We spoke with Array Festival founder Daniel Knowles to discuss all things Array Festival 2021, what you can expect, the meaning behind Array and Lancaster as a Digital leading City.
Good morning Dan, It’s a pleasure to speak to you today, can you start by telling us where Array festival came from, what was the inspiration behind it?
Yeah sure so, the city region of Lancaster has always had the ambition to be an excellent place for business, but it’s always just been potential. I came up with the concept from the bigger cities where innovation is at the centre of their agendas and showcased via events similar to Array Festival. At the time I was working on Fraser House and helping to build that digital and tech community, and I really felt like a digital event would go hand in hand with the development of Fraser House and with that, Array Festival was born!
And what a great job you’re doing! So what are the main roles of Array?
So there are two prominent roles. The first one is to inspire and attract entrepreneurs to invest in the city or launch a business in the city. The second is to attract young and highly skilled people to the region and see it as a great place to start a career. Lancaster is home to some incredible employers. For digital roles, we have SQ Digital, Relative Insight, Lockstep Media. For engineering roles, we have one of the many businesses’ in the ElecTech Cluster, or professional services we have ICS Accounting.
As a city, we want to attract the best innovators, the best entrepreneurs and the best candidates and to do this, and we need to have a signature annual event that showcases all the fantastic things that we do as a city.
So Dan, what events are you most looking forward to?
That’s a really tough one, but it’s got to be the Entrepreneurial story with Kate Houlden, James Walkerdine and Micheal Gibson. As well as Nick Gannicliffe and Jonathan Stevens networking session. Last but certainly not least, the well-anticipated event with our twin city Växjö all about what we can learn from our Swedish twin city and how Lancaster can work towards its own climate emergency goals? Växjö is the world’s first city to set the goal of becoming fossil fuel-free back in 1993.