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 “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.

Get tickets

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.”

Companies: Ignite Philly / Johnny Brenda’s / FringeArts

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

Our services Preferred partners The journalism fund

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Here’s how the global tech outage impacted many of the vital systems across the mid-Atlantic region

Inside Philly City Hall’s new $6.85M lighting system, with hundreds of LEDs that dance with color

Why Benefits Data Trust fell apart despite millions from philanthropy and government contracts

Ready to start marketing your startup? 3 crucial questions all founders should ask

Technically Media