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
  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

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…)

24-Hour Comics Day: Tell Your Own Story

Farset Labs will be hosting 24 Hour Comics Day in Belfast – a world-wide event to create comics in 24 hours.

Scott McCloud presents at Geraphic Storytelling Festival in 2011
Scott McCloud presents at Graphic Storytelling Festival in 2011

Have you ever wanted to create your own comic?

Take the 24-hour comics challenge, bring some pens/pencils and paper, and complete a full comic in a single day – add to the rich seam of graphical 24-hour story-telling founded by comics legend Scott McCloud and continued as an annual global phenomenon every year in October:

Other comics artists and writers will be there throughout the day. Some scanning/photography equipment will be available for final submission to the 24-Hour Comics Day web-site. Free Wi-Fi will be available to all participants, plus you can chill out in our games lounge!

Snacks and drinks will also be on offer, so please consider making a small donation to the venue in return. Doors will open at 10am on Saturday 4th October, and participants are free to come and go throughout.

Register now via Eventbrite

Come along and create a wordless graphical narrative, or write a text-piece with a visual flow. Even if you don’t think you can create plot, find someone who can. Most importantly: create something 🙂


Forbidden Planet Belfast are kindly donating a raffle prize for the event, and we will have some art supply spot prizes for some of the cool ideas expected to manifest themselves


There is a great (if very long) guide to surviving a 24-Hour comics event available at the following link:

Many thanks to Patrick Brown of and Ann Harrison of for their help!

New Community Structure – Non-Executive Managers – Call for volunteers

At last month’s Town Hall, our proposal for the creation of a Non-Executive Manager (NEM) role within Farset was ratified unanimously by the community, and as such has been added to the Operations Manual (that link may break in the next few weeks, please let us know if we don’t notice it!).


  • NEMs are mini-directors with responsibility of awareness in limited fields, eg Projects, Digital Infrastructure, Events, Facilities
  • Not legally liable to the company
  • Looking for volunteers; one role (Digital Infrastructure) already selected.
  • If interested, email and keep next Monday from 8pm free.

Continue reading New Community Structure – Non-Executive Managers – Call for volunteers

Results from CoderDojo Attendee Survey

A few weeks ago we sent out survey requests to anyone who’d attended (and registered) to our CoderDojo programme since day one.

This was so we could get a better handle on what we were doing well, and maybe not so well, and was also intended to answer one simple question; which day is better to run it. I’ll not be making any grand analysis yet as I believe the results tell their own story.

If you’d like to add your thoughts, the poll is still open, but we’ll be feeding these findings back into our plan going forward and will let you know any changes ASAP.

And don’t forget, the next dojo is next Friday

What day of the week works best for you and your family to attend the Dojo in the evening

We intentionally restricted the options in this question to Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday as Wednesday is already reserved for free for any usergroup that wants to hold an event, and Saturdays are too high value for hackathons and other events to block book.

[wp_charts title=”daychart” type=”bar” align=”aligncenter” width = “60%” datasets=”1,4,5,5,0″ labels=”Mon,Tues,Thurs,Fri,Sun” scaleFontSize=”24″ scaleOverride=”true” scaleSteps=”5″ scaleStepWidth=”1″ scaleStartValue=”0″]

How did you hear about the Farset Labs Dojo?

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How safe did you feel at the Dojo?

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How would you rate the venue/location?

[wp_charts title=”venuechart” type=”bar” align=”aligncenter” width = “60%” datasets=”3,6,2,0,0″ labels=”Excellent,Very Good,Good,Fair,Poor” scaleFontSize=”24″ scaleOverride=”true” scaleSteps=”6″ scaleStepWidth=”1″ scaleStartValue=”0″]

How much, if at all, would you be willing to pay to attend this event in future?

[wp_charts title=”pricechart” type=”bar” align=”aligncenter” width = “60%” datasets=”0,1,4,5,1,0″ labels=”It should be free,I assumed it was funded,£1-£3,£3-£5,£5-£10,£10+” scaleFontSize=”24″ scaleOverride=”true” scaleSteps=”6″ scaleStepWidth=”1″ scaleStartValue=”0″]

What did you like about the Dojos?

  • my son loves it, he is able to talk to people and ask questions that i can’t answer.
  • Great engagement between mentors and kids.
  • really well informed savvy help. , please take a sweetie from the tin.
  • Helpful mentors, creative learning.
  • Good range of topics and interested children
  • Nice friendly atmosphere with people actively offering their skills and knowledge
  • <My son> loved it, liked the support & small group.
  • The informality and enthusiasm.
  • Great location
  • The very young age group.

What did you dislike about the Dojos?

  • Inconsistency of delivery.
  • Disappointing range of mentors, lack of organisation
  • It can seem slightly disorganised at times
  • There is nothing that I dislike, and it is important that they continue. I am just more committed to the larger scale and structure of the BMC dojos.
  • We need a structured programme with lessons i.e. syllabus etc.

Would you like to say anything else about the Dojos? Good bad or ugly we want your feedback! Have the Dojo’s “changed”, if you went before, what stops you now? Anything, everything, we need your advice!

  • I think this is a great opportunity for young people to learn the language and skills associated with computer programming that can only help them in the future, although i fear some children under 14 will not be able to avil of this oppertunity because of the supervision rule, parents from areas of deprivation find it more difficult to take thier children to these places because of other family commitments etc
  • Seemed more controlled before the Summer.
  • I come in from the country. It would help to be able to pre-discuss and maybe book extra help time.
  • Would love to go back regularly but Friday PM is not a good time for us.
  • Small groups are great but have you thought about informing schools about it? You might be able to help more kids. Maybe also ni4kids? Very difficult for parents to find out about technology related clubs for kids, found out through a colleagues husband. Thought the mentors were lovely & understanding of my sons needs.
  • Just keep reminding me of events at Farset. I need to get more stuff into my calendar.
  • Instructors have become less helpful over time.
  • Some from of progression for the kids.

Steel and Water: LARPNI

Even as we count down to our Steampunk-themed birthday party this weekend (Tickets still available btw), we were approached to host one of the more esoteric events of the calendar; a Steampunk LARP.

LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing, and can be summarised as a cross between a costume party and an immersive acting improvisation session, with a dash of D&D thrown in, usually involving either historical, fantastical, or ‘alternate histories’ scenarios playing out with a cast of costumed characters imagining themselves in the part.

So on September 28th, we’ll be playing host to…

Belfast in 1880 with some modificationsSteel and Water

It’s 1882 and Belfast sits proudly as the de facto capital of The Federated Northern Isles. Its docks bustle with trade from Scandinavia, Russia, the Americas and North Africa and the populace thrives within the established social classes of Tin, Brass, Silver and Gold. Boasting the worlds first subterranean, submarine public transit system and home to some of the worlds grandest and finest engineering Belfast is the very model of a modern city. However, civilisation and endeavour always come at a price and must always face trials; alongside glorious and novel developments come novelties that are darker and less palatable.

Steel and Water is an immersion roleplay experience in which you become your steampunk persona and face the challenges of an advanced and alternative Belfast.

Booking coming soon, updates here and on Facebook.

Facebook group for Steel and Water

Read more about the world of Steel and Water

Tickets cost £15 per player and include a hot meal and refreshments.

Character Generation is coming soon, and will be available on the LARPNI website and emailed to all ticket holders.