Come to our fourth birthday party!

Today, we’re running a post we published last year for a second time. Why? Because tickets for our fourth birthday party go on sale today. (If you’re particularly pedantic, these are tickets for our first birthday party: we launched Raspberry Pi on February 29th in 2012.)

This year’s party will take place over the weekend of March 5-6 2016. It’ll be hosted at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory again (thank you, Lab folks!) and we’ll be mixing up the elements that worked so well last year with some new stuff, just for you. We’ll all be there too if you want to come and say hi.

You can buy tickets to this year’s event here. Come for the whole weekend, for one day only, or for the evening party on Saturday: we’d love to see you!

Thanks are due once again to organisers extraordinaire Mike Horne and Tim Richardson, who have volunteered to help us out for a second year. Thank you so much, guys: you’re amazing.

Now read on to find out what we did for last year’s event.


1300 of you came to see us at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory over the weekend, where you listened to 24 lecture theatre talks, took part in 14 workshops, shared hundreds of incredible projects you’d made with your Pis, and ate 110 pizzas.

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The workshops were amazing: thanks so much to everybody who helped run them. Here’s Imogen, age 10, who is a Scratch pro (we loved your maze game, Imogen!): this is the first time she’s ever done any robotics, and we thought her robot turned out just great.

Alan McCullagh came all the way from France, where he runs the Rhône Valley Raspberry Jams, to join the other volunteers teaching kids in the Beginners’ Workshop.


(Private note for Alan: ROWER. I said ROWER.)

The projects on display were brilliant. Phil Atkin brought along PIANATRON, his Raspberry Pi synthesiser. Pete from Mythic Beasts (you can only see his hands), who is such a good pianist I’m always too embarrassed to play in front of him, was joined by Jonathan “Penguins” Pallant on the “drums”. (Jonathan gave me an update on the penguins project: the Pis all survived the Antarctic winter; however, the solar panels did not, so some more work’s being done on how to manage power.)

We loved watching kids see the music they were making.

magic keyboard

Some kids learned a bit of history.

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Others got to work on custom devices.

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Brian Corteil’s Easter Bunny (which he lent us last year for YRS) made an appearance, and laid several kilos of chocolate eggs.


We found more kids in quiet corners, hacking away together.


Workshops aren’t just for young learners: here’s Dave Hughes, the author of the PiCamera library, giving a PiCamera workshop to some grown-up users.


There were 24 talks: here’s our very own Carrie Anne explaining what we do in education.


A certain Amy Mather made a Pi photobooth, the results of which, in this particular instance, I found horrifying.


Vendors set up stands to sell Pis and add-ons on both days. Here’s Pimoroni’s stand, as gorgeous as ever.

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All the cool kids played retro games.


Poly Core (Sam Aaron and Ben Smith) provided live-coded evening entertainment. (My Mum, who came along for the day, is still adamant that there must have been a tape recorder hidden in a box somewhere.) They were amazing – find more snippets on their Twitter feed.

Dan Aldred brought a newly refined version of PiGlove. The capitalisation of its name is of utmost importance.

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Ben Croston from the Fuzzy Duck Brewery (and author of RPi.GPIO) uses a Raspberry Pi controller in the brewing process, and made us a batch of very toothsome, special edition beer called Irration Ale (geddit?) for the Saturday evening event.

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There was cake.


It was a bit like getting married again.


There was more cake.


After the beer (and raspberry lemonade for the kids) and cake, several hundred people played Pass the Parcel.

The foyer centrepiece was a talking throne created for an exhibition at Kensington Palace, which we borrowed from its current home in Oxford (thank you to Henry Cooke and Tim Burrell-Saward from ELK for making it, and for your heroic work getting it to Cambridge!) We understand a door had to be removed from its frame to get it here.


A selection of members of Team Pi were photographed on it. Please note the apposite labelling – the throne uses a Pi with RFID to read what’s on the slates out loud. (Ross has cheese on his mind because we interrupted his burger for this shot.)


And we appear to have lost Eben. He was last seen heading towards Bedford in an outsized, Pi-powered Big Trak.

Enormous thanks to all the exhibitors and volunteers – and most especially to Mike Horne, Tim Richardson and Lisa Mather, who made this weekend what it was. We can’t thank the three of you enough.



Alan Mc avatar

Hotel booked ;o) Working on the flights from France now. I’ll be back!

Thanks Mike and Tim. See you all there =o)

ukscone avatar

Hmm that comment does explain a lot Alan. Always knew you were an evil robot from the future :P

Alan Mc avatar

Rowbot, she said “rowbot”! ;o)

Liz Upton avatar

Yay! Haven’t seen you for…a year; really looking forward to seeing you!

W. H. Heydt avatar

If only…. Kind of pricey to get there from California.

Jim Manley avatar

Hey Hal, given the number of people who have just walked/run onto the tarmac at San Jose International during the past few years, I figure we just need to identify what time and gate from which a flight to the UK is departing (British Airways started non-stop 787 service last year), wander through a gap in the fence some ne’er-do-well has cut, saunter over to the aircraft, and make ourselves comfy up in the wheel wells. I suppose we should bring FRS/GPRS walkie-talkies, WiFi-equipped devices, and some pu-pus to while away the hours, and really warm clothing would probably be in order, not to mention some oxygen! OK, I’m kidding, of course … DO NOT DO THIS, KIDS! There, disclaimer stated … but some yahoo will still try it.

Martin O'Hanlon avatar

I’ll be there. Love a weekend of massive geek fueled fun.

Btw – I dont know who Dave Hughes is, but the fella in the picture looks a lot like Dave Jones.

Ben Nuttall avatar

I’m not sure who wrote that caption – but Dave did indeed used to be named Dave Hughes (though still prior to the photo). He changed his name when he married. I wrote about it on here ages ago :P

Leo White avatar

Tickets booked!

Was a fun time last year.

solar3000 avatar

Hoppy Birthday! Wow its been that long?

Yasmin Bey avatar

Yay! Tickets booked for the whole time, really looking forward to my first Pi Birthday!

Liz Upton avatar

Brilliant! Want to do a talk? Wheedle wheedle.

Yasmin Bey avatar

Depends what you have in mind Liz ;) I’m up for a panel, talk, workshop, marshalling!

Gordon avatar

Well, that’s another weekend taken care of.

Last year’s party was such a blast – we can’t wait to see everyone’s efforts at this year’s event.

Right, off to find a good local hotel before they are all booked!

Stewart Watkiss avatar

Booked my tickets. Will be there for most of the weekend this time. Hopefully be able to to give a talk or help with a workshop.

Ben avatar

Will work out logistics / book tickets tomorrow!

Elizabeth Elliott avatar

Why can’t they do something like that in Australia? It’s only in Britain and America! So why can’t it be Australia?

Rick Morrell avatar

Well just booked our tickets.. the kids are really excited about the workshops and having a look around the Uni. I’ve told them its nearly as sophisticated as the Uni daddy went too (Leeds). ;-)

Pi Enthusiast avatar

Is there one in the U.S.?

Liz Upton avatar

No, it’s here in Cambridge UK, where Raspberry Pi is based. (Looking at the ticket sales so far, there are a fair few people from the USA coming over for the event.)

Xaspi avatar

Is It possible that show a new model of Raspberry?

Tobias K avatar

@Xaspi: I was wondering the same thing. The Pi Zero, notwithstanding, it seems like it’s been a long time (about a year) since the Pi 2 B was introduced and competition is heating up. Highly desirable features: Multiple HDMI video outputs (at least two), H.265 decoding/encoding and the ability to handle 4k video, 1 Gb Ethernet, and possibly at least one USB3 port out of the four. Please consider these enhancements.
Best regard,

Alistair Robertson avatar

Are there refreshments available over the weekend?

PS Congrats on the release of the RPi 3!

Amanda lauren avatar

I would love to come. I was waiting for this Fourth Birthday Party and I will surely come.

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