Twestival – What is That?

It’s all too easy to take it for granted that people know about something. In the last day or two a few people have asked me what Twestival is. Now, some of you will all ready know about the Twitter Festival, but some won’t, so here is a little background.

It was almost two years ago that I went to the first Twestival, Harvest Twestival – Gathering with many of the people I had met via Twitter and listinging to Ben singing his (tongue in cheek) Twitter song, “you’re no-one if you’re not on twitter“.

Fast forward six months, and I found myself in the BBC’s London television studio (thank you Jaz and the team), explaining why thousands of people, may of whom had never met in real life, were gathering in towns and cities around the world at Twestival events to raise money for Charity:Water.


That event, or rather the money raised by it, resulted in clean drinking water in Africa, thanks to the ongoing work of charity:water.

Twestival Well Drilling – Day 1 from Ethiopia – charity: water from charity: water on Vimeo.

Now, it is true that the events might raise less money than some of the glitzy charity ball galas that go on, and that folks on social media give less (see Tom Watson’s CauseWired book), but the fact is that there were many people and businesses donating who hadn’t got involved in supporting charity work before. That’s got to be a good thing.

Twestival is a testimony to what a group of volunteers, co-ordinating their efforts using the web (and social media tools), can achieve. I enjoyed watching some of the images I shot spreading around the world, and meeting people I had got to know on-line, face to face. Today Twestival is an even bigger, more global affair, alternating between two events each year, Twestival Local and Twestival Global events. If you haven’t been to one before, then tonight is your chance. Go to the Twestival site to find an event near you, and go and meet some new people, have a great time and raise some money for Concern Worldwide.

If you are in the TVSMC area, you can head to Reading Twestival or Farnham Twestival or even both!

  2 comments for “Twestival – What is That?

  1. March 25, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Personally, the biggest problem I have had is finding out what happens at Twistival.

    I know it is a “thing” that “happens” and is “terribly good for charity”, but beyond that it has been annoyingly difficult to find a website that explains what actually happens at the events.

    I gather from asking lots of people that it lots of people standing around and chatting to each other with some “performances” by people or groups. Although I might be totally wrong about that!

    To be fair, from trawling through the twistival website blog posts, I can get a vague idea of what to expect – but it would have been much better to have a simple summary as not everyone is going to read dozens of blog posts to figure out what is happening.

    In a way, it reminds me of the websites created by unconvention organisers who tend to presume everyone knows what they are and therefore a “dummies guide” for newbies is not needed.

    That then puts off newbies from attending their first event.

    • Benjamin Ellis
      March 25, 2010 at 11:28 am

      Each event has it’s own format, but your description isn’t far off :) – it’s just a bit more fun than that makes it sound!

      I’ll see if I can shoot some video tonight that gives more of an idea, for next time…

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