15 things you didn’t know happened at Web Summit

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Three days isn’t a long time. Still, there’s no way of knowing everything that happened during Web Summit. We could give you a list of 500 great talks, the 250 best startups, the most famous faces or the most innovative products…

Instead, here’s a quick glance at the less-expected parts of the event, the aspects of Web Summit that make it a genuine festival of tech and not just any old tech conference.

A Pop-Up Speakeasy Bar

Deep in the heart of Food Summit in Herbert Park – Jameson, Ginger & Lime, DJs, Food & Fun – the Butcher Bar didn’t exist at 5.15pm, but by 5.30pm it was in full flow.

butcher bar

Marriage of technology and fashion

The worlds of fashion and tech came together when Jessica Lee, CEO and Founder of Polyvore, joined a panel with Chris Morton (Lyst), Meryl Job (Videdressing), and Hannah Kuchler (Financial Times) at the Marketing Summit: “The process of figuring out ‘what to wear’ is 1. Inspiration 2. Content 3. Community. Then you can socially drive your community to e-commerce. But the process of ‘discovery’ is key.”

Mashing up music and tech

The Mash Machine is a step-change in music entertainment where music becomes tangible. It doesn’t matter what age you are or if you can play an instrument, this device democratises the idea of the DJ. Using unique technology to simplify the process, it grabbed everyone’s attention at Machine Summit with beats sailing out across the exhibition hall.

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The 3 Days of Tony Hawk

Bringing a new definition to ticking all the boxes… On Tuesday he took to Bushy Park Skatepark in Dublin to show off his moves, after a cancelled visit last year. On Wednesday he took to a new type of board to test it out. On Thursday… he bought a Christmas Jumper


Game of Drones

On Day 3 we talked drones with Christian Sanz, CEO of Skycatch, while Jay Bregman, Founder of Hailo, took to Centre Stage. How will laws and regulations keep up with ever-developing technology? Will the coming years see the presence of drones in our skies become the norm? Web Summit attendees got their hands on the coolest new drone hardware around.


European Premiere of The Imitation Game

Tipped as an early Oscar favourite, The Imitation Game premiered in Europe at the Cinema stage. Living up to the hype, it featured a stellar performance from Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, and includes an incredible supporting cast such as Keira Knightley, Mark Strong and Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance.


A movie crowdfunding project kicked off

6 Days of the Rising is an upcoming movie about the historic fight for Irish freedom in 1916. The filmmakers are enlisting the masses for help in making it. It’ll be made using 100ft high green-screens to recreate 1916 Dublin and is due for release in time for the centenary celebrations.

A Pop-up Art Exhibition

Some might say tech and art don’t mix but this week during Web Summit, Saatchi Art, the world’s leading online art gallery, presented “From L.A. to Dublin”, a pop-up exhibition at Food Summit and a public art installation of epic proportions outside The Village at Simmonscourt. The exhibition showcased 50 works by some of Ireland’s most exciting emerging artists. You can view the exhibition online here.


From Art to Stage

Designed by Dublin-based artist Maser, Web Summit’s Enterprise Stage was composed of 11 interconnected cubes. It took 2 Boom lifts to install the stage, and 3 days to put it together, but the end product was well worth the wait. Much of the rest of the conference’s aesthetic was based on upcycling and ultramodern design – chipboard exhibition stands for startups and shipping containers intricately placed together for Marketing Summit. The signage had a creative, handmade edge.


Web & Wedding Summit

Startup Exhibitor Loren Stone decided no better place than Web Summit to get married to his wife – and so they did! Congratulations to both, who came as startup exhibitors and leave a married couple.

A pub crawl, a founder and an acoustic guitar

A man walks into a Night Summit bar, picks up a guitar and starts playing Oasis – that man is Drew Houston, Founder of Dropbox.

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The Guardian Sessions

Web Summit’s quaint Library Stage was the setting for a series of discussions that addressed issues surrounding privacy on the internet and whistleblowing in recent years the main talking points. It featured former spies, human rights activists, media entrepreneurs and philosophers.

Oculus Rift

In the comfort of the brand new A3 e-tron, attendees were lucky enough to get a chance to test the Oculus Rift and get a firsthand experience of the future of virtual entertainment.


100,000+ cups of Nespresso

Over the three days, Nespresso gave out a serious amount of coffee, keeping everyone buzzed. That’s not to mention the other free coffee stalls dotted everywhere across the event. All in all, everyone kept well caffeinated.

Everything you already know, but smarter

So you’ve got a smartphone. Who doesn’t? Things were way more exciting than that at Machine Summit. With talks from Jeff Hagins, CTO and Founder of SmartThings, and Tony Fadell, Founder of Nest – the man who brought us the iPod and the iPhone – we learned all about smart cars… smart homes… even smart cities.


Read: Photos, Videos & Tickets

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