Last year I was lucky enough to attend the life changing Do Lectures, an inspiring festival of ideas, held in giant a teepee in Wales and featuring a presenter roster to die for: Owner of Moshi Monsters? Check. Head of strategy for BBC Digital Service? Check. Founder of Vimeo? Check. You get the idea. Stupidly, I blagged my way on-stage to spread the gospel of streaming ether video remixes. A year on they invited me back to remix the presentations into a nightly rehash, a daunting feat I tried not to focus on.
The Do was a little different this year, and featured workshops to develop products and businesses. A tall call I reckoned at the start, although with hindsight products like Doobox and Tentoring are an impressive demonstration of the group smarts. This left slightly less time for presentations, with many being highly structured around business strategies: not the richest remix material. Still, there were plenty of barnstorming speeches to add to the mix. I particularly enjoyed Alex Tutty on copyright, Mark Bolton on everything, Damon Collins on fucking focus and Michael Action Smith’s “Make beautiful mistakes” “Ask for forgiveness, not permission” and “Say yes to parties” the perfect bookends to a typical live set!
Unfortunately the first nights attempted performance was an epic #fail, with all the elements crapping out on me: first I couldn’t play the days presentations, then the internet died and finally the projector gave out. Thankfully, Friday was an entirely different kettle of fish, which saw me setting up inside my van and projecting onto a giant screen hung in the trees next to the pub. I kicked off with a number I’d been saving for the occasion…
I followed up with all manner of random stuff, most memorably, Cassetteboy’s take on the Dragons Den hashed with the Beatles ‘You never give me your money’. Other than a bit of rain dampening down the outdoor audience, it was a proper winner.
Saturday night was the first time I’ve had to wait for an actual giant to clear the space before playing, one of those unexpected Do experiences that make it so special. I was slotted in between the giant and the warmup DJ for Wales best (only?) surf rock band. This time we didn’t get a sluiced down by the rain, and thankfully the internet connection held out until the next DJ was ready to kick off. I would have made the most of the proximity to the pub, had I not had to drive the van back up the hill to my spot for the night.
The organisers were most hospitable and evidently appreciated my small contribution, as they gave me a special card with my name on that granted me free beer, as well as sharing a few kind words after the event. I also overheard one confused Do-er heading back to their tent early on Saturday morning saying “That was the trippy-est thing I’ve ever seen.” Whilst I’d venture their psychedelic experience must have been rather limited, it was music to my ears none-the-less.
I’m sure many others will sum up the intoxicating mix of food, company, fresh air and fresher ideas that constitute the Do much better than me. I was just absolutely delighted to play a small part in such an amazing happening.
I need to say a big thank you to Richard King for getting it, James for his outstanding projection screen solutions, Chris the awesome sound guy with the endless supply of cables, everyone who cooked, Kev the dude, Sean, Steve, Kate & Colin for the superb footage, Jon for popping my Mac cherry and everyone there for their amazing energy. It was a life affirming pleasure.