.” Kudos goes to vocalist Stephanie Hatfield who makes a cameo appearance with some spirited vocals.

What’s a blues recording without a good traveling song? Country Blues Revue delivers one with “Goin’ to Taos,” another Handler original where the band reveals its harder, rocking side. It’s “mostly a true story,” Handler says, “A date that went bad, then driving back to Santa Fe from Taos, and a story about a storm on the high road . . . . Folks love it, a real dance tune.” A blues tune inspired by jilted romance? Let’s alert the media on the big news!

Now baby, don’t turn that love lamp low . . . . Cause I’m heading down the highway baby, to Taos, New Mexico.” “Taos” features Malin’s tasty country guitar licks. A New Yorker, Malin spent many years in the Boston and Cambridge, MA, areas teaching country and finger-picking guitar. He’s played the blues for 35 years and is the lead guitar player for Santa Fe’s the Rattlerz in addition to the County Blues Revue. A “Taos” highlight is the versatile Vin Kelly’s lyrical fiddle playing. In the stop-time chorus, Handler shouts: “There’s thunder on the left of me, lightning on the right, you know I’ll be lucky if I make it home tonight!” It makes you want to hit the road too, jack! Handler seems fond of Taos, Santa Fe, and the Southwest he now calls home, as opposed to his former city Oakland, CA, with its hard street life: “violence, rape, and murder everywhere,” he laments in “Taos.” Since relocating to Santa Fe about five years ago, Handler has played with Michael Hearne, the HooDoos, Joe West, The Three Faces of Jazz, Felix y Los Gatos, Magdalena’s Dream and the Rattlerz, and has recorded with Bill Hearne and Bethleham and Eggs.

Handler points out, “The ‘live feel’ we were after comes courtesy of a great engineer we had in Bill Palmer at Santa Fe’s Frogville Records, and his wife Stephanie Hatfield sang great and added SOOOO much to the title track ‘Blues For Too Long.’ I can’t thank them enough.” The live feel gives Blues For Too Long an immediacy that’s sustained throughout and allows for enjoyment of repeated listening. Listen for a surprise, as the band breaks into a jubilant cadence breaking from the slower nostalgic groove of “Blues For Too Long.”

Asked why he plays the blues, “How can I not?” Handler responds. “It’s all about inspiration that’s either there or it’s not . . . . Anyway, I learned finger-picking guitar years ago. Jerry Garcia was one of my teachers, so why let it go to waste?”

And what of Handler’s affinity to country blues? “It’s what I was listening to in the early- to mid-1960’s along with Texas style, Mississippi delta, Chicago style, so that’s what I learned to play. I was inspired by Lightin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Mance Lipscomb, then Dave van Ronk, Tom Rush, Bob Dylan, folk festivals and hootenannys, Monterey Folk Festival, Monterey Pop Festival . . . . I had a lot of influences.” He adds, “I’m glad to be in a band that respects that tradition.”

Blues For Too Long’s title songrejoices: “So to these blue notes, I say goodbye. You had me down, well you sure didn’t have me tied. I’m going to leave here with a happy song, yeah ‘cause I’ve had those blues for too long.” No doubt, listeners will find in Blues For Too Long the happy songs they’re longing for.

Planner’s Feast at CES & MacWorld

Where to go and What to do!?

By Nolan Apostle, Editor in Chief and
Danny Hewlett, Photographer & Camera Crew

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

As an Events and Creative Industry’s professional you will learn about the products and services we will find at, CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas and MacWorld Expo in San Francisco? Event City will focus on bringing you the latest in new technology and “outside the box” ideas for doing what you do.

We bring you solutions for problems that exist and those that may exist in the future. We help you prevent headaches as well through learning about key products and services to help you in your business. Not only will you see new products now, but our coverage will continue well past the actual Events themselves.

You could be an Event or Meeting Planner, Corporate Manager, Hospitality & Events specialist, Travel, Art, Entertainment, Music Food & Beverage or Film industry professional and we will constantly bring you the latest and greatest to help you succeed!

So now that you know our secret, here’s a few links for you to visit the Event City Magazine coverage of these two great shows.  Event City Creative Magazine and the Meeting City Online BlogaZine.

Events, Travel and Good Ol’ Gasoline

It wasn’t just a little less than a year ago that gas was about half of what it is now (I personally have witnessed the $5.00 per gallon ++ sign on several gasoline stations – mostly Shell’s), and we were pretty upset about that. “How could gas get so high” we would ask ourselves. But now, wow, over $5.00 per gallon, are we INSANE OR WHAT??

How has this effected Events? How has this effected how people travel back and forth to events? How will this effect how we go on vacations this summer to visit Aunt May in the Midwest, or if we still will take our planned excursion to the Big Apple? How about those of you that plan events, will this hurt your bottomline? Will you plan events in an entirely different way from here on out?

No need to answer these questions. I just want to be clear on one thing; People will continue to plan events and travel, just not the same way they use to. Are the oil companies planning on this? HECK NO!

New Technology Series Announced-Beginners Java Programming TechTalk

Nolan Apostle – Talent, Producer and Contributing Editor
Event City Live, Event City TV & Event City Creative

PROGRAMMING In JAVA – How To’s

This week is the Java One Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It is of course not a Hospitality Expo about the Coffee industry, but more about the technology created by SUN Microsystems which is in many different applications and just about everywhere on the web. Oh yeah, and we’ll throw in a little bit of caffeine just for some kicks!

At Event City our Publishers, Editors, Managers, the “powers that be”, have decided to begin a series of articles and reports for all that is Technology, and how it spans into YOUR industry. Continue reading

Fire Dancer@Sony Online Entertainment Party – CES 2008

HOT HOT HOT!!! —OUCH—

Sony’s fine firedancer at the Consumer Electronic Show 2008, Las Vegas. Please visit our Beta Test of the EVENT CITY TV Station.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and ideas for every aspect of our project. After all, we are building this for YOU, the Events & Creative Industry professional.

Here’s our Fire Dancer….

Event City Industry’s Upcoming Events

By Nolan Apostle, Associate Editor & Producer

Most of you are well aware of our recent trek to the big Diamond in the Desert (What I call Las Vegas – long story about that one)? I know, many of you have asked about our Kevin Costner & Mary J. Blige Photos and Peter Frampton Video – These were awesome shows and you will soon get the exclusive on Event City Live! Plus many interviews – including an exclusive with the creators of the new Sony Online Entertainment game, (Which is a Hot, Hott, Hottt, Hotttt GAME)!

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Pirates of the Burning Sea
Check out these screen shots of Pirates of the Burning Sea as well as more to come including the Exclusive Interview with the Creative Team who developed this awesome game.

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Pirates Screen Shots show the incredible graphics of this new Sony Online Entertainment Game.

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Swashbuckling Duels & Cinematic Animations make this a winner for Sony – Launching January 22, 2008

Did I mention this was a Hot Game?!

Ok, so we had a great (and an extremely busy) run at CES 2008 – the Consumer Electronics Show and then flew back to San Francisco (in our wonderful ECTV SUV) to make it just in time for MacWorld Expo. A tiny show compared to CES (the Mammoth of all Tradeshows) but what a great collection of Exhibitors showcasing some wonderful products both for Mac and Windows computers. Of course we will have much more for you to see on the CES & MacWorld fronts, but let me give you a glimpse of what you can expect from your Friends at the Event City Network.

My crew is telling me not to let the cat out of the bag quite yet (they want to have all the fun with these great upcoming industry events), so I will let them have at it. OK, but for now I’ll give you a couple of hints –

It’s a Photo-imagers Disneyland come the end of this month. Then sometime soon after you will have the opportunity to join us at this next show which is the CES for the Hospitality industry; one of the Event City Industries biggest and most illustrious Tradeshows ever! And finally – It’s Our party and we’ll cry if we want too, but just don’t miss all the great Halloween and Event industry products at this outrageous tradeshow. Industry insiders and surely many outsiders say of all tradeshows for all industries you will not have nearly as much fun as you will have at this upcoming Halloween and Party show in March 2008!

Keep your finger on the mouse and point it here for many updates on these “Must Do” tradeshows for the Events & Creative Industries(tm). We will keep you posted with all the details on these great shows.

Please don’t forget to comment with your questions, ideas and overall feedback on what we are doing for the Events & Creative Industries.