Announcing – The BiCon 2018 Programme App

The lovely John (@semanticist on Twitter), has been an absolute star and whipped up a little website-style app of the BiCon programme in just a weekend, and it is now ready for debut.

Go to https://bicon.bipride.net on your phones and follow the instructions to install. It should work on any phone and is more up to date than the printed programme as it includes all the last minute sessions we've had so far.

Some things you might want to bring to BiCon

There are a few sessions happening at BiCon that you might want to bring things to, plus I'm working on my own packing list at the moment… So here is a handy list of things you might want to bring to BiCon. Some of this is cribbed from the list we put out in 2015, but some things are specific to this year. The need for things like clean pants might not change a lot, but specific session plans do!

If in doubt, many long-time BiCon goers suggest packing light. Your journey will be easier and you'll spend less time looking for things.

For this BiCon in particular

  • An outfit for the Mythical Bisexual Ball , if you're dressing up
  • Headphones and something to play music on for the BiCon Silent Disco
  • A pride flag or something to make one out of for the Pride Flag Show and Tell session
  • Clothes to swap for the Fat Positive Clothes Swap ( for women, femmes and non-binary people, all sizes welcome)
  • An instrument for the Jam Session and Music Workshop (some will be provided)
  • Swimming kit or gym gear, if you want to use the University Sports Centre or join in the Chill in the Pool session on Friday evening
  • Board or card games (there will also be a lot in the games space already)
  • Craft stuff like knitting or crochet (again we'll be providing a lot)

For all

  • Travel details or train tickets
  • Keys
  • Money
  • Comfortable shoes – you may end up walking further than you expect, even though the spaces are close together this year
  • Emergency contact details
  • Phone and any other gadgets, and their chargers
  • Assistive technology
  • Medication, including meds that you may only need to take sometimes
  • An umbrella or waterproof? Check the weather nearer the time…
  • Snacks
  • Water bottle

If you're staying overnight, you may also need
If you have accommodation in the halls, all room types come with bedding, a towel, tea and coffee-making facilities and a hotel-style toiletries pack. But you'll probably need some or all of these things:

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Clothes
  • Antiperspirant or deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Haircare items, such as brush, comb
  • Earplugs
  • Make-up, if you wear it
  • Shaving stuff, if you do that
  • Contact lenses or glasses-related needs
  • Pyjamas or nightclothes, if you wear them
  • Safer sex supplies
  • Any first aid things you might need, such as sticking plasters, pain relief or eyedrops

Now, what have we missed?

The BiCon DIY Silent Disco

This year BiCon will have a DIY Silent Disco on Friday night. Here's some more about it from organiser Katy…

 

When and where is it?

On the Friday night of BiCon 2018, in the main bar from 9.30-11pm.

What’s a silent disco?

A standard silent disco is one where everyone wears headphones and everyone dances to music from a DJ. It’s just like a normal dance party except that nobody else hears the music, so it’s great for places that don’t allow loud noise.

What’s a DIY silent disco?

  • It’s a silent disco without a DJ or equipment. Instead, anyone who wants to join in brings their phone or some other way to play music, and their own headphones or earbuds. Then we all dance together, but not necessarily to the same songs.

What will I need to bring?

  • Something to play music on – your phone, an MP3 player, etc. If you don’t have anything to play music on but still want to join in, contact us and we’ll try to arrange something.
  • Headphones or earbuds. (Again, if you don’t have any, get in touch and we’ll see what we can sort out.)

What music will I be listening to?

  • We will have public Spotify playlists in different genres available (see the bottom of this post for details) so if you have Spotify you can listen to those. Because everyone will be listening individually, you can skip around between playlists, skip songs, whatever – it’s entirely up to you.
  • You can also bring your own music and listen to that, in whatever format works for you.
  • If you’d like to create a Spotify playlist for other people to use as well if they want to, please feel free! All you need to do is tell people how to find it.
  • You can search Spotify for playlists, but it’s not always reliable, so if you can’t find a playlist on the night by searching BiCon 2018, check the #biconUK hashtag on Twitter for links, or find Katy who can message you links.
  • If you’d like people to know what you’re dancing to, you can Tweet your current song using #biconUK or post to the FaceBook BiCon group – we’ll have a silent disco thread on the night.

Will it be weird that everyone’s listening to different music?

  • Not nearly as weird as you might think. Although the music in everyone’s head is different, it’s surprisingly easy to imagine that we’re all dancing to the same beat. There’s probably some kind of profound message there. 😊

Will people be watching me?

  • No more so than they would be as a traditional disco. It might feel odd for a bit, but that should wear off. And if you do decide it feels too strange, you can stop or take a break at any time, obviously.

What are the advantages of having a DIY silent disco at BiCon?

  • There are a lot of people at BiCon who don’t like hearing loud music in the bar and find it’s hard to talk over. This solves that problem.
  • There are a lot of people at BiCon who have very disparate musical tastes – not surprisingly, since it’s a gathering based around sexuality not musical taste. This means you can dance at BiCon to your own choice of music.

What will it be like in the bar if I’m not taking part in the silent disco?

  • Quieter!
  • If you’re in the bar and not taking part in the silent disco, feel free to enjoy the sight of people dancing just as you would at any disco, but please don’t make anyone feel self-conscious – we’re sure nobody at BiCon would even think of pointing or laughing at anyone, but just for clarity, please don’t. It can be odd watching people dance when you can’t hear the music, but you’ll soon get used to it.

BiCon Spotify
The free Spotify app won’t work as well for the silent disco because you’ll get ads and can’t skip many songs, but you can pay 99p for a 30 day trial of the paid app and then cancel, and then you’ll get the more useful paid version.
Playlist Links

Desperately Seeking Sessions

From Elizabeth Reiff, BiCon programme person

Every year I’ve been to BiCon, I’ve always looked forward eagerly to finding out what’s on. Whether it’s old favourites or exciting new ideas, hearing about the sessions that are planned makes me ever more excited for August.

This year it’s my turn to put the programme together, and I love seeing all the great ideas for sessions coming in. It’s truly a thrill to witness the sheer amount of wisdom, creativity, joy, and craft that is on display in the bi community. We are a talented bunch!

This year we’ve got some wonderful stuff lined up. There’s the return of Queering Shakespeare, a chance to indulge your dramatic side with performances and readings of Shakespeare’s work in the way it was surely meant to be! And if that wasn’t enough for you, there’s a Stand Up & Comic Workshop where you can learn how to be the comedian you totally are in your head.

Then there’s a Jam Session and Music Workshop, giving you the opportunity to play the instrument of your choice surrounded by your fellow bis. You can also sing your heart out at our Campfire Sing-a-long. Or if craft is more your thing, pop along to the Summer Camp Style Macrame Friendship Bracelet Making — no experience necessary!

Arty type? Draw some fellow bisexuals at Drawing Bisexuals. Interested in delicious food? Learn how you can Make Food Your Medicine on Friday evening with Eddi.

We’ve got a Steven Universe Sing-a-long and the ever-popular session Bisexuality and Fandom. At BiCon, your inner fannish geek is entirely welcome.

If you’re in a gaming mood, there’s Fun and Games, Quick Board Games for New People, and Personality Snap all happening over the weekend. And if you’re feeling kinky, we’ve got BDSM for Beginners, as well a Pervertibles & Kink on a Budget session.

Here to find your folk? We have a Non-binary Safe Space, a BME Safe Space, an Ace Space, a Bi/Pan Parenting session, and a Survivors’ Safe Space all taking place throughout the weekend.

These are just a few of the great sessions we’ve got planned. But we could use more! If you’ve got an idea in the back of your head, now’s the time to act if you want your session in the handbook.

If you’re coming up empty but would like to run a session, here’s a few we don’t have which have been run before, or would be particularly useful this year.

We’ve got a session on polyamory, but nothing on monogamy or mixed-orientation relationships. If hosting safe spaces is your thing, we still need a neurodiverse safe space, or perhaps a more general safe space for disabled bisexuals. How about a women only or men only safe space? We’re all getting older, so maybe you’d like to have a session about bisexuals and aging. How about a little bisexual fat positivity? Or maybe you’re a working class bi, or you live in the countryside, and would like to have a chat with others in a similar situation?

If you’re more of an activist bent, it would be great to see the popular session Fitting and Misfitting in the Bisexual Community return again. Or perhaps a session on setting up local bi groups? We certainly have some experts out there. Or maybe you’re just tired and burnt out as an activist and would like to have a chat with others who are also tired and burnt out? A session’s as easy as that.

Fancy something a bit more fun? How about flirting with women for women, or flirting with men for men? Maybe a little body painting, or platonic speed dating? Or tea tasting, a very popular session a few years back.

In today’s fraught political climate, the issues facing bisexual immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers has never been more important. Do you have insight into this topic you’d be willing to share?

If you’re up for running a session, don’t delay! Deadlines are fast approaching, and BiCon itself is less than a month away. If you haven’t signed up for BiCon yet, book now, and then fill in this Session Leaders Information Form for each session you would like to run. If you have any questions, please email me at programme2018@bicon.org.uk.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at BiCon. With your help, I know it will be another wonderful weekend for us all.