🔒 Building Temporarily Closing

On the 23rd of March Boris Johnson announced a complete UK lockdown amid the COVID-19 crisis.

As a result, the Farset Labs building is going to be closed until further notice. The doors will remain open until 7pm on Friday the 27th of March to allow members to collect any necessary belongings and equipment.

A (remote) Town Hall will be hosted on Wednesday at 7pm – 8pm for any of your questions.

In the meantime, some important questions are answered below.

Is Farset Labs stopping all operations?
No, you’ll start to see way more happening online and we hope you join the mischief!

Can I access the space after the 27th of March?
No, until further notice, other than in exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis. In such a case, email info@farsetlabs.org.uk or message @directors on Slack.

How does this affect my membership and other fees?
You are free to pause your fees, and reach out to us about refunds for the month of March. However, please keep in mind that the vast majority of membership dues go towards covering core costs which will continue during quarantine.

Stay at home, stay healthy and keep hacking,
the Farset Labs team

Statement on #COVID19

In response to the #COVID19 pandemic, Farset Labs has made the following decisions.

  1. We are no longer hosting any public events as part of Farset Labs programmes (CoderDojo, ELi5, DataArt, etc)
  2. All Meetings (Town Hall, Management, Trustees) will be remote.
  3. It is recommended that external/community hires of the space also suspend, but events will over all be restricted to less than 15 participants.
  4. It is recommended that no more than 15 people are in the building at any one time
  5. The facility will continue to be open to those who wish to use it, following reasonable precautions outlined below.
  6. Private Meetings can still take place on site if reasonable precautions are enforced.
  7. Do not visit if you are symptomatic (continuous cough or high temperature).
  8. If you develop symptoms and have visited the space in the previous 10 days, please notify us on admin@farsetlabs.org.uk
  9. Hand Sanitiser and Soap will become available throughout the building. 
  10. Facilities are being made available for event organisers to stream presentations to support sustaining their own communities online free of charge.

Provision of Streaming Facilities for Event Operators

Last week, we set up a two-camera streaming capability in the event space. This capability is being made available to all event organisers; members or otherwise, for the purposes of hosting online events with presenters. We’re currently awaiting delivery of an HDMI capture device to include higher resolution of projected screen contents, but if you’d like to take advantage of this facility, please get in touch on events@farsetlabs.org.uk

Reasonable Precautions 

(As per NHS and WHO Advice)

  • Wash hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds with hot water and soap.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Stay at home if you’ve got coronavirus symptoms.
    • New, continuous cough.
    • High temperature above 37.5 degrees celsius.
  • Advise social distancing for visitors and members.

Closing comments

There’s a lot of these statements going around, and it is a time of lots of news and statistics and a mix between panic and complacency. 

There is a very high likelihood that we’ll have to shut the facility down completely in the coming weeks. Fortunately, we’re kinda used to that over the past year! If that’s the case we’ll be communicating both openly and privately with members to facilitate safely removing anything they might need from the space while instituting a full “lockdown”.

In times like this, the physical building of Farset Labs is less important than the community; social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Whether you’re a member or not, stay connected on our Slack, Share stuff that you think is cool on our Discourse, and when open meetings come up, please dial in just to chill out.

Stay nerdy my friends.
the Farset Labs team

PS if you want to help with the Coronavirus fight with spare CPU/GPU time; we’ve set up a Folding@Home team #241330 (Be patient, the stats site is under a lot of pressure atm…)

Data Art NI – Open DataNI Outreach Funding

Data Art Northern Ireland is a community of technologists, artists, policy makers and other creatives that regularly come together to show, tell and learn about the collision of Data and Art.

Learn about visualisation techniques, data aggregation, and where to get data sources to create, inform, and excite.

If you want to get involved, join our Meetup Group to be first to hear when we release our schedule of events.

Data Art NI

Belfast, GB
456 Data Artists

Meetup bringing artists, technologists and creatives together to show, tell, and learn about the collision between Data and Art.Learn about visualisation techniques, data agg…

Check out this Meetup Group →


Data Art NI is running meetups across Northern Ireland to bring the tech, creative, and public policy sectors together, so share their successes, failures, experiments and experiences, in order to build a shared understanding of how we can make the world, if not a better place, at least a more informed one!

Data Art has been operating as a community-run meetup group since 2017, mostly based in Farset Labs, Belfast.

Thanks to the support of the Department of Finances OpenDataNI Advocacy fund, we are taking the show on the road!

Venues and partners we plan on working with include:

If you’d like to host Data Art NI in your venue, please get in touch with us at dataart@farsetlabs.org.uk

(Also if you’d like to collaborate on running a local chapter of DataArt in your area…)


Meetups are only part of the puzzle; we need to learn how to handle the different facets of “Data Art”, and that takes more than a cursory presentation…

Farset Labs are hosting a series of technical and creative workshops to upskill technologists, creatives, and passionate amateurs in targeted capabilities to enable the acquisition, exploration, augmentation, and visualisation of data in one way or another.

This could (depending on interest displayed) include sessions on topics such as:

  • Programming for Data Analysis
  • Embedded IoT for sensor acquisition and data visualisation
  • Machine Learning and Statistics
  • Geospatial Techniques and Analysis
  • Real-time Visualisation and Sonification
  • Typography and Graphic Design Fundamentals
  • Colour Theory and Interactive Visual Arts Design
  • 3D Design / Game Development
  • Physical Programming (aka Knitting and Crocheting)

But we want to listen to you! And we’ll be planning out the workshops with partners based on feedback received from the Meetups.


Over the past years, Hackathons have become the ‘de-rigueur’ way of engaging with the technology community to showcase some technology, problem, or task to be crowdsourced or socialised, usually in exchange for an .

Rather than running a big, high end, one-off, 24 hour crunch-time hackathon, we are running a quarterly series of hackathons instead, all with the thread around the cleaning, use, analysis and ‘artification’ of open data to inform and excite.

This provides time to really understand processes, projects and experiments, and also for relevant data owners in local government to be able to react and engage with the data-user community through platforms like OpenDataNI, and provide space to get real projects off the ground and make real change in our communities.

Open Data Innovation and Outreach Fund

We’re not the only ones being supported in this programme; Seven projects from Belfast, Derry and Newry have been successful from the £30,000 fund which encourages innovation in the reuse of data on the Open Data NI portal.

Allstate Northern Ireland was awarded £2,500 in partnership with Belfast City Council to host hackathon events for the technology community and STEM students.

Also among the winners was Anaeko Limited, who received £3,000 to host events and marketing activities for entrepreneurs to develop sustainable business models leveraging Open Data.

Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with Carnegie UK Trust was awarded £3,000 to host cross sectoral workshops to tell the story of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon; Derry and Strabane; and Lisburn and Castlereagh Council council areas.

Newry 2020 received £4,995 to deliver an integrated environmental sensor network to assess the impact of human activities on the environment in Newry and £2,995 to host outreach events.

Xpand Group in partnership with Belfast City Council was awarded £4,960 to create a shared access platform to enable business case development and decision making for large scale regional projects, while Flax & Teal Limited received £5,000 to develop an environmental disaster simulation tool for use in education and emergency planning.

Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Conor Murphy, who announced the winners, said: “This fund provides entrepreneurs and organisations with a real opportunity to use public sector data for commercial opportunities and drive future economic growth.

“I am delighted to meet the winners and hear more about the range of ingenious projects and events which will further develop digital skills while creating a culture of data transparency.

“It is encouraging to see the collaborative approach the winners have taken, working with community groups, businesses and local councils to optimise public sector data for research, outreach and innovation.”

Farset Labs is receiving £6,000 (as part of a budget of £11,000) to run the Data Art programme, including 6 Meetups, 6 Workshops and 4 Hackathons, and this budget allocation is directly to fund venue, refreshments, travel and equipment costs.

If you’d like to participate in the programme or help run the project, join the Meetup Group below or contact dataart@farsetlabs.org.uk for more information.

Data Art NI

Belfast, GB
456 Data Artists

Meetup bringing artists, technologists and creatives together to show, tell, and learn about the collision between Data and Art.Learn about visualisation techniques, data agg…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Global Game Jam | 31st Jan – 2nd Feb 2020

Global Game Jam is back in the building to kick-off the new year!
Register your seat now!

Global Game Jam at Farset Labs is back again in 2020, with support from Northern Ireland Screen. The Game Jam will run from Friday 31st January to Sunday 2nd February – come meet some great people and develop a game idea in a weekend. With a party atmosphere from Friday night, there will be plenty of people there to team up with, create something interesting and (most importantly) to have fun!


A global simultaneous hackathon making games of all sorts, from full-scale console productions to mobile, web-based and embedded games, as well as table-top board- and card-games. Some will be just for fun, others for charitable causes like Games For Change, and none of them exist before this weekend!

Farset Labs has been running Northern Ireland’s largest regular public GGJ site since 2013, this year joining over 100 other countries taking part. We will be live streaming video from sites all over the world during the weekend, and there will also be an opportunity to see and play other teams’ games at the end of the event. The details of the venue are also available on our Global Game Jam listing.


We ask that you reserve your seat at Farset Labs on Eventbrite, so that we can get accurate numbers for our food orders (included in your registration).

You can then complete your Global Game Jam registration on or before Friday 31st January.

Global Game Jam is always very popular; so to avoid disappointment, book early!

Registration this year is £5.99 per person – registration will reserve your seat for the weekend as well as helping us to provide you with catered meals for the full weekend and unique GGJ Belfast goodies!

The theme is announced on-site at 5pm on Friday 31st January so we recommend everyone be in Farset before that time, or send word if you will be arriving later on. We look forward to seeing you all, as it will be a great weekend!


There is no required skill level or barrier for entry; we welcome programmers, artists, musicians and anyone else who might be interested in being involved! Bring yourself and your equipment – the organisers recommend that participants wait until the beginning of the event to form teams. We have found that this worked well in the past and gives interesting results.

Please note: You must be over 18 on the 31st of January to participate.

More information will be provided in the run-up, but please feel free to contact events@farsetlabs.org.uk or ask us questions via Facebook or Twitter with the #farsetggj20 hashtag.

Brought to you to with support from Northern Ireland Screen.


Start/End: 31/1/18 @ 16:00 – 2/2/18 @ 20:00

Location: Farset Labs, 1 Weavers Court, Belfast

Farset Seat Reservation: [Eventbrite]

GGJ Site Listing: [GGJ 2020]

Facebook Event: [facebook.com/farsetlabs]

Hashtags: #farsetggj20 #ggj20

🎉 Seasonal Potluck Party 2019 on 21st of December

Season’s greetings to members, friends of farset, and everyone frequents or supports Farset Labs.


potluck is a communal gathering where each guest or group contributes a different, often homemade dish of food to be shared.


🥘 What?

Bring something tasty (or at least edible) and enjoy an evening with friends at Farset Labs.

Tip 1: Easy-to-share party foods and drinks are often the simplest, but if you’d like to show off a speciality dish it’s even better!

Tip 2: Microwave, fridge, freezer and a hotplate are available on the day.

🍲 Who?

No matter your connection, the evening is open and welcoming to all who frequent and support Farset Labs.

🥗 When?

6pm on 21st of Demeber 2019

🍢 Questions?

Ask us on info@farsetlabs.org.uk, Slack, Twitter or Facebook.

🥨 Répondez s’il vous plaît

Let us know you’re coming on Facebook.