UK Meetup July 30, 2003 1:41 AM   Subscribe

Has there ever been a UK MeFi meetup. If not, how do people feel about it? Any interest? Anybody? Hello?
posted by seanyboy to MetaFilter Gatherings at 1:41 AM (86 comments total)

I can't recall one ever having happened, and if it did, it was probably years ago. I'm definitely up for a UK meetup though.

I suppose the most obvious place to meet is London, although it's probably worth finding out where everyone lives first. For my part I'm going to be near Liverpool until mid-September, at which point I'll be moving to Oxford.
posted by adrianhon at 2:22 AM on July 30, 2003

I'm in Cambridge, but I rarely do meets, so it's probably irrelevant. But I'll still stamp my size 14s and say London is too expensive. ;)
posted by twine42 at 3:12 AM on July 30, 2003

I'm stamping my feet as well and saying that London is too expensive. Damnit!

I'm in Nottingham. Come up here. The pubs are decent and I'm too damn lazy to go anywhere.
posted by Katemonkey at 3:13 AM on July 30, 2003

I'm in London now, then up to Oxford end of september - you studying there adrian?

London may be expensive, but its also more interesting ;) Plus those northern places sound funny. Eep (Northern = everywhere north of london, of course (ahh, the london-centric viewpoint of life :))
posted by Mossy at 3:19 AM on July 30, 2003

Mossy: Yep, I'm starting a PhD there this year. I take it you study there? Incidentally, dash_slot also lives in Oxford. So clearly, it's sorted - the meet is in Oxford! :)

I agree that London is very expensive. Astonishingly enough, no-one from London has posted yet; maybe if this trend continues there'll be no real point to having a meet there.
posted by adrianhon at 3:30 AM on July 30, 2003

Astonishingly enough, no-one from London has posted yet

This is where I come in.
posted by walrus at 3:34 AM on July 30, 2003

Pretty much anywhere but Liverpool.
posted by Joeforking at 3:39 AM on July 30, 2003

Previously discussed here.

Questions to address:

When | Date? [Weekday? Friday? &c.]
When | Time?
Where | City?
Where | Venue? [+ type of venue - pub, bar, food available?, type of food?, 'activities']
Who | is going to take charge of organising it? Nothing too strenuous but would involve booking venue(s) & mailing/prodding everyone to get there?

But yes. I'd invite eveyone down to Brighton, especially now we have free WiFi points dotted all over the place (inc. the beach) but I'm guessing that London might be an easier place to get a crowd. [On preview make that 'A crowd minus professional northerners with short arms & deep pockets.' ;-) ]

If we get one successful meetup then others will follow in other places no doubt.
posted by i_cola at 3:44 AM on July 30, 2003

I proposed this before...i remember now....thanks i_cola...I'm up for it, as long as its a weekday, i'm not travelling and its somewhere sensible...south east or middle is best for access....oxford could do, cambridge could do...nottingham is not is not too bad.

I'll take pictures if wanted...I've just discovered digital cameras and online galleries...i'm still quite flushed with the excitement...

As for other activities...I vote for beer, and some food...crisps will do...
posted by mattr at 3:55 AM on July 30, 2003

Count me in, I'll be back in the UK on the 16th. As a Londoner, can I suggest anywhere but London? It's so hard escaping the from the capital and it would be nice to have a dual incentive to explore somewhere interesting like York, Chester or Newcastle.

Am ashamed of myself for having seen as little of my native country as I have!
posted by dmt at 3:59 AM on July 30, 2003

Wow, I remember that previous thread by mattr (not surprising, since I posted in it). How time flies.

Easy stuff first: I think meeting up at a pub or bar first, then getting some dinner, and then retiring to another pub/bar afterwards would be best. It'd also let people arrive or leave at different times conveniently. If it's on a weekday, it'll have to start in the evening. If on a weekend, probably the afternoon or evening.

Date: This is going to be difficult and inevitably a few people will be disappointed. However, it's important to get at least *one* meet off the ground to pave the way, as the wise i_cola has already said. Personally, I doubt I'll be able to make it down south before I move to Oxford but I concede that most people may not want to wait until September to have a meet.

City: Somewhere 'central'. London is a possibility but it doesn't seem too popular. There appear to be a few people near Oxford. Maybe Manchester/Birmingham/Cambridge as well?

(Incidentally, my 21st bday is on Saturday and we're karaoking in Liverpool. Mefites far and wide are invited to attend!)
posted by adrianhon at 4:15 AM on July 30, 2003

Didn't it appear from the Crap towns thread that almost all UK Mefites had some connection with historic Coventry? Still, it is crap here so Oxford sounds like a good idea.
posted by biffa at 4:39 AM on July 30, 2003

Gosh...its like a Brits playground in here until they all wake up over there isn't it!!!
posted by mattr at 4:49 AM on July 30, 2003

Oxford would be cool, give those Londoners a chance to get some fresh air.

A couple more hours before the Yanks wake up and start complaining about their government.
posted by Joeforking at 5:48 AM on July 30, 2003

Oxford sounds lovely, but how about somewhere that is accessable via major transport routes. London is the obvious choice, (it'll probably have the most MeFi's living there), and for the Scots I'd probably propose Leeds, York or Manchester. (Me living in Halifax has nothing to do with this proposal - honest).

My votes ...
1 - York,
2 - London
3 - Cambridge

Brighton & Oxford sound nice, but the 5+ hours of travelling is a bit off putting.
posted by seanyboy at 5:56 AM on July 30, 2003

If it is a weeknight then Thursday is probably the best bet. But that restricts travelling options for us old non-studenty working-types. ie, if it were in Oxford I've got 3hrs train to get there...and back after the pubs hoik out? Back home by 5am ;-) [Not that me being able to get somewhere should stop anything going ahead!]

The idea of two Norf & Saaarf meetups seems a goodun...
posted by i_cola at 6:14 AM on July 30, 2003

It's always bloody London, let's be alternative. I personally am in Bath (Not that I'm proposing that we meet here)
posted by Joeforking at 6:17 AM on July 30, 2003

Oxford sounds good to me. It would keep my wife happy, too...
posted by monkey closet at 6:23 AM on July 30, 2003

So Oxford for the South....and down t'pit for the North?

I'm joking of course...

Now....dates....anyone got any proposals? (bear in mind its holiday time...)

I suggest Wednesday 20th August - I don't know why - but its free in my diary....
posted by mattr at 6:28 AM on July 30, 2003

nylon and I are in south wales. there's an empty field across the road. unless the cows are in.

nylon's band is playing in Camden Aug 9th. I can't speak objectively as to their quality, but I'll admit I've witnessed previous gig attendees practically get into blows arguing whether it was either totally brilliant or utterly crap.

In the brilliant/crap vien, Thursday nights is Sparky's Flying Circus (open mic night) at Oxford's Half Moon Pub. Not necessarily recommended for a meetup, but I went a few times a couple of years ago and it was definitely entertaining (and usually went on well past 11).

Ooooh lucky Joeforking, Bath's one of my favourite cities here!
posted by spandex at 6:28 AM on July 30, 2003

My first vote would be London because its near. I have no idea what is more expensive about London than anywhere else. Cheap can be done if you know where to look.

Having said that, Oxford is great so it gets my second vote. Along with Brighton - which is also great.
posted by nthdegx at 7:03 AM on July 30, 2003

spandex: a slight correction, dearest:

there's been a venue change. we're now headlining at the notting hill arts centre, saturday 9th august. it's a night of experimental rock action. perhaps we could make it even more experimental by getting all the mefites on stage for an ensemble improv? i know for a fact that ciderwoman will be there, as she's in my band.

it's a fantastic place for a mefi gathering, and it's FREE, for goodness' sake (entry, that is, not the beer).

anyone interested in that?
posted by nylon at 7:35 AM on July 30, 2003

I think a meeting is a great idea.

Let's be honest, London is the only suitable destination. I live in London - but I'm not a Londoner - and I've tried to organise big events outside London before. Practically everyone can get to London on one major train/plane journey, and it's cheaper to fly to London than anywhere else in the UK, from within the UK. And it's really not that expensive here, you just have to know the right places to go..

Nylon's idea sounds cool - except I can't go that day. We should wait a while, plan for Sep/Oct, so people can plan around it.
posted by ascullion at 8:02 AM on July 30, 2003

Ah no, don't wait too long. People get bored with it. I'm out in town in woking tonight, who's up for it?

(woking isn't the nicest places but hey, I live there)
posted by sebas at 8:09 AM on July 30, 2003

Saturday 9th August...that's the 1st day of the footy season! Nothing else matters! Altho' I will be watching Cov play at Watford, which is as good as London, but I'll be a bit wobbly by evening...

But we're getting somewhere...there will be a MeFi London [date (weekday) & venues (meet-pub, food, other pub) to be decided] for those who can/care and possibly others for those who want to...
posted by i_cola at 8:26 AM on July 30, 2003

I've just moved out of London you bastards.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:37 AM on July 30, 2003

*rubs eyes sleepily, looks over thread*
Man, you Brits are weird. A couple dozen comments from people saying "Anywhere but London," and then: "Well, it's settled, London it is." Oh, that's right, I forgot about the masochism thing.
*stumbles out to get coffee*
posted by languagehat at 8:43 AM on July 30, 2003

I'm in London, not sure I'd go to a meetup tho..
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:44 AM on July 30, 2003

I've just moved out of London you bastards.

Phew! I was worried we'd mis-timed the whole thing.
posted by walrus at 8:54 AM on July 30, 2003

OK, at the risk of moving on, here are some suggestions for thems which want to do the London thang (based on previous getting-disparate-groups-to-meet experience.)

1. Camden/Kentish Town
Meet at Quinns, an Irish-owned pub with an amazing range of beers and lots of space to meet folks. Beer garden too. A few minutes north from Camden tube station.

Food - Bintang, a few doors up the road. South Asian food, cheeeep (for London) and BYOB (well it used to be). Would need to book tho cuz it ain't that big IIRC.

Loads of other eateries & pubs around KT/Camden...

2. Euston
Meet at Head of Steam (at the entrance to the station, just by the bus stops) - lots of diff. beers & big enough for space. Handy for...

Food - Drummond St - Curry central and I doubt we'd need to book. Cheap buffet-style curries available, & some are BYOB.

3. Somewhere else, good for public transport?
Central - loadsa places but space/price/food? Suggestions?
[Pubs/bars - That Spanish pub on Hanway St, The Toucan, Pillars of Hercules, De Hems?...Food Wagamamas, Belgo etc..?]

And possibly a date... Weds & Thurs from 20/21 Aug are...
20/21 Aug, 27/28 Aug, 3/4 Sept, 10/11 Sept.

C'mon, sort yer lives out ;-)
posted by i_cola at 9:02 AM on July 30, 2003

27/28 sounds good - not too far, but gives people time to plan

I'm not sure we need food. What about Little Venice, lots of nice places by the canals there.. £2.50 a pint a least though..
posted by ascullion at 9:07 AM on July 30, 2003

Another vote for Oxford here. But I will go as far as London or Birmingham.
posted by salmacis at 9:08 AM on July 30, 2003

I'll vote for starting @ Quinns too. I don't think any of those dates is out of the question.
posted by walrus at 9:11 AM on July 30, 2003

I always giggle at a UK meetup thread because nothing ever gets decided or planned (she says from her high horse in NYC). Except for perhaps that one time a couple of members met up in Oxford and had a beer without actually speaking to each other.*

But, I did manage to meet up with walrus & roobarb at a pub when I was in London last November. The first meetup is always the hardest, but I highly recommend it.

*I could be making this up
posted by witchstone at 9:15 AM on July 30, 2003

'Except for perhaps that one time a couple of members met up in Oxford and had a beer without actually speaking to each other.'

That sound like every USMeFi meetup outside of NYC ;-)

PS MeFiNYC meetup - I'm there in May.
posted by i_cola at 9:24 AM on July 30, 2003

It might be better to break it up even further -- do MefiMeets by region rather than the entire UK or "the north" and "the south" (and where does the Midlands fit into that?).

I'm willing to organize the Midlands meet, if anyone else is interested. Or if we're really lazy buggers, the East Midlands meet -- not more than an hour by train!
posted by Katemonkey at 9:36 AM on July 30, 2003

Oxford it is then (",)

Joe's pub (The Half Moon) does tend to operate by Irish licensing, so it's a great place to end up.

i can put up 1 or 2 peeps on sofa's/blow up beds at my wee flat in South Oxford, but I wd. like the maximum availability, which seems to indicate September. However, I'm easy - but not the last wek of August, I'm on hols.

emails to my my address on my userpage...if you like.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:43 AM on July 30, 2003

Ditto with dash_slot - I can put people up at Oxford when I get there (mid-September or so).
posted by adrianhon at 9:52 AM on July 30, 2003

adrianhon, Mossy, mattr, dmt, biffa, Joeforking, monkey closet, spandex, nthdegx, dash_slot- - all vote for Oxford.

We have tons of restaurants and pubs to choose from, if we wanna do that. Gigs can be good quality, too, the Cowley Road is always edgy enough for me!

Several stoods can only make it in mid/late September.

So I vote for 24th/25th September. I know - it's a long way off. I'd rather we had a meetup that worked with planning, than none at all!
posted by dash_slot- at 9:55 AM on July 30, 2003

An August meetup, and you all miss the most obviously happenin' location in the UK. ;)
posted by rory at 10:09 AM on July 30, 2003

dash_slot: Bought at size, bought at price. Count me in. You are aware that the 24th and 25th of Sept are a Wednesday and a `respectively?

Oxford works for me - good to get out of London. Cowley Road... Gulp. (Great skate and snowboard shop on it, by the way...)
posted by dmt at 10:11 AM on July 30, 2003

dash_slot: All sounds good to me, I'm in. Having this much lead time also means we'll be able to organise a fun event :)
posted by adrianhon at 10:25 AM on July 30, 2003

curse the victorious oxford rabble! I'll try and make it so long as it's a weekend. no particular date preference.
posted by gravelshoes at 11:03 AM on July 30, 2003

if your gonna do a weekend, I'd prefer something on a Sunday....but weekdays are cool....I DJ Friday and Saturday, so no good...

Oxford or London cool for me....I said Oxford am happy to stick with that...can offer a lift to anyone on the western outskirts of London
posted by mattr at 11:32 AM on July 30, 2003

If the Oxford meetup is between 23 Aug to 1 Sept count *me* in! Even my g/f said she'd go (and her comments on MeFi are best left unrepeated).
posted by i_cola at 11:53 AM on July 30, 2003

Newcastle gets my belated vote. I live nowhere near it, but it's a great town and well worth travelling too. Great accents too.

Oxford is hell for people with cars, so doesn't deserve a visit, IMHO. *g* Oh, wtf am I on about anyway, I'm not even going to go, lol.
posted by wackybrit at 12:01 PM on July 30, 2003

Cars? Had one once... Oxford, September gets my vote.
posted by Joeforking at 1:54 PM on July 30, 2003

nottingham is not terrible

Thanks for your unreserved vote of support. :-P

Oxford is good though, if a tad pricey.
posted by squealy at 1:58 PM on July 30, 2003

if you're all so keen to go to oxford and all so keen to go in september, might i suggest saturday the 6th?
nottingham's six by seven are headlining this year - katemonkey, maybe they could give you a lift down?
it's an all day thing with pass-outs (both from the venue, and from consciousness, i guess), so you can pop out in between bands and get a curry from aziz or go to the pub or hang out in tesco or whatever.
posted by nylon at 2:23 PM on July 30, 2003

if anyones in town for the fringe , give me a shout .
I think pretty generic is coming up with a barber shop quartet or something : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:41 PM on July 30, 2003

Meant to say 25th/26th Sept., to accommodate adrianhon and mossy, et al.

I dunno, is that as near as a consensus as we can expect? It is a long way off, but then - we can't say we were caught off guard.

I can take several visitors, just drop me a line.

Now: what do we do?

Drink? Drink & eat? Drink, eat & bowl? Drink, eat, bowl & visit the new lap-dancing bar? (OK, that's not a big draw for me, but... )
posted by dash_slot- at 2:48 PM on July 30, 2003

Drink, feck, girls, cake etc.
posted by squealy at 2:54 PM on July 30, 2003

I don't think I can make the last week in September. Please don't do it then, especially if you're going to be meeting within half a mile of my house!
posted by salmacis at 3:04 PM on July 30, 2003

I recommend the Head of the River Pub in Oxford. Not that I live there or anything, I just wanted to brag that I knew the name of a cool place in Oxford.
posted by jonson at 3:38 PM on July 30, 2003

I think the drinking is mandatory. I wouldn't mind eating as well, and bowling is good. But is there any bowling easily accessible from the centre of Oxford?
posted by adrianhon at 4:22 PM on July 30, 2003

(er, adrian, no not really! that was a red herring! Nearest is Eynsham, I think)
posted by dash_slot- at 4:56 PM on July 30, 2003

Hmm...I'm in Minnesota, do y'think we could meet somewhere in between? Like...New York? That'd be tons easier for me.
nevermind, nevermind.
posted by graventy at 9:25 PM on July 30, 2003

I'm half way between Oxford and London now (Windsor) so either is good.

(mid week aint that good though)
posted by Frasermoo at 1:19 AM on July 31, 2003

Could do Oxford on a weekend, but not on a schoolnight.
posted by walrus at 2:15 AM on July 31, 2003

dash_slot: D'oh! Just shows how much I know about Oxford...

How is Friday 26th Sept? It has the wonderful advantage of being both a weekday and the start of the weekend.
posted by adrianhon at 2:58 AM on July 31, 2003

If any Scottish posters care to congregate, I meet up with a foaming pint of IPA every weeknight from around 7pm in Stravaigin, Gibson St., Glasgow -- feel free to join us ; )

Are there any other Glasgow posters beside myself and the honey-voiced patkane?
posted by jack_mo at 5:24 AM on July 31, 2003

Oop, I mean the honey-voiced playethic. Confused by search results.
posted by jack_mo at 5:28 AM on July 31, 2003

your'e jokin , is pat kane on this ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:34 AM on July 31, 2003

right , i'll come through to weegie land as soon as my work gies me time aff big man.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:38 AM on July 31, 2003

London, Oxford or Newcastle would all be fine by me
posted by prentiz at 6:40 AM on July 31, 2003

Hey, there's someone else in Bath. OK, it's not as convenient as London but it's pretty. No desire to confuse matters but if you fancy meeting up here I can put my Internet Cafe at your disposal for an evening and get some bottles in. Cheap. Plus we should have our shiny new Spa open (yeah maybe).
posted by grahamwell at 10:09 AM on July 31, 2003

That's a mighty fine & kind offer, grahamwell!

MefiUK Meetup II: Ba'ath Party? Any time or date best for you - assuming the MefiUK Metup in Oxford, on September 26th.

BTW, post venue ideas here before the thread dies: my current food fave is Red Star Noodle Bar, opp. the Zodiac club. It's good value, bowls of Ramen, noodles, other good tasty stuff about a fiver, easy rach of the Bully, The Half Moon, The Hobgoblin, etc.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:36 AM on July 31, 2003

God damn, a free Internet Cafe? Maybe we could do a video conferencing hookup with other esteemed Mefites across the globe. I'd definitely be up for a meet in Bath some time.
posted by adrianhon at 10:55 AM on July 31, 2003

Now you're talking! Looks like we hit paydirt....
posted by dash_slot- at 11:44 AM on July 31, 2003

Later in the year (after the main tourist season) is better. Friday or Saturday are slow nights here so the hit on my takings wouldn't be so great. I'd be delighted to contribute something back, but would ask that you bring your own booze. Suggestions for a MeFi Counterstrike Mod received with eyebrows raised.
posted by grahamwell at 12:13 PM on July 31, 2003

Very well, g. You're on!

This 'Counterstrike' - is it something only a geek would be aware of? (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 12:49 PM on July 31, 2003

late vote for london, thanks. i live in hampshire, but hey, anywhere is good...

i'm going to have to re-read the whole thread now, as most of august i'll be away on holiday. argh. i cannot miss the only uk meet!
posted by triv at 5:53 AM on August 1, 2003

did someone mention friday the 26th? in oxford?
[pathetic, desperate self-promotion] could i interest anyone in a trip to the wheatsheaf for an hour? [/pathetic, desperate self-promotion]
posted by nylon at 9:16 AM on August 1, 2003

i can't think of a better way to kick the evening off, nylon, what times the gig start?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:25 AM on August 1, 2003

Somebody is a genius, I just checked my diary for Sept 26th thinking it might clash with a trip to milan and it turns out I'm in Oxford anyway, which is odd as i only get there about once every 5 years.
posted by biffa at 9:55 AM on August 1, 2003

Adrianhon - i know you are a whizz with wiki's, shall we have a MefiUKwiki, like the DC one?
posted by dash_slot- at 11:19 AM on August 1, 2003

We could indeed have a MefiUKwiki, but it would perhaps be a bit excessive to start up a whole new one when we could just use a page on the current semi-official Mefi wiki - say
posted by adrianhon at 2:00 PM on August 1, 2003

Excellent! Thanks, Adrianhon.

Er, there's one small change I've made on the Wiki - I'm willing to co-ordinate, so I didn't like the designation 'organiser'.

Anyone feel like sharing that - I mean, I didn't assume, and am a naturally collaborative chap. Emails welcome - see my userpage.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:56 PM on August 1, 2003

Why hasn't anyone ever registered I've considered it many times, simply because it's 'there', but I'd have no real use for it. All you community minded UK folks who don't find other people a nuisance, however, would probably have a good use for it though. :-)
posted by wackybrit at 11:17 AM on August 3, 2003

I'm not sure if I want to buy and run myself (I already have more domains and projects than I can use) but I'd be happy to help set up or populate a wiki or something similar for it.

[optimistic] I see a good future for the UK Mefi community providing that we manage to meet up more than once. There are a lot of UK Mefiers and we are all probably within a mere few hours of each other. Great things can be achieved, and a website must be constructed to record the Good Work [/optimistic]
posted by adrianhon at 3:56 PM on August 3, 2003

dash_slot, you're scaring me now, if you're a regular in one of Mr Ryan's frequent lock-ins then there is every chance that you and I have sat at the bar at the same time. I no longer live in Oxford (the lure of streets paved with gold and cheap hookers lead me to kilburn), but in my oxford days I spent far too much time handing money over to Joe Ryan or Flan.

If any of you are intending to come along and see myself and nylon on stage may I please warn you that we are to pop music what robbie williams is to humility. So put on your dancing monkey. Looking forward to it. Will it be like MeFi? Does everyone have to bring a link with them?
posted by ciderwoman at 5:22 PM on August 3, 2003

Arses. I can't believe it. An Oxford Mefi meetup, and I'm away.
posted by salmacis at 3:01 AM on August 4, 2003

adrianhon: I second your optimism! This could be the geekiest thing I've ever done in my life...
posted by i_cola at 8:47 AM on August 4, 2003

...unless wiring my flat with cat-5 cable counts higher.
posted by i_cola at 8:51 AM on August 4, 2003

ciderwoman: let's face it, if you've lived in Oxford all your life but don't know Joe Ryan, you must be a sadster.

Which, of course, I'm not....
posted by dash_slot- at 10:14 AM on August 4, 2003

salmacis: we'll raise a glass to you!
posted by dash_slot- at 10:16 AM on August 4, 2003

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