Last chance to complete Feedback and Equalities Forms

If you want to fill in Feedback and Equalities forms for BiCon 2018 this is your last chance.

We will be closing these forms at 11:59pm tomorrow, Wednesday 15th August 2018.

What next?
The 2018 team will then look through the forms, pass on detailed feedback to the 2019 team, feedback to workshop facilitators and publish some findings on our website. Where venue issues are raised we will be passing those on as part of our final work with them.

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.

A few last minute rooms available – first come first served!

Are you sad you or your friend missed the accommodation deadline? BiCon 2018 has a FEW extra rooms available which we're selling first come first served!

To minimise work you MUST pay in full by Paypal within 24hr of booking these rooms.

There is no access fund help for these rooms, and all are on upper floors reachable by lift in the BiCon only accommodation block. We can't guarantee to put you near your friends who've already booked, but if two new people book together we can put them next to each other.

Book at https://bookings.bicon.org.uk/

Residential bookings are now closed

Thanks to everyone who's booked for BiCon so far. The final deadline has passed and you can no longer book on site accommodation at BiCon. However you CAN still book day and weekend tickets, so please do! We will be taking advance bookings up to 31st July and after that you can still turn up on the day and pay in cash.

In the next 2-3 days we will be sending an email to everyone who's booked with some details about registration, and we will be sending another at the start of July with your room details and other instructions.

BiCon cannot afford to pay for rooms which are not paid for by attenders, so In a very small number of cases we will cancel people's bookings because we have had no payment or responses to our emails to them. We will send a final email to everyone affected by this. Please contact us if this is you – even if it's just to say you can't come to BiCon after all – we much prefer to hear from you than to keep sending emails that don't get answered.

You may also need to contact us if:-

  • You haven't finished paying for your BiCon
  • You have anything you need to sort out with the Access Fund
  • You have to sort out a session you are running
  • You have access needs you haven't told us about
  • You want to tell us about your flat sharing preferences.

If any of these apply to you please do check your spam for missed messages and mail us as soon as possible.

Off site accommodation
The BiCon venue is reasonably close to several hotels and guesthouses. We can't advise you about them or book them for you, but you can easily find them online. Plenty of people at BiCon stay off site, either because they live nearby or they prefer a different kind of accommodation, so you won't be alone. If you have ideas about nearby accommodation do share them on our facebook page or in the attenders group.

One week to go! Book your accommodation NOW!

Times marches on and there is now only ONE WEEK before the accommodation deadline for BiCon. This means you have to have BOOKED AND PAID by 13th June or you don't get a bedroom. As you may be able to tell this is the time when your lovely BiCon team get super stressed, so be kind and patient with us and do book as soon as possible if you're going to.

Other things to do as soon as possible are:-

  • Let us know your flat sharing preferences. See this post for more details of that, but basically we need you to email 2018@bicon.org.uk with any requests.
  • Remind your friends to book by the deadline (especially if you want to share a flat with them!)
  • Reply to us if we have contacted you about the Access fund or the BME bursary fund or asked you about your Access needs or anything else
  • Check your spam if you don't think we've contacted you but should have, and if that fails email 2018@bicon.org.uk and ask about whatever it was
  • Keep up with paying your instalments if you have agreed an instalment plan with us
  • Let us know straight away if there are any problems with your booking, especially including not being able to pay by the deadline

And to the people who have done these things already THANK YOU – it all makes life so much easier for the volunteers who make BiCon happen!

 

Flat share requests for BiCon

If you have already booked a residential place at BiCon you can let us know who you would like to share your accommodation with.

There are between 5 and 8 people per flat. If you know who you’d like to share with, please email 2018@bicon.org.uk with their full names. Make sure everyone in your flat has booked, and that they each email us with the request too.

We will do our best to match you with your requested people. Any rooms left over in your flat will be given to others, so you may find yourself sharing with people you don’t know as well.

If we're having difficulty fitting everyone's requests into the flats available we will prioritise requests by individuals to be next to family, carers and close friends, so if there's one particular person in your group you want to be next to do let us know.

Please also let us know if you have any requests for a particular type of flat.

Examples include:-

  • party flat or quiet flat
  • late night or early morning people
  • other kink-friendly or poly people
  • child-friendly
  • vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free etc.
  • people who live near you
  • other BME (black and minority ethnic) people

Obviously we won't be able to make up a whole flat of a particular type unless we get enough people asking for it, but we will do our best.

You can also tell us about

Flat share requests should be sent by Friday 15th of June due to the venue's accommodation deadline.

And if you or your friends haven't yet booked your residential place for BiCon BOOK NOW. Remember the deadline for bookings with accommodation is Wednesday 13th June

BiCon 2018 BME Bursary Fund

The BiCon 2018 team have decided to run a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) LGBT People's Bursary for BiCon 2018 following the success of a similar fund in 2015.

For the purpose of this fund we are defining Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) as people who are:-

  • Of colour (e.g. Asian, Black)
  • Of mixed heritage
  • International migrants from outwith the UK
  • Jewish
  • Roma

This does not include people who may belong to British ethnicities that may be considered minorities in some contexts.

Applicants should also be LGBT and be resident in the UK.

With the bursary BiCon will cost:-

  • £30 for a full event ticket with accommodation for three nights
  • £5 for a full event ticket without accommodation
  • £2 for a one-day ticket

Click here to apply for the fund

Funds will be allocated on a simple first come, first served basis and close when funds are all used or on the BiCon booking deadline.

We recognise that BiCon has similar issues with racism in our community to other LGBT+ spaces and believe supporting more BME people to attend BiCon is only one of many steps we can take to mitigate racism and its impact on BME people.

Other steps BiCon 2018 are taking include:-

  • Using guidelines from Black Pride’s anti-racism code of practice which recognises that our community is multi¬ethnic and multi¬cultural and that racism is a problem in the LGBTQ community so we need to accept the challenge of addressing that
  • Partnering with the Equality Network to work on diversity including BME inclusion. They are facilitating an Introduction to Diversity session as well as a workshop to improve attendee’s skills at recognising and tackling racism
  • Providing a BME/Bis of Colour only attender safe space session slot
  • Providing the option of a BME-only flat for BME people who request this
  • Displaying posters called community info zones educating attenders about racism alongside other topics.

As with previous BiCons race and diversity are explicitly mentioned in our Code of Conduct and we are committed to challenging racist language and behaviour.

BME bi+ people may also be interested in Bis of Colour, a separate group for bi+ people of colour. Their blog and details are at bisofcolour.tumblr.com/

If you want to donate to the fund you can do so by Paypal to bicon2018@gmail.com or by using the button on our access fund page. Any surplus will be ring-fenced for future BiCon Access funds.