That was the Places _ VR Festival 2020!

From Experience _ Places to Speakers, Panels, Talks, Workshops, the Creative _ Places Kunst-WG, Hackathon and the DIVR Science Award: From August 20-22, 2020, the Places _ Virtual Reality Festival offered a full program for three days in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf.

For the second time after 2018, Bochumer Straße in Gelsenkirchen was the meeting point for the German and European VR industry last weekend, as well as the meeting point for many VR enthusiasts from near and far.

The focus we wanted to set this year was on “Meaningful VR”. In other words: Which virtual reality applications prove to be really useful for developments in research and society? These aspects were especially considered in the competitions of the Places _ Festival – at the 24h-Hackathon, Startup Pitch and the exhibition of the latest VR developments of 14 university teams from all over Germany in the context of the award of the German Institute for Virtual Realities (DIVR). But also many program partners at the Experience _ Places showed applications that are more than just Fun & Gaming. Parents, for example, were able to discover the possibilities VR offers their children.

Gelsenkirchen’s Lord Mayor Frank Baranowski explained why the Places _ VR Festival and Gelsenkirchen are a good combination: “I am glad that after 2018 we have managed to have Places held again. The festival and the topic Virtual Reality fit to Gelsenkirchen. We are a digital model city, have an excellent infrastructure with fiber optic cables, a central location in the Rhine-Ruhr area, open spaces and affordable rents. These are ideal conditions especially for start-ups”.

On the other hand, the festival site with its decentralized and diverse locations offered us ideal conditions to realize an event like a tech-festival even in times of Corona’s restrictions. Our visitors were also convinced of this: During the three days of the festival in 2020 a total of about 4000 people participated in the festival – either as visitors on site or via one of the online offers. In 2021 the festival continues and you can already write the date in your schedule. The Places _ VR Festival 2021 will take place from September 16 – 18.

Fotos: Places _ VR Festival / Frank Vinken / Ravi Sejk