Why the next Ignite Philly is happening at FringeArts - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 21, 2017 9:28 am

Why the next Ignite Philly is happening at FringeArts

The 19th installment of the famed lightning talk event is going down at FringeArts. Here's why.

This is where IgnitePhilly is happening on March 2.

(Photo by Johana Austin)

As is customary, curator Geoff DiMasi will take the mic at Ignite Philly 19 to kick off the city’s flagship lightning talk event on March 2.

However, for regular attendees, there will be one major change: For the first time in several years, the venue for the will not be at jam-packed Johnny Brenda’s but at the FringeArts theater, where close to 300 people are expected to gather to hear passionate 5-minute presentations from a lineup of 15 speakers.

“We had no interest in moving locations because Johnny Brenda’s has been really good to us and a great venue for Ignite,” DiMasi told Technical.ly. “It was easy to keep it going there, but people kept asking for a bigger, different venue.”

It was only after the event’s 17th iteration when FringeArts President Nick Stuccio pitched DiMasi via email on hosting the event at the Old City spot — better known for its annual Fringe Festival — that the change made sense.

“It was the first time that a different location sounded tempting,” DiMasi recounts.

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Here’s the lineup of speakers:

Mind you: There’s no animosity between the organizers and JB’s management. The venue change was actually delayed in order for Ignite 18 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Fishtown canteen.

“Sometimes you have to try something different to see what you learn,” said DiMasi. “It’s in no way saying we don’t love it at Johnny Brenda’s. It’s a little scary to not have it there but they completely get it and look forward”

While it remains to be seen if or how the venue change will affect the event’s vibe, one thing DiMasi says might be missed: That typical taproom loudness.

“It will be interesting if the different space will mean there will be more focus on the talks or if we’ll actually miss some of that raucous.”

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