(Photo by Johana Austin)
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.
Here’s the lineup of speakers:
- Cosmo Baker, Scratch Academy
- Adam Teterus and Octavius Newman, Comicbook Junto
- Mike DiBerardinis, Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia
- Ryan Star, Hi-Res Podcast
- Rob Blackson, Temple Contemporary
- Jo Johnson, Tuesdays with Toomey
- Marisa Waxman, Deputy Revenue Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia
- Andrew Stober, University City District
- Brittany Diaz and Missy Dolaway, Covenant House
- Anne Wakabayashi, Emerge Pennsylvania
- Mjumbe Poe, City of Philadelphia
- Chris Krewson, Billy Penn
- Oscar Beisert, Preservationist
- Caitlin Martin, Association for Public Art
Save the date! Ignite Philly 19 will be @FringeArts on March 2nd! Doors will open at 6pm! We will announce ticket sales soon.
— ignitephilly (@ignitephilly) January 11, 2017
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.”-30-
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