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.

2015-02-28 13.21.11

2015-02-28 13.20.57

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.

Robot Workshop

Imogen’s first robot build

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.)

Mythic Pete on PIANATRON, Jonathan guesting on Novation Launchkey pads

Since we didn’t bring a piano player or a drummer with us from Bath, finding both at exactly the same moment was pretty neat.

We loved watching kids see the music they were making.

magic keyboard

Some kids learned a bit of history.

2015-02-28 12.46.45

Others got to work on custom devices.

2015-02-28 14.34.33-1

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.

16675607665_17b9204e05_z (1)

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.

@Poly_Core Live

@Poly_Core. (@bensmithguitar and @samaaron) playing guitar and @sonic_pi live coding at the Raspberry Pi 3rd Birthday Party. Very impressed

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

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 14.17.00

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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 10.52.17

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.

PiTay Pass-the-parcel

This is “PiTay Pass-the-parcel” by raspberrypi on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

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.