Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival
The inaugural Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival (EdDigiFest) took place in August 2016 at the Assembly Rooms Edinburgh. The festival celebrated the intersection of new technology, the arts and entertainment, offering audiences the chance to experience Virtual Reality, immersive technology, games, event cinema and digital performances, all at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The inaugural Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival (EdDigiFest) took place in August 2016 at the Assembly Rooms Edinburgh.
The festival celebrated the intersection of new technology, the arts and entertainment, offering audiences the chance to experience Virtual Reality, immersive technology, games, event cinema and digital performances, all at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
At the centre of the festival was the Tech Zone, an exhibition showcasing new technologies, games, VR experiences and consumer-facing displays of new technology from holograms to 360 cameras and equipment.
In addition to the installations in the Tech Zone, there was a Virtual Reality Cinema where audiences could choose from a wide range of VR content including documentary pieces, interactive games and narrative driven content.
Event cinema screenings of over 55 of the best titles from NT Live, Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera and Digital Theatre celebrated the best of live-to-digital cinema in the Music Hall of the Assembly Rooms while George Street played host to iconic cinema and the best shorts from Glasgow Short Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival in the Picturehouse Travelling Cinema.
A live event programme was curated in partnership with New Media Scotland, Glasgow Film Festival and the University of Edinburgh and included a trilogy of film screenings which interrogated traditional forms of film presentation and spectatorship. This was achieved through an exploration of sound technologies on screen, starting with analogue, moving to electronic and finishing with digital.
In partnership with the Big Learning Company, a comprehensive programme of practical gaming workshops, using Minecraft, Kodu, BBC Micro:bit and Lego Education provided an innovative digital learning space for children and their families. These workshops were largely aimed at children but open to people of all ages and abilities.
In collaboration with Crossover Labs and Creative Skillset, the EDEF 360° VR Filmmaking Lab took place. This 3 day, hands-on workshop offered filmmakers and creative professionals the skills necessary to create engaging 360° video content to be viewed in Virtual Reality.
Talks & Debates
The exhibitions, screenings and performances were complemented by a programme of talks and debates, presenting and exploring the future of gaming, interactive entertainment, virtual reality, new technology, digital content, arts and broadcasting. Programme partners for talks included the BBC, RSC, Intel, The Imaginarium Studios, NASA, Reflex Arc, Edinburgh Games Symposium, NT Live and The Space.
The festival also took over half of George Street with a vibrant outdoor offering of food stalls and bars and residency from the Edinburgh University Design and Informatics team in the shape of their biomorphis pavilion, and New Media Scotland’s Travelling Gallery.
The festival was supported by Riverside Trust with overall infrastructure support from Assembly Festival and curatorial partnerships with Big Learning Company, New Media Scotland, The Space and BBC Studios.
The technology and content showcased and the conversations facilitated at the festival fed directly into Riverside’s ambitions as a digital hub where national arts, tech and crossover organisations will come together and generate exciting new work.