BarnCamp 2011

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** BarnCamp is back in 2013 with a Vengence, go find out about BarnCamp 2013 **[edit]

A Barn Camp in the beautiful Wye Valley from Thursday 9th till Sunday 12th June 2011.[edit]

Brought to you by HacktionLab, BarnCamp 2011 featured three days of hack spaces and workshops on topics ranging from keeping yourself secure on the web to foraging for food and tying knots, to citizen journalism to using free software for activism, up to four nights of camping, open space sessions, evening entertainment, great food on a beautiful farm co-op high in the Wye Valley. See what a barncamper from New Internationalist had to say about it. and check out this set of photos from BarnCamp 2011

BarnCamp 2011 Documentation[edit]

If you are generally interested in HacktionLab and BarnCamp, then please consider lurking on our Mailing List.

What is a Barn Camp?[edit]

Well we just made it up 'cos it sounds cool. But the name has its roots in the Bar Camp concept. What is a Bar Camp? Well, if you visit, it'll tell you that it:

  • is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment.
  • is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants who are the main actors of the event.

So, it's the same - only it's happening in a Barn - yes a real Barn - on a farm. No shit. Well apart from ... you know. Anyway the focus is on a healthy take on technology, both new media and alternative, with a mix of free software, alternative use of technology for activism and general fun in the sun workshops so it probably won't be that intense, sorry!

BarnCamp is taking place over three days, the 10th, 11th and 12th June 2011 at Highbury Farm in the Wye Valley.

Cost and paying for BarnCamp[edit]

This year we have fixed the cost at £30 for advanced bookings for the whole weekend, including all workshops, up to four night's camping and nine meals. This rises to £35 if you decide to pay on the gate. The amount helps to cover a few additional costs for transport of equipment (and tolls for Severn Bridge) and planning. The last two years we were able to be able to make an additional donation to Highbury Farm from the donations received and we hope to do so again. Left over funds are kept in the HacktionLab pot for running future events, workshops and publications.

If that sounds good then please book your place now by visiting and if you have any questions, please get in touch with one of the organisers by emailing barncamp2011 [at] hacktivista [dot] net. This page has more information about ways to pay for BarnCamp.

Past BarnCamps[edit]

2011 will mark the fourth BarnCamp convergence at Highbury Farm in the Wye Valley (Wales) where people interested and/or working in the areas of alternative media, renewable energy, on-line video distribution, free software and any other form of activism that utilises technology came together to share and discuss. Based on feedback from the previous years, we are we are deliberately continuing to keep this year's camp less geeky than in 2008 and 2009 by having a more open range of workshops and open space sessions, but we are also inserting an extra day to allow for more, longer workshops - some of which might be geeky! Hopefully everyone's satisfied! :P Check-out what we got up to in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The original idea for the gathering came from a number of years of experience gained by activists working for organisations such as Indymedia and includes specific experience from involvement in the Horizone Eco-Village in Stirling (2005), the Camps for Climate Action in Drax (2006), Heathrow (2007) and Kingsnorth (2008) as well as the No Borders camp at Gatwick (2007).

Getting there[edit]

You can find out more about where BarnCamp 2011 is being held and how to get there by visiting this page

There's a separate page for signing up for lift-sharing as well.


Kids are most welcome to come to BarnCamp and you do not need to pay for them to attend, but we would welcome a donation towards food. We are arranging crèche facilities so that parents can attend workshops. So that we know what we need, please let us know if you are are bringing kids with you, by emailing us at barncamp2011 [at] hacktivista [dot] net.


Since Highbury Farm is a working farm, unfortunately we have to ask that you not to bring animals on site. Thank you.


Evening entertainment will include fireside acoustic sessions, live music, some open mic poetry and music, film screenings and refreshments.

Food & drink[edit]

There will be food and drink provided during BarnCamp. Highbury Farm is a pretty much a vegan farm and the food will be primarily vegan with some additions, such as milk, and eggs as an option for breakfast. Highbury Farm requests that meat is not brought or cooked on site; so please don't, thanks. There is an excellent pub (the Boat Inn) across the valley within walking distance that serves fine ales and ciders and also serves meat dishes for those who cannot do without.

Tea, coffee and infusions will be provided within the cost of attending. We hope also to have local organic (we will attempt to get vegan) ale and cyder available at a very reasonable price, and also fruit juices.


BarnCamp 2011 Programme[edit]

The workshops will be dynamically scheduled in over the weekend, and will include open space barncamp sessions. The current proposals are: How to run your own activist radio station, How and Why to set up an anonymous blogging network, Distributed Social Networking With Diaspora, Airtime - (Campcaster revisited) an online Radio Scheduler, Top tips for citizen journalists, Fractals and the HTML 5 <canvas> element, Email accounts & lists - non-corporate options, TAILS, Bitcoin, Ecological and Social Costs of IT Hardware, Using Thunderbird to send & receive encrypted emails, Laser Tag, OpenConsent, Just Living, Foodsoft, Wild Food Walk, Get Knotted

More in-depth details and notes about the current proposed workshops can be found at BarnCamp 2011 Workshop Proposals page.

Wednesday 8th June[edit]

  • Forward crew arrive on site and begin to set site up.

Thursday 9th June[edit]

  • Continue setting site up.
  • Arrive in the afternoon/evening (see getting to BarnCamp) for evening meal and campfire gathering and plenary. The bar will also be open.

Friday 10th June[edit]

  • Hack Sessions: these are proposed and organised sessions for those wishing to get together and have a good old (tech or non-tech) hack on a project during the whole of Friday, and also for the rest of the event. The list of current proposals for Hack Sessions is here. Current planned sessions are:
    • On-line Community Radio hack session - proposed by Catalyst Radio
    • Running a community news aggregation site on Drupal
  • Evening film screenings and more time around the camp fire.

Saturday 11th June[edit]

  • 09-10 breakfast
  • 10-11 morning plenary
  • 11-13 workshops
  • 13-15 lunch
  • 15-18 workshops
  • 19-20 dinner
  • 20-02 party - open mic, DJs, films, camp fire, shananigans

Sunday 12th June[edit]

  • 11-12 breakfast
  • 12-14 workshops
  • 14-15 plenary
  • 15- lunch and goodbyes

Monday 13th June[edit]

  • Infrastructure crew: site take-down and leave (by around lunchtime)

Getting involved in logistics & planning[edit]

We have a separate page for planning and organising BarnCamp 2011 and organising what needs to be done and who is doing what. If you want to get involved in the grindstone of what's going on this year, please join our Mailing List.