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Digital technology is new focus at goNorth workshops

04 June 2012

Cutting edge technology will be the focus of new free digital workshops this week during goNorth in Inverness.

Scotland's leading creative industries festival is back in Inverness on 6-7 June and this year a unique opportunity is being offered to anyone with an interest in digital media to meet international experts in the field.

The workshops will be chaired by Andrew Senior who is an expert in the creative economy, and Katz Keily who is a leading communications and innovation strategist, as well as Chris Evans, founder of Blighty Arts Ltd - an online firm specialising in internet marketing and social gaming.

Topics covered include the latest emerging digital tools such as Pinterest - a pinboard style social photo sharing website; 3D printing, which is a process of making 3D solid objects from a digital file; and augmented reality which is a computer generated live view of a physical real-world environment.

goNorth is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and delivered by Creative Highland, attracting specialists from across the world focusing on the creative industries.

Katz Keily said: "Digital technology is affecting every aspect of business across the globe and we encourage those with an interest to come along and join the discussion and hear some ideas of where the future lies.

"The way we do business is changing so rapidly and it is vital that we understand the technologies that we should be harnessing right now to drive business forward and also be aware of those that will dominate the future landscape."

In its twelfth year, the two-day goNorth festival is open to people interested in the creative industries and creates a good opportunity for them to meet experts working in the music, fashion and screen world. They will also be able to network with other writers, designers or composers and to contribute views on the future of creative industries.

Other top highlights at this year's goNorth include a series of textile and trend workshops and one to one consultations which are free of charge to companies in the Highlands and Islands during 6-7 June. These will also take place across Stornoway, Lerwick and Kirkwall between 11-19 June. A new additional event on the business and PR and styling, fashion and crafts will be available this year.

The live music showcase will go on across Inverness during both evenings, connecting attendees with the most exciting new and emerging artists in Scotland. goNorth will also welcome a diverse selection of wider UK and international acts at this year's event. Over 70 bands will be showcasing to a broad range of music industry delegates and a large public audience.

Some of the most influential names in the music business will be sharing secrets from the industry in a bid to boost the careers of up-and-coming Scottish musicians.

Big international names will be key speakers at the music workshops/seminars and will include Doug Johnson who is a music consultant and talent buyer for Summerfest - the largest music festival in the world, held in Milwaukee. Also, Daniel Savage who was general manager of Madonna's Maverick Records and has worked with artists including Alanis Morissette and Deftones, will be available for one to one sessions. Two promising Highland bands, Abigail Grey and Capitals, who played at goNorth last year were selected by Doug to perform at Summerfest in July.

HI-Arts Talent Development will be presenting a workshop for writers wanting hands-on experience of what is involved in self publishing their work and anyone interested should book a place through as demand is high.

For this year's festival, a new online radio station, goNORTH radio, will be launched. This will be a live streamed radio station broadcasting interviews with guest speakers and delegates, clips from films, live gigs, highlights from the workshops and seminars and specially recorded performances. The radio will be managed and delivered by ScreenHI's radio and media partner Dabster Productions along with 10 trainees from the across the Highlands and Islands who will learn how to run a radio station, developing key industry skills transferable to most genres and platforms.

Iain Hamilton, HIE's Head of Creative Industries, said: "The workshops are designed to bring the industry to Highlands and Islands practitioners and anyone with an interest, and offers networking opportunities. The events are a must for people to get to grips with the sector and offers excellent networking opportunities. We hope that a good number of people will come along and hear something new and useful to them which will benefit them in their businesses."

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