Bristol Wikimania Bid

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The Wikimedian community

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Wikimedia UK's success in achieving charitable status at the start of November, 2011, its appointment of a CEO, and the opening of its first UK office a week or so later, is evidence that the chapter is entering a new phase that means it is likely to soon become one of the most influential of the 38 [1] recognised chapters that are working hard to promote the excellent work of the wider Wikimedia community. The work of the chapter in providing a point of contact capable of meeting local needs for the volunteer community and potential partners has already borne fruit with an increasing number of productive collaborations with cultural institutions across the UK and offers the promise of more to come in 2012.

In 2011, these have included supporting events at the British Museum and the British Library in London, training sessions for organisations seeking to learn how to share content with the community; the Medical Research Council, Institute of Physics, Cancer Research and others. More recently it has led to innovative work with QRPedia, where Wikipedia volunteers around the world have created multi-lingual pages about the contents of Derby Museum in order to support the process of QR coding the exhibits and linking visitors back to multi-lingual Wikipedia pages through their smartphones (Wikipedia:GLAM/Derby/Multilingual Challenge) [2]. There has also been some excellent work in reaching out to female Wikipedians through the Girl Geeks Network in Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool and Warwick. This work is likely to be replicated across the country as more volunteers become aware of the work done to date.

Opportunities for outreach work are now beginning all across the UK and engaging the community in a conversation about a possible Wikimani Bid for 2013 is a wonderful way of energising everyone and getting them involved at all levels internationally, nationally, regionally or locally. If the UK does become the centre for a Wikimania in 2013, the discussion now, and the event itself, should become a platform for greater involvement. A bridge to reach out to the wider non-Wikipedian community to help them better understand our goals and values. An opportunity to inspire the next generation of volunteers to become actively involved in community supported activities. And, most importantly, the biggest and the best Wikimania ever. celebrating the astonishing achievements of the community in what is likely to become the fastest growing Wikimedia chapter in the world in the next few years.

Hopefully, when considering the arguments outlined on this page, Bristol is the place to make this happen and would earn your support. Key points in its favour are: there are good strong links with virtually all of the organisations or institutions listed on this page, there are many groups that have already sponsored Wikimedia UK events in Bristol and have said that they would do so again (reducing costs). Many of the institutions would take some of the onerous workload off the backs of volunteers, donating 'time' and 'effort' and 'facilities' for little cost in order to benefit from the privilege of having one of the best events in the world in their city. They'd also be a commitment to secure blocked out favourable accommodation rates at the University a year in advance and to secure deals for block booked flights through operators that run transport connections out of Bristol (EasyJet and KLM)and to mainland Europe and the rest of the world. Bristol has already run events on a scale comparable with Wikimania in 2011 and ensured that they were mostly self-financing. That level of commitment from across a city is a key advantage in terms of local community involvement and support as the city will take Wikimania to its heart if it is selected to host the event in 2013

A city with a track record of support to our movement

Wikimedia Annual Fund Raising Conference May 10

In relation to Bristol's candidacy, the city played host to the May 2010 Wikimedia Fund Raising Conference, (2010 Fundraising Summit) sponsored by HP Labs and the local city council "Bristol plays host to Wikipedians gathering" - Bristol 24/7, 7 May 2010.

Wikipedia 10

Jimmy Wales Bristol University Wikipedia 10

Last January the University of Bristol, hosted Jimmy Wales' only public lecture about Wikipedia's 10th birthday celebrations which were attended by 750 people, with the event streamed live to 3,500 worldwide. All for free by Bristol City Council. the Jimmy Wales talk in Bristol's Victoria Rooms. Other sponsors of this event included Bristol Festival of Ideas, who helped publicise the event and ensure its success for free, HP Labs who met the costs of the University for the day, Bristol City Council [3] , the Watershed, who donated rooms and staff time for the 20+ volunteers that Twittered and blogged about the day and BBC Bristol ( which recorded the event professionally for free and has released the video under a public domain licence as part of the agreement. Jimmy Wales also hosted a morning assembly at the Bristol Cathedral Choir school during the morning of the same day as he spoke at the University. [4]The staff at the school, the students and the Cathedral team were enthusiastic supporters of the day and it is not unreasonable to expect that they will be so again were a Wikimania bid for the city succeed. Overall, a mix of evidence and experience would suggest that there is a good chance that these would all sponsor a Wikimania bid, as they have seen how successful working with Wikimedia UK and the wider Wikimedia global community can be.

Bris Wiki Academies

BrisWiki Academy 1 2011

Bristol's local Wikipedians have begun building an outreach program to help them follow in the footsteps of the successes of their fellow London Wikipedians. This has manifest itself in Training Days for both Wikipedian and non-Wikipedians Bristol Wiki Academy 1 and Bristol Wiki Academy 2, the first training day led to the growth of interesting future contacts from within the local Somali community and the Bristol Girl Geeks group. The second day involved volunteers from the cities two universities, BBC Bristol supporters and the head of the Knowle West Media Centre.

Wikimedia UK AGM 2011

The Watershed played host to around 40 members of the community who heard debate and discussion on the future of the chapter led by the outgoing Board. There were also keynote talks by leading educationalist Ollie Bray ( on how he has been using Wikipedia in schools, opening up fresh ideas for members. This was also where Roger Bamkin first spoke about the use of the immense potential behind the use QR Codes in museums across the GLAM sector (

University of Bristol Wikimedia UK Outreach Ambassador

A by-product of the deepening of ties between our community and the University of Bristol in 2011 was the appointment of a Wikimedia UK Outreach Ambassador who worked on deepening the relationship of the UK chapter with organisations across the city in conjunction with the two WMUK Directors who live in the city. This summer internship (paid for by the University) has proven successful and will almost certainly lead to a person being reapppointed each summer. [5]

ARKive - Wikipedia Outreach Ambassador

Bristol was home this summer to a Wikipedian in Residence project for wildlife biodiversity charity ARKive [6] where the biodiversity and environmental team donated 200 articles to Wikipedia and jointly collaborated on a project to improve the quality and broaden volunteer engagement and understanding ARKive. The public training session component of the work is highlighted in this story "Bristol ‘Wikipedians’ taught to edit online encylopaedia" - Bristol 24/7, 15 September 2011.

Bristol Girl Geek Dinners

The relationship with GGD began at the first Bristol Wiki Academy and had led to the start of a community-wide initiative to better understand and involve female Wikipedians. Last August a Wikipedian Training Day was hosted with the Bristol GGD members, organised by our University of Bristol Wikimedia Outreach Ambassador and led by some of our leading female Wikipedians. The success of this initiative has spread to other cities with events now being hosted in Manchester and elsewhere.

River flowing though a steep sided valley. In the distance is a suspension bridge supported by towers. In the left foreground is a handrail.
The Avon Gorge, home to several unique plant species.

A Green, Open and Social city

Bristol is one of the pre-eminent European centres of creative and cultural industry and talent with a growing global profile. The region's creative industries are estimated to be worth £3 Billion to the UK's economy.

The creative industries in Bristol employ around 9,000 people, making up for 12% of all businesses in the city. Bristol is home to 1,350 creative businesses, including the multiple Oscar-winning Aardman Animations (the creators of Wallace and Gromit), as well as the BBC's Natural History Unit, Endemol West and many other independent film and production companies. Bristol is the world capital of the wildlife and environmental film industry - responsible for 25% of this sector's global output, hosting the international 'Wildscreen' Festival every 2 years, and employing around 1,500 people.

Aardman Founder Nick Park with Wallace and Gromit characters

Another leading event is the 'Encounters Short Film Festival' that is held annually at the Watershed, the UK's first and most highly regarded media centre. The Bristol Design Festival, an annual celebration of creativity, design and innovation, is now also a hugely popular occasion. Apart from its film, broadcast and digital media companies, the city is justly famous for its varied and vibrant music scene - from the Bristol Bach Choir to the more subterranean 'Bristol Sound' in the form of Portishead, Roni Size and Massive Attack.

Bristol also boasts a strength in other creative sectors unmatched by most other European regional cities - design and architecture, books and publishing, visual arts, theatre and performing arts, including a profusion of festivals and carnivals throughout the year, comedy clubs, street theatre and Europe's leading circus school. Creative quarters such as the Jamaica Street Studios, Knowle West Media Centre, Mivart Studios, Paintworks, Pervasive Media Studio, Spike Island and the Tobacco Factory are examples of Bristol's vibrant creative community, contributing to its accolade of 'Second Media City' in recent years.

Bristol city region is at the centre of a Silicon design cluster that is the second biggest in the world, after Silicon Valley. It is double the size of its nearest UK competitor, Cambridge, and in the last decade, start-ups in the South West have attracted more than $550 million in investment and returned more than $800 million to shareholders [7]. In a recent NESTA report on semi-conductor industry in the UK Nesta identified Bristol and the south west as one of the major digital powerhouse regions in Europe [8]

The town is also HQ to the sustainable transport charity Sustrans [9] , the Soil Association, [10] the UK head office of ethical lending Triodos Bank [11] It is also has been home to the BBC Natural History Unit since 1957. The BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) is a department of the BBC dedicated to making television and radio programmes with a natural history or wildlife theme, especially nature documentaries. Each year it produces around 100 hours of television and 50 hours of radio, making it the largest wildlife documentary production house in the world. [12] The WMUK chapter has an existing relationship with the Bristol Natural History Consortium, of which the NHU forms a part, and would approach the unit for keynote speakers, breakout sessions and such like.

Bristol Harbour Festival

The Harbourside in Bristol, England, has hosted the Bristol Harbour Festival for 40 years, with over 250,000 visitors[1] attending live music, street performances and a variety of live entertainment. The festival includes music stages, a dance stage, street theatre performances, and water displays. A highlight of the festival until 2010 was the Saturday Night Fireworks presentation.[2] Most of the activities are held near the waterfront, so a significant part of the festival is connected with the seagoing vessels moored nearby. The liveliest part of the festival is quayside, but the main attractions are, of course, seaside — with all the water displays, with tall ships from many countries and hundreds of sailing boats and old-time boats of all kinds. This event inspired similar events across the Channel, such as Les jeudis du Port and Fête Internationale de la mer et des marins in Brest, France|Brest, Brittany and across Western Europe.Bristol Harbour Festival celebrates the city's maritime heritage and the importance of Bristol's docks and harbour, and takes place over a weekend at the end of July or beginning of August. 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the festival, and as such is currently scheduled to include additional activities during the week of 23 - 29 July, prior to the main festival itself.[3]


Banksy street art Bristol
Banksy art in Park Street

Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based street artist|graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.[4] Banksy's work was born out of the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.[5] According to author and graphic designer Tristan Manco and the book Home Sweet Home, Banksy "was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England.[6] The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s."[7] Observers have noted that his style is similar to Blek le Rat, who began to work with stencils in 1981 in Paris and members of the anarcho-punk band Crass, which maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London Tube System in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is active today.[8][9][10] Known for his contempt for the government in labeling graffiti as vandalism, Banksy displays his art on public surfaces such as walls and even going as far as to build physical prop pieces. Banksy does not sell photos of street graffiti directly himself;[11][12] however, art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.[13] Banksy's first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie," made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.[14] The film was released in the UK on 5 March 2010.[15] In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film.


Situated in the south of the country, Bristol is one of the warmest cities in the UK, with a mean annual temperature of 10.2–12 °C. It is also amongst the sunniest, with 1,541–1,885 hours sunshine per year. The city is partially sheltered by the Mendip Hills, but exposed to the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. Rainfall increases towards the south of the area, with annual totals north of the Avon River in the 600 range, up to the 900 range south of it. Rain falls all year round, but autumn and winter are the wettest seasons.

Recording and Streaming

We'll enlist the BBC Anchor Project to record these events and to make these events available to the world on a public domain licence - they did so recently for the Jimmy Wales talk in Bristol's Victoria Rooms as part of the 10th birthday celebrations of Wikipedia, and they will do so again. The same partners will strive to live web cast as many sessions as possible and to assist Wikimedia UK in maximising global involvement in the Wikimania event.

Our team

Would be drawn from volunteers locally, nationally and internationally - would include people from open source groups alliances such as Bristol Wireless, BRRISM, Pervasive Media Studios, University of Bristol, University of The West of England, local Wikipedians....

Name Areas of responsibility Experience/Comments
Steve Virgin Wikimedia UK Board member for last three years - Bristol based
DoorMatt I work at the Old Vic Theatre and would help this bid
Samdownie Hello! I am a WikiMedia UK member, and helped to organise the 10th Anniversary of Wikipedia in Bristol.
JohnBradford Chair of the Bristol and Bath Branch, British Science Association, worked on promoting earlier WMUK events in Bristol
Destination Bristol We are the Bristol council body responsible for all tourism and conference events across the city.
Bristol Girl Geeks Group A group working closely with Wikimedia UK to promote the involvement and empowerment of women in digital inclusion and outreach projects
Panyd Hello! I am an administrator on the English Wikipedia.
TonyColl TV and media expert-Bristol based, supporter of the bid
MrMattAnderson Co-founder of Montage Communications, PR and social media specialist agency
Nigel Legg
Michael Corbett Another Wikimedia UK member and another helper for Bristol's Wikipedia 10th Anniversary events in Bristol.
Jason Thorne Work for Bristol Futures (Economic Development) for city council liaise with and support retailers/small businesses etc
Steve Woods Wikimedia UK member and local open source/free software advocate.
Bristol 24/7 Leading local online newspaper will help promote the bid through its pages
Matt Jukes Wikimedia UK member also involved with Mozilla and organising local and national web events.
Zoe local Wikipedian also involved with BathCamp and Bristol Girl Geek dinners.

Conference Venue

Bristol University from Cabot Tower

The proposed event will be based around the University of Bristol campus - with breakout events across the centre of the city at other possible venues (see suggested list). In 2011, Wikimedia UK hosted TWO large events in the city at the Victoria Rooms (University of Bristol - which was attended by 750 people + live webcasted to 3,500) + in the city's main cathedral itself earlier that morning (550 attended). Both events occurred during a single morning of January 13, 2011 - so the viability of organising large events involving hundreds of people in the city has already been tested and worked successfully

Secondary or possible break out venues

Victoria Rooms - University of Bristol

Victoria Rooms University of Bristol

The Victoria Rooms, a familiar Bristol landmark, first opened its doors to the public in May 1842, and for many years served as the most important and lively cultural centre in the West of England. Charles Dickens delighted a large audience with a selection of readings on its stage. Although principally used as a centre for music making for the Department of Music, due to its versatile auditorium, elegant recital room and vast complex of teaching and practice spaces and recording studio, it has been a conference and event centre, hosting Jimmy Wales' only public speaking engagement during the 10th birthday of Wikipedia in January 2011.

Bristol Cathedral

The Watershed at night
A stone built Victorian Gothic building with two square towers and a central arched entrance underneath a circular ornate window. A Victorian street lamp stands in front of the building and on the right part of a leafless tree, with blues skies behind.
The west front of Bristol Cathedral
Colston Hall

A church has probably stood on the site of Bristol Cathedral for over a thousand years but it came to prominence in 1148 when Robert Fitzhardinge founded the Abbey of St. Augustine. The Chapter House and Abbey Gatehouse remain clearly to be seen; other remains are within Bristol Cathedral Choir School. The eastern end of the Cathedral, especially in the Choir, gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European architecture. The Nave, Choir and Aisles are all the same height, creating the appearance of a large hall. Bristol Cathedral is the major example of a 'Hall Church' in Great Britain and one of the finest anywhere in the world. In 1539 the Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII's commissioners and the nave, which was then being rebuilt, was destroyed. The rather battered building then became the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in 1542. In 1868 plans were drawn up to rebuild the Nave to its medieval design. The Architect, G.E.Street, found the original pillar bases, so the dimensions are much the same as those of the abbey church. J. L. Pearson added the two towers at the West End and further reordered the interior. Jimmy Wales hosted a school assembly for Bristol Cathedral Choir School in the Cathedral during the morning of January 13th 2011, when he spoke in the city as part of Wikipedia's 10th birthday celebrations.

St Georges

St Georges Brandon Hill

St George's is a church in the Clifton area of Bristol. It was built between 1821 and 1823 by architect Robert Smirke in a Greek Revival style. St George's was a "Waterloo church"— and the only one in Bristol to receive government money from the first grant under the Church Building Act of 1818. It has been designated by English Heritage as a grade II* listed building. In 1976 St George's Music Trust was formed and in succeeding years they established the church as a major concert venue. The main body of the church seats an audience of 562 and the crypt has been transformed into a bar and recording studios which are regularly used by the BBC.

The Watershed

Watershed opened in June 1982 as the United Kingdom's first dedicated media centre. Based in former warehouses on the Bristol Harbour|harbourside at Bristol, it hosts three movie theatres|cinemas, a café/Bar, events/conferencing spaces, and office spaces for administrative and creative staff. It occupies the former V and W sheds on Canon's Road at Saint Augustine's Reach, and underwent a major refurbishment in 2005. The building also hosts UWE eMedia Business Enterprises. Most of Watershed's facilities are situated on the second floor of two of the transit sheds. The conference spaces and cinemas are used by many public and private sector organisations and charities. Watershed employs the equivalent of over seventy full-time staff and has an annual turnover of approximately £3.8 million. As well as its own commercial income (through Watershed Trading), Watershed Arts Trust is funded by national and regional arts funders. It is run by Managing Director Dick Penny who first joined in 1991. A 2010 report for the International Futures Forum describes the Watershed as "a creative ecosystem, operating in many different and overlapping economies," which is "pushing the creative boundary" by fostering both the invention and consolidation of new work.

Colston Hall

The Colston Hall is a concert hall and grade II listed building situated on Colston Street, Bristol, England. A popular venue catering for a variety of different entertainers, it seats approximately 2,075 and provides licensed bars, a café and restaurant. The venue is owned by Bristol City Council, but since April 2011 it has been run by the independent Bristol Music Trust.

Sponsor/VIP Parties

Wikimania traditionally hosts two parties, one for attendees (capacity of 250-350) and one for sponsors and VIPs (capacity 40-60).

  • Attendees party(ies) propositions (location, how to get there, what's cool and relaxed about it) At the May 2010 Annual Fund Raising Event held in Bristol, HP Labs sponsored a boat for delegates to travel down through the harbour - this can be repeated. There could also be an event on SS Great Britain or at one of the venues in Clifton owned by the Merchant Venturers
  • Sponsor party(ies) proposition Aim to include a balloon with a Wikipedia logo" and explore "Balloon rides" as an option) - Flight on or around or near the famous Bristol Suspension Bridge/Avon Gorge

Transportation Logistics

Train (via Belgium and France)

Trains to Bristol are available from most of Britain, either directly or via a connection.

From the rest of Europe you will have to change in London. Eurostar high-speed trains run to London (St Pancras International) through the Channel Tunnel from Paris (Gare du Nord), Lille and Brussels. During the summer an additional weekly train operates to Avignon. Through tickets and connections are available to Bristol from many European cities changing trains in London and in Paris, Lille or Brussels. Journey times to London average two hours fifteen minutes to and from Paris, and one hour fifty minutes to Brussels. Add 30 mins to an hour for the connection across London plus 2 hours for the train from London to Bristol. A second class return from Paris to London costs between €85 and €230. While it can be cheaper to fly from London to Paris using a low-cost airline, bear in mind that the journeys to the airports can be expensive and time-consuming.

Getting to Bristol

By car

Bristol is easily accessible from both the M5 and M4 motorways. The journey time from west London to Bristol along the M4 is just under two hours. From the M4, exit at junction 19 (signpost to Bristol) and follow the M32 into the city centre. From the M5, exit at junction 18 and follow the A4 Portway (signpost Bristol Airport) into the city centre.

By Train

Bristol Temple Meads is the main railway station, situated approximately 15 minutes' walk from the City Centre. The 8 and 9 bus services run frequently between Bristol Temple Meads Station and the city centre, Broadmead and Cabot Circus. CrossCountry trains operate between Bristol Temple Meads and Birmingham, the North East, Edinburgh and Penzance. First Great Western run regular services to Bristol from London Paddington, Reading, Swindon, Bath, Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth, Cardiff, Gloucester and Cheltenham.

Bristol Parkway station is situated to the north of the city and can be accessed via bus service no. 73, which runs regularly between Bristol Parkway and the city centre. CrossCountry trains run services to Bristol Parkway from Penzance, Birmingham, the North East and Scotland. First Great Western also run services to, through and from Bristol Parkway. There is a direct connection to London Paddington station from both Temple Meads and Parkway stations, journey time is approximately 1hr 40mins. Many trains from Paddington stop at Reading which is connected to Heathrow Airport via the Heathrow RailAir coach, which takes around 30 minutes and travels both directions several times an hour. You can also get the Heathrow Express train from Heathrow to Paddington and change there onto a train to Bristol.

Bus or coach

Bristol Bus Station is situated on Marlborough Street, near Broadmead shopping centre. National Express coach services operate from the bus station to cities across the UK, including direct bus services to London Heathrow (approximately 2 hours) and Gatwick airport (approximately 3 1/2 hours). London Flyer coaches run between Bristol and London, and Megabus operates from Bristol to London and Wales (Cwmbran).

By air

Bristol Airport is situated just 8 miles south of central Bristol, and is easily accessed via the A38. Direct flights serve Bristol Airport from across the UK and Europe and regular routes operate from North America via Dublin. Bristol International Flyer express coach service offers a convenient way to get to the airport, with regular coaches running from Bristol city centre bus and train stations to the airport throughout the day. The journey takes around 30 minutes and tickets are available from the driver or at the airport itself.

Heathrow Airport is on the Bristol side of London. It is Britain's busiest airport and has flights to all major cities around the world. See Bus and train sections above for travel between Heathrow and Bristol. Britain is not that big. Travel to Bristol from other British airports can be arranged but will take longer and be more expensive than travel from Bristol or Heathrow airports.

By Park & Ride

Park & Ride offers a comfortable and easy way of travelling to Bristol without the stress of navigating your way through the central roads and car parks. All Park & Ride services provide convenient access to attractions, leisure and shopping developments in the centre of Bristol. Find out more about the following Bristol Park & Ride services at



There are a wide range of hotels, Bed & breakfasts, Serviced Apartments, Self-Catering, Hostels & Campsites, Cottages & Farms and special offers. [13] The bid team would directly approach Visit Bristol and work with them to block out and pre-book several hundred places for 2013 during the summer of 2012



A large number of groups have already sponsored events in Bristol for the Wikimedia movement - this means it is far easier to persuade them to do so again. Costs outside London will also be considerably less than in the capital, which make the financial risk considerably lower. This bid is working with tried and tested partners who know us, have helped us organise events in the past and understand and appreciate what we do. There are no new relationships to build in the 12 month run up as all of these contacts are already in place. Neither are we reliant on an external events management organisation to do most of the organisation of the event.

The Bristol team bid meets these elements which we would deem as essentials

• Enough human resources (there were 20-30 Tweeters/Bloggers in Watershed promoting the Jimmy Wales Day in January, all events listed above have been well attended) • Support from the local authority (email confirming top level support 26/11 - having viewed this strawman)(Cabinet member for Digital also confirmed support) • Support from other local stakeholders (HP Labs MD has seen and approved the shape of this strawman earlier this week) • Easy transport links (will be addressed by coordinating flights out of Amsterdam & Frankfurt with EasyJet and KLM - with direct assistance from Bristol Airport) • Facilities for hundreds of people and their laptops (there are many, all in walking distance of each other) • Big halls and little rooms • Cheap accommodation, food etc.(will be run through the University of Bristol so this is sorted too)


Sponsorship Levels




A discussion should take place on the distinction and differences between each level from a donor & Wikimedia perspective....following on from any WMF guidance

There should be a second level of sponsorship level...could be described as 'Supporting' and would be aimed at groups or organisations helping through 'in-kind' donations of venues, food or employee time

Confirmed Sponsors

All of the groups and organisations currently listed below under Potential Sponsors have been approached to see whether they would be willing to assist in a bid for Wikimania in the city. They have all said 'yes' - but obviously need more detailed discussions before they can move from Potential Sponsor to Confirmed Sponsor status

Potential Sponsors

Already expressed an interest in supporting a bid

  • Bristol City Council
  • HP Labs (Bristol)
  • Bristol Festival of Ideas
  • University of Bristol
  • The Watershed
  • Invest in Bristol
  • Bristol Natural History Consortium
  • BBC Bristol
  • BBC Anchor Project''
  • Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
  • Stone King legal experts
  • Destinations Bristol
  • Bristol Airport
  • Bristol Wireless

Likely to be supportive of bid not yet informally contacted

  • University of the West of England
  • Science City Bristol
  • Bristol Museums (5) includes MShed
  • Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit)
  • Sustrans (sustainable cycling charity)
  • Soil Association
  • Bristol Cathedral Choir School
  • Bristol Metropolitan Academy
  • Bristol Girl Geeks
  • ARKIVE/Wildscreen
  • Bristol Old Vic Theatre
  • Averys
  • Bristol Hackspace
  • Bristol Dorkbot

Position unknown yet to be informally contacted

  • Foyle's bookshop
  • Imperial Tobacco
  • BAE Systems
  • Ministry of Defence Procurement
  • Airbus
  • Rolls Royce
  • Bristol International Balloon Festival
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • IOP Publishing

Tourism opportunities


At-Bristol is a public science and technology "exploration" and education centre and charity in Bristol, England. As a visitor attraction, At-Bristol has hundreds of hands-on exhibits, and a Planetarium. In addition to trails and activities, they also have changing exhibitions and presenter-led Live Science shows. At-Bristol also welcomes 40,000 school pupils every year, from pre-school to post-16, for school visits and education workshops. They are also host to the Science Learning Centre South West, and together they offer continuing professional development for teachers and other science communicators. At-Bristol also hires out the exhibition floor, Planetarium, Millennium Square and Anchor. Although they are a separate organisation to the Bristol Aquarium, they manage their venue hire spaces. Another interesting fact is that At-Bristol has its own exhibition workshop on site. This has allowed them to develop an 'Exhibition Services' arm, where they provide exhibitions and/or exhibits for sale or hire, for other science centres, museums and visitor attractions. WMUK Chapter recently spoke at the Association of Science and Development Centres Annual Conference - so there is a good working relationship that can be of use to Wikimania

SS Great Britain

The SS Great Britain is located in the heart of the city centre near the harbour, the ship was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company's transatlantic crossing|transatlantic service between Bristol and New York. While other ships had previously been built of iron or equipped with a screw propeller, Great Britain was the first to combine both these features in a large ocean-going ship. She was the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, which she did in 1845, in the then-record time of 14 days (one day faster than the previous record holder, the SS Great Western. When launched in 1843, Great Britain was by far the largest vessel afloat. However, her protracted construction and high cost had left her owners in a difficult financial position, and they were forced out of business in 1846 after the ship was stranded by a navigational error. Sold for marine salvage and repaired, Great Britain carried thousands of immigrants to Australia until converted to sail in 1881. Three years later, the vessel was retired to the Falkland Islands where she was used as a warehouse, quarantine ship and hulk ship until scuttling in 1937. In 1970, Great Britain was returned to the Bristol dry dock where she was first built. Now listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection, the vessel is an award-winning visitor attraction and museum ship in Bristol Harbour, with between 150,000–170,000 visitors annually.

Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo was opened in 1836 by the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society, Bristol Zoo is the world's oldest provincial zoo. It is a Victorian walled zoo located between Clifton Down and Clifton College, near Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge; it covers a small area by modern standards, but with a considerable number of species. In the 1960s the zoo came to national prominence by appearing in the UK television series, Animal Magic (TV series), hosted by the comic animal 'communicator', Johnny Morris. Morris would play keeper and voice all the animals there.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge originates from an idea of building a bridge across the Avon Gorge in 1753; originally for a stone bridge with later plans for a cast iron structure. An attempt to build Brunel's design in 1831 was stopped by the Bristol Riots, and the revised version of his designs was built after his death, being completed in 1864. Although similar in size, the bridge towers are not identical in design, the Clifton tower having side cut-outs, the Leigh tower more pointed arches atop a red sandstone clad abutment. Roller mounted "saddles" at the top of each tower allow movement of the three independent wrought iron chains on each side when loads pass over the bridge. The bridge deck is suspended by eighty-one matching vertical wrought-iron rods. The bridge is a distinctive landmark, used as a symbol of Bristol on postcards, promotional materials, and informational web sites. It has also been used as a backdrop to several films and television programmes.

'Roman City' of Bath

Bath is a city situated west of London and 13 miles south-east of Bristol. The population of the city is 83,992. It was granted city status by Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590, and was made a county borough in 1889 which gave it independence from its county, Somerset. The city became part of Avon when that non-metropolitan county was created in 1974. Since 1996, when Avon was abolished, Bath has been the principal centre of the [unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset. The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") by the Romans in AD 43, although verbal tradition suggests that Bath was known before then. They built Roman Baths and a temple on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs. Much later, it became popular as a spa town during the Georgian era, which led to a major expansion that left a heritage of exemplary Georgian architecture crafted from Bath Stone.

The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The city has a variety of theatres, museums, and other cultural and sporting venues, which have helped to make it a major centre for tourism, with over one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city each year. The city has two universities and several schools and colleges. There is a large service sector, and growing information and communication technologies and creative industries, providing employment for the population of Bath and the surrounding area.

M-Shed Museum

The M Shed is a museum in Bristol, England, located on Prince's Wharf beside the Bristol Harbour|Floating Harbour in a dockside Goods shed|transit shed that was previously occupied by the Bristol Industrial Museum. The M Shed is home to displays of 3,000 Bristol artefacts and stories, showing a city that not only played a role in the slave trade but was also a major industrial centre with themes around transport, people, and arts. The new museum opened in June 2011, with exhibits exploring life and work in the city.[16] The conversion was expected to cost £27 million including a grant of £11.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.[17] Another £1.39 million of HLF funding was announced in April 2011.[18] Normally moored in front of the developing new museum is the collection of historic vessels, which included the Pyronaut, a 1934 fireboat, and two tugboats: John King built as a diesel tug in 1935 and Mayflower (tugboat)|Mayflower, the world's oldest surviving steam tug built in 1861.[19][20]

Getting to the United Kingdom

International travel to the United Kingdom is extensive. Access to the UK is provided by 30 international airports providing travel to 200 destinations, 8 ports with international passenger ferry services to Europe, and a rail link to mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel.

Visa issues

EU member states
Special visa-free provisions (Schengen treaty, EEA, OCT or other)
Visa-free access to the UK for 6 months
Visa required to enter the UK, transit without visa
Visa required to enter the UK and for transit through the UK
Visa-status unknown

The United Kingdom is a member country of the European Union. This means that all citizens of EU member states with a valid travel document (passport or European ID card) are allowed to travel freely within the European Union (including the UK) for up to 3 months.

Given the high throughput of air traffic, the UK is a highly accessible country with those travelling from within the EU, North America, Japan, South Africa, Australasia or most of Latin America not requiring a visa to visit the UK.

Many people from other regions will also be able to visit the UK without a visa. To determine whether you will need a visa to visit the UK, go to The nature of any visa required will depend on your nationality and your current country of residence. The typical cost for a VISA for a short visit to the UK is £76.[21] Wikimedia UK may be able to act as a sponsor for those that require one in order to get a visa.

The following individuals can enter the United Kingdom without a visa:

As of right

All the countries below have visa-free access to the EU for at least 90 days.

Icons-flag-ad.png Andorra
Icons-flag-ar.png Argentina
Icons-flag-au.png Australia
Icons-flag-at.png Austria*
Icons-flag-bs.png Bahamas
Icons-flag-be.png Belgium*
Icons-flag-br.png Brazil
Icons-flag-bg.png Bulgaria*
Icons-flag-ca.png Canada
Icons-flag-cl.png Chile
Icons-flag-cr.png Costa Rica
Icons-flag-hr.png Croatia
Icons-flag-cy.png Cyprus*
Icons-flag-cz.png Czech Republic*
Icons-flag-dk.png Denmark*
Icons-flag-sv.png El Salvador
Icons-flag-ee.png Estonia*
Icons-flag-fi.png Finland*
Icons-flag-fr.png France*
Icons-flag-de.png Germany*
Icons-flag-gr.png Greece*
Icons-flag-gt.png Guatemala
Icons-flag-hn.png Honduras
Icons-flag-hu.png Hungary*
Icons-flag-ie.png Ireland*
Icons-flag-il.png Israel
Icons-flag-it.png Italy*
Icons-flag-jp.png Japan
Icons-flag-lv.png Latvia*
Icons-flag-li.png Liechtenstein
Icons-flag-lt.png Lithuania*
Icons-flag-lu.png Luxembourg*
Icons-flag-mk.png Macedonia
Icons-flag-my.png Malaysia
Icons-flag-mt.png Malta*
Icons-flag-mx.png Mexico
Icons-flag-mc.png Monaco
Icons-flag-nl.png Netherlands*
Icons-flag-nz.png New Zealand
Icons-flag-ni.png Nicaragua
Icons-flag-no.png Norway
Icons-flag-pa.png Panama
Icons-flag-py.png Paraguay
Icons-flag-pl.png Poland*
Icons-flag-pt.png Portugal*
Icons-flag-ro.png Romania*
Icons-flag-sm.png San Marino
Icons-flag-sg.png Singapore
Icons-flag-sk.png Slovakia*
Icons-flag-si.png Slovenia*
Icons-flag-kr.png Republic of Korea
Icons-flag-es.png Spain*
Icons-flag-se.png Sweden*
Icons-flag-ch.png Switzerland
Icons-flag-gb.png United Kingdom*
Icons-flag-us.png United States
Icons-flag-uy.png Uruguay
Icons-flag-va.png Vatican City State
Icons-flag-ve.png Venezuela

* - European Union member states


The pound sterling (ISO 4217: GBP), known locally as the pound (£) is the currency of the United Kingdom, divided into one hundred pence (p).
Currency exchange desks are available at all London airports, as well as at the Post Office and most banks and travel agents. Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros, Japanese Yen, Polish Złoty, Swedish Krona and United States Dollars are all widely exchanged; other currencies are usually exchangeable at the airports.
Exchange rates as of 18 November 2011 (
Currency Equivalent of GB£1 Equivalent in GB£
Icons-flag-au.png Australian Dollar 1.56 0.63
Icons-flag-ca.png Canadian Dollar 1.61 0.71
Icons-flag-eu.png Euro 1.17 0.85
Icons-flag-jp.png Japanese Yen 121.49 0.0082
Icons-flag-se.png Swedish Krona 10.74 0.082
Icons-flag-us.png United States Dollar 1.57 0.63


  • All university of Bristol halls of residences have wi-fi access. An informal agreement between Wikimedia UK and the University of Bristol for a number of passwords for attendees would be needed in advance of the conference.
  • The team running the event need to be aware that this small but important point needs to be agreed with attendees in advance


  • Rough draft budget - December/January 2011
  • Venue Viewing - December/January 2011
  • Creation of Budget, Bid documents, venue selection, approaching potential sponsors etc - January - March 2012
  • Start working on bid page and forming wikimedia volunteer bid team - Yesterday - We have User:Panyd, User:Marek69 and User:ErrantX
  • Bidding officially opens - January 2011
  • Bidding closes and winner announced - May 2012
  • Conference - July/August 2013


Strengths of the proposed location

Green Bristol

Bristol has a long association with the ‘green’ movement and is proud of its status as a Green Capital. Not only is it the UK’s first Cycling City, Bristol is also a Fairtrade City which sees it trading fairly with nearly five million workers in 58 developing countries. To further boost its green credentials, Bristol is home to the Soil Association and Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity behind the development of the National Cycle Network. Many of the city’s attractions, restaurants, cafes and accommodation options have been awarded for their commitment to sustainability and green tourism. What’s more, Bristol boasts over 450 parks and green spaces, proportionately more than any other UK city. It’s not hard to see why Bristol is a real contender for the title of ‘Greenest City in Europe’

A bid led by openness, equality and fairness

The University of Bristol (and the whole 3-day Wikimania event) believes that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. It aims to create an environment that respects the diversity of staff and students and enables them to achieve their full potential, to contribute fully, and to derive maximum benefit and enjoyment from their involvement in the life of the University. To this end, the University acknowledges the following basic rights for all members and prospective members of its community:

  • to be treated with respect and dignity
  • to be treated fairly with regard to all procedures, assessments and choices
  • to receive encouragement to reach their full potential

These rights carry with them responsibilities and the University requires all members of the community to recognise these rights and to act in accordance with them in all dealings with fellow members of the University. In addition, the University will comply with all relevant legislation and good practice. No individual will be unjustifiably discriminated against. This includes, but not exclusively, discrimination because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation.


  • Halls of Residence & potential venues are all within walking distance of each other
  • The Victoria Rooms, The Watershed and Bristol Cathedral have all held Wikimedia events - ranging in numbers from 20-30 up to 750 last January
  • The relationship between the organisers at each venue and Wikimedia UK is already excellent and that rapport can easily be shared across the whole organising committee
  • There are a range of venues in which events can be held that can add to the experience and increase options of the organising committee (e.g. Watershed offers three cinemas and three rooms in which meetings are regularly and comfortably held - Wikimedia AGM 2011)
  • Full technical support is on offer in each venue (including managing vistors, ticketing arrangements and full Wi-Fi)

Ease of access

  • Bristol sits at the junction of the M4 and M5 motorways in the UK - by car about 90m from London or Birmingham
  • There are two major rail links Temple Meads and Parkway coming straight into the heart of the city
  • Bristol Airport and City Council prepared to help in negotiating chartered seat discount rates from Frankfurt, Amsterdam for Wikipedians on certain planes and certain days
  • There are free buses to and from the airport to the hotels across the city
  • There is Youth Hostel accomodation right in the heart of the city next to the harbour
  • There are direct flights into the city as well from all over the world

Pool of sponsors is deep - opportunities for collaborative projects?

  • Over 100 companies connected to the microelectronics sector are concentrated in a region which includes the key towns & cities of: Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Southampton & Swindon. In fact it is home to one of the biggest silicon design clusters anywhere in the world outside Silicon Valley.In the last decade, start-ups in the South West have attracted more than $550 million in investment and returned more than $800 million to shareholders. The cluster has also attracted high levels of investment from world-class research organisations including HP Labs, Motorola, Panasonic, ST Microelectronics and Toshiba Telecoms Research Europe and the Universities of Bath and Bristol. Additionally other international electronics companies such as Intel, Broadcom and Infineon each have a significant presence in the region, while semiconductor design companies such as Wolfson and Dialog Semiconductors have set-up design centres in the South West in order to tap into the local skills. This skills pool owes its origins to Inmos in Bristol and GEC-Plessey Semiconductor in Swindon. These two organisations effectively trained a generation of silicon designers and while the enterprises themselves have since changed beyond recognition, the individual designers have remained at the forefront of developments, particularly in the key areas of RF, video, multicore processor and reconfigurable components as well as wireless, telecoms and networking system design.

Costs far lower

  • The hosting of the event in the city would be an important event for the city and would received support from businesses, authorities and individuals across the city
  • Being cheaper is not an 'idle boast' as May 2010 Fund Raising Event (self-financing thanks to sponsors) January 2011 Jimmy Wales talk in the city (also self-financing thanks to sponsors) - so sponsors are not a hypothetical, they are already there and keen to get involved
  • There has already been confirmation that a number of sponsors would actively back the bid
  • With the World Heritage City of Bath 20 minutes away by train, Clifton village and the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge constructed by Isambaard Kingdom Brunel, and no end of other creative centres - Bristol offers a solid set of attractions to visiting Wikipedians

One of the largest contributing communities to Wikipedia

The UK is the country which contributes the third most edits to Wikipedia as a whole. (some rough statistics), making its editors the most active from a country which has not yet hosted Wikimania, as well as one of the highest contributors per capita overall.

Media support

  • BBC Bristol has already demonstrated its support for Wikimedia UK: it recorded the Jimmy Wales Wikipedia 10 event back in January (free) and released the recording under a Public Domain licence
  • This led to closer collaboration with the BBC - they provided free facilities for the second BrisWiki Academy in July
  • In August they repeated the free recording and general release of the Bristol TedX talks - at which Wikimedia Chair Roger Bamkin and Board Director Steve Virgin both spoke
  • BBC Bristol has already indicated its full support for a Wikimania 2013 bid

Weaknesses of the proposed location

  • Transport - not being the capital city of the UK has its advantages (cheaper) and disadvantages (it only has a single airport and has limited links in terms of flights to places like the USA)
  • There is a strong London Wikipedian community and not having them 'nearby and on tap' is a disadvantage in terms of harnessing the full community potential in the organisational run up to the event itself
  • Hotels can seem a little pricey at times (£70 a night minimum) so it is strongly recommended to reserve places in the University Halls of Residence
  • Need for 'individual password access' Wi-Fi at the University venues - so organisationally a bit of a tricky process
  • Some good coffee places (Boston Tea Party is a very good one, The Folk House also nearby) but could do with a few more than just Starbucks, Cafe Nero etc

Planning On-going discussions/developments

Meeting with Destinations Bristol- 29/12/11 (all agreed in principle - subject to further discussions)

  • Agreed that Destinations Bristol would back the bid in principle and offer 100% help in organisation of all logistics to get partners on board for the bid
  • Agreed that Destinations Bristol would support the bid and play a key coordination role in liaising with the Wikimania bid committee if Bristol is successful
  • Destinations Bristol has been mandated to get involved by the Leader of the City Council's Office Cllr Barbara Janke so has support of city
  • Destinations Bristol would be a 'single point of contact for all hotel/accomodation and booking arrangements for all Wikimani delegates (it does this already for the city)
  • Destinations Bristol would help in the approach to all venues and in negotiating favourable deals to hire venues, block book hotel rooms, to provide microsite booking information for the event which it would manage on our behalf
  • Destinations Bristol would coordinate all contacts with tourism/places of interest that the bid team felt would enhance the quality of the Wikimania experience (museums, theatres, restaurants etc)
  • Destinations Bristol would secure support from the Bristol Balloon Festival that overlaps the proposed Wikimania event and ensure that sponsored balloons, balloon rides were a practical and definate benefit for any Wikimania delegate that wished them

Meeting with Bristol Airport - 05/01/12 (all agreed in principle - subject to further discussions)

  • Bristol Airport outlined the city’s accessibility via the major international hubs of Amsterdam, Paris CDG, Brussels and Dublin. Each is served by multiple daily flights to and from Bristol, making connections to Bristol accessible for travellers from all over the world. In addition, those travelling from the US via Dublin have the added advantage of clearing US customs in Ireland on their return journey, arriving in the US as domestic passengers.
  • Agreement on the part of the airport that Wikimania can have a 'welcome desk' at Bristol Airport manned by volunteers (both ours and the sirports own) who would assist and help Wikipedians arriving in Bristol and those leaving
  • Agreement that Wikimania can have/place its own branding inside the airport on and around the welcome desk
  • Bristol Airport to consider a package of benefits for Wikipedians, such as Fast Track security, retail and catering discounts and a concessionary fare on the Airport Flyer Express bus service to Bristol city centre.

Email from Bristol Ballons after initial meeting - 05/01/12 (all agreed in principle - subject to further discussions)

  • The following estimated charges would apply to the 3 day event to get the idea off the ground;-
  • Hire complete 4 passenger balloon with plain envelope (including a trailer)
  • Hire a 4 x 4 vehicle at about £100 per day
  • Addition of ‘D’ Rings or Velcro to balloon for 6 banners (16mt of Velcro for each banner)
  • The manufacture of 6 banners (4 sq mt each)
  • Design and application of artwork to the banners
  • Bristol Balloons ‘Day Rate’ to operate and staff the balloon

Grand Total = Just under £4,000 Option to ‘join’ the 100 Club for the weekend (see link = £2,000 See link -

Wikimania 20:20 Vision

Higher level:

  • Hold a half day dedicated, to discussion of, and to finding solutions for, the need for women editors - the local Girl Geek chapter has offered to lead on the design of this in conjunction with more experienced community leaders
  • To seek to address the opportunity, problems and challenges that the Global South Project poses for the movement, in addition to reaching out to under-represented minorities during the course of Wikimania - Somali Education Trust and Amana Education Trust have both expressed a willingness to explore ideas
  • To bring to the fore the issue of 'over zealousness' in the treatment of 'newbies' who are editing Wikipedia - to seek to understand the dynamics at work and to try to identify possible solutions

Mid term:

  • To build a stronger brand for Wikimania
  • To develop deeper media and general public understanding of the difference between Wikipedia and Wikimedia
  • To widen the work we do and to highlight existing successful partnerships

Lower level:

  • To make the event enjoyable, and an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the global community
  • To coordinate (with Bristol Festival of Ideas) a large number of world-class A-List speakers during these 3 days, all events will be recorded and released live under a public domain licence (BBC Bristol and Bristol Media will advise)
  • To create a space where strong working relationships can thrive or new ones can develop


  1. "St. John's Ambulance Support for the Bristol Harbour Festival 2009". 
  2. "Bristol Harbour Festival fireworks are cancelled". BBC News. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  3. "Bristol City Council - Bristol Harbour Festival". Bristol City Council. 
  4. "The Banksy Paradox: 7 Sides to the World's Most Infamous Street Artist, 19 July 2007
  5. Baker, Lindsay (28 March 2008). "Banksy: off the wall – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  6. "Faces of the week". BBC News. 15 September 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  7. Manco, Tristan (11 March 2002). Stencil Graffiti. London: Thames & Hudson. p. 74. ISBN 978-0500283424. 
  8. Januszczak, Waldemar (8 June 2008). "Blek le Rat the man who gave birth to Banksy". The Times (London). 
  9. "Blek le Rat: This is not a Banksy". The Independent (London). 19 April 2008. 
  10. Coan, Lee (13 June 2008). "Breaking the Banksy". Daily Mail (London). 
  13. "Banksy fans fail to bite at street art auction". 30 September 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2008. 
  14. "Banksy film to debut at Sundance". BBC News. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  15. Kay, Jeremy (26 January 2010). "Revolver sets March 5 UK release for Banksy documentary , News , Screen". Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  16. "M Shed". Bristol City Council.;jsessionid=F37C4BD60560916F5C9A7E2A12559AE4.tcwwwaplaws2. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  17. "Date set for M Shed to open doors". Bristol Evening Post. 2011-01-02. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  18. "Bristol's M Shed gets extra £1.39m from lottery fund". BBC News Online. 13 April 2011. 
  19. "Mayflower, ST". Historic Steamers. Retrieved 2006-08-18. 
  20. "Preserving Vessels In A Diverse Local History Museum". Third International Conference on the Technical Aspects of the Preservation of Historic Vessels. Retrieved 2006-08-18. 
  21. UK Border Agency fees