In 2012 a group of designers in Birmingham (who I won’t embarrass by naming now) got together and started a little meet up on a Thursday night, every fortnight at Bodega bar and cantina. Not long after I started attending and met just about every person I consider a friend in this city.
Badego’s always been a great place for meeting people and encouraging creativity in the city. When I took the reins in 2014 I wanted to build on the great foundation Badego had as a community. We held talks, screened films and raised over £1,000 for Acorns Children’s Hospice. In that time we also grew to become one of the biggest meetups in the Midlands.
The great response to Badego and other organisations of its ilk led to the formation of Birmingham Design Festival, which over the past year and a half has been a huge joy to work on but also a massive drain on time for myself and Andy, who like me also works full-time. It’s made it difficult to have the time and energy to do anything with Badego and that’s felt like an injustice to the community, however, this was completely unintentional. There’s been an appetite to do things, but being realistic BDF is a full-time task that we do in our spare time and there’s just not enough time in a day!
It’s also been a realisation of what can be achieved with some resources behind it. Money, a large team and a bit more focus. Badego was usually run at my expense, which was intentional but a little prohibitive and looking back on it, it wasn’t the best way to do things.
You may have seen that with BDF we’re now taking on Glug Birmingham. In addition to the welcome return of Ladies, Wine & Design we feel there’s enough going on in the design space that Badego has possibly run its course and the momentum has shifted onto other projects. With that said as you’ve probably guessed this post is to mark the end of Badego.
We’ve always had a bit of a discovery problem with Badego, the name means absolutely nothing – so people new to the city (and lots who were already established) had no idea what it was or what it meant. Most people can’t even say it properly. So whilst we’re going to be shuttering the metaphorical doors actually it just marks a transition of energy onto things people do understand. Glug, BDF and some other things we have in the pipelines that we hope people will really enjoy that, as always, will be dedicated to promoting the outstanding creative talent in Birmingham.
We’re going to keep the website and social accounts for Badego open, but the meetup will be repurposed. I’d encourage you to go follow Glug Birmingham, Birmingham Design Festival, Type Talks and Ladies, Wine & Design.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Andy and Paul, who over the past few years have been key to putting on the events we have done, as well as Faye, Karen and Milly who joined the team and put on some sterling events before we got bogged down with BDF.
Finally a big thanks to everyone who’s supported Badego over the years. Who’ve attended meet-ups, talks, donated, spoken, sponsored and put us up. We made a great community and I hope you’ll join us on our next step (if you haven’t already).
We’ll be doing one final Badego in February to close things off, keep an eye on our twitter and meetup accounts for info.
Dan (and Andy & Paul)