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March 19, 2008

Maker Faire Returns! Booming DIY Fest Expects Record Crowd

Last year, over 45,000 people from all across the country (and beyond) came to the Bay Area to celebrate the world’s premier event for DIY (Do It Yourself) creativity—Maker Faire! This year, May 3rd and 4th, the event returns to the San Mateo Fairgrounds once again, for what will be the biggest and wildest Maker Faire yet! Put together by Make Magazine and Craft Magazine, Maker Faire celebrates things people create themselves—from electronic gizmos that would make James Bond jealous, to “slow made” foods and homemade clothes that would make Martha Stewart swoon. The event is a non-stop “wow-fest” where surprises and inspiration are as ubiquitous as the festival air.

“At the surface, Maker Faire is a fun event for people of all ages,” explained Event Director Sherry Huss. “But more than just a weekend of creative entertainment, we want people to leave feeling inspired—that they too can create things, express themselves, and engage the world around them. Our goal is to resuscitate the spirit of American innovation!”

Named “Best Series of Events” at the 2008 FOLIO FAME Awards--beating out the Smithsonian and Southern Living--the 2008 Bay Area Maker Faire will put a special emphasis on “Green” living. There will be a huge exhibit featuring Farm Aid’s Homegrown Village, a local farmer’s market, Swap-O-Rama-Rama’s giant used clothing swap, DIY workshops and fashion show, Bazaar Bizarre’s crafts fair, a live Prius plug-in car conversion from Bay Area’s Calcars.org, and much, much more.

Along with the hundreds of Makers displaying their unique creations, specific event highlights from this year’s Maker Faire include:

  • Greg Leyh’s 19 foot Tesla Towers – live performances daily
  • Wedding Bells! “The Neverwas Haul,” a self-propelled 3-story Victorian House, will host the first-ever Maker Faire wedding
  • Saturday Evening Fire Spectacular (extended hours, 6pm – 10pm) – Power Tool Drag Races, Steampunk Spectacular, musical performances, The Flaming Lotus Girls, and more
  • Electronic Music Fest – an orchestra of musical toys, LIVE bands playing instruments you’ve never seen before, The Tarantulas Jug Band and much more
  • The Life-Sized Mousetrap – a giant re-creation of the popular board game
  • LUNAR (Livermore Unit of the National Association of Rocketry) will help parents and children build and launch Estes-Cox rockets
  • The Electric Giraffe – our huge, 17 foot tall, 1-ton walking robot giraffe will once again patrol the grounds of Maker Faire
  • The founders of ROBOEXOTICA present the “MindReadingMartiniMaker” and other award-winning cocktail-robots
  • Educational Robots – robotic demonstrations for two youth robotic competitions: FIRST LEGO League [5th through 8th grades] and FIRST Tech Challenge [7th through 12th grades]
  • “Like Father Like Son” – a local father/son team will be converting a 1967 Honda S90 motorcycle into a state-of-the-art plug-in vehicle
  • “ArtGolf” – the 3-hole artgolf course makes its Bay Area Maker Faire debut. Fore!
  • The Village Blacksmith – new to this year’s Faire
  • Diet Coke & Mentos – Las Vegas’ famed Bellagio can’t match this DIY display – shows both days
  • The Institute of the Future Pavilion – what will Maker Faire look like in 2018?
  • Experimental Aviation – The Oshkosh Experimental Aviation Association (eaa.org) will be taking Maker Faire aviation to new heights
  • The Wikimedia Foundation: Brush up on your wiki syntax and pick up some new tactics for sharing your maker knowledge on Wikipedia
  • Cyclecide Pedal Powered Bicycle Rodeo

Many more headlining activities to be added in the weeks ahead…

Preliminary event sponsors include Microsoft, Adobe, Chronicle Books, Epilog Laser, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Lion Brand Yarn, Plenty, Sakura, ShopBot Tools, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Singer, SparkFun Electronics, Sun and Walt Disney Imagineering.

“This is going to be the biggest and best Maker Faire yet,” said Dale Dougherty, editor and publisher of Make Magazine. “If you want to see the future of American innovation, this is the place to be.”

The Details:

  • When: Saturday, May 3, 2008 (10am – 10pm)
    Sunday, May 4, 2008 (11am – 6pm)
  • Where: The San Mateo County Event Center and Fairgrounds
    2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA
  • Admission: Adults: $25/$20 in advance; Students (13-21): $15/$10 in advance; Youth (4-12): $10/$5 in advance; and children under 4 are free

For the very latest information and updates, please visit: www.makerfaire.com

For press information and registration please contact Mark Ballard at 212-255-8455 or Mark@rosengrouppr.com.


About Maker Faire:
Maker Faire is the premier event for grassroots American innovation. The event started in San Mateo, California in 2006 and expanded to Austin, Texas in 2007. Held annually in each of these locations, the event may expand elsewhere in the future. Maker Faire is supported by Make Magazine and Craft Magazine and O’Reilly Media the premier information source for leading-edge computer technologies. The company's books, conferences, and web sites bring to light the knowledge of technology innovators.

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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