Deer Shed 28th - 31st July 2023
Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, N Yorks

Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, N Yorks

28th - 31st July 2023

Grand Wrekshop Auto

Our Wrekshop is a long standing and very popular science tent activity that involves taking things to bits! In 2023 we have a change to our usual Wrekshop - mostly due to our relationship with Thirsk Recycle Centre wearing a bit thin after 10 years, but that's another story! Never ones to shy away from big challenges, we have decided that it would be fun and informative to completely dismantle a car. We are sure you are up to the task, we will need a lot of help as well as some of those Torx™ screwdrivers...

A.I. album covers

'Nanakeys' is the latest album from SomeBandOrOther - we know you are big fans. Their latest offering is patchy at best, if we are honest, marking something of a downturn in their fortunes. Still, not a bad album cover though even if we do say so ourselves. How about you create your own band and album concept out of thin air with the help of Dall-E? (an A.I. image service). We will print it out for you and put it into a one of those LP sized sleeves. It would look great on your bedroom wall, and definitely be a one-off!

Recycled Water rockets

Way back in the history of Deer Shed this was one of the most popular and explosive science tent activities, then we got all fretful about plastic bottle waste. We are still fretful about plastic bottle waste but we think it is worth intercepting bottles on their way to wherever they are going, and firing them into the air at an alarming escape velocity. The U.K. space industry very much demands we crack on with this :)

Change a plug!

Those of us on the senior side of 40 will perhaps remember being taught to change a plug at school. As post-Brexit Britain trundles onwards, it is increasingly clear that the U.K. plug design will be the last thing that is held up and declared 'great'. Anyway, the decline of a nation aside, we think that being able to safely change a plug (and have it inspected by our plug inspecting team) is a worthwhile pursuit.

Paper straw construction challenges

There is much (some) fun to be had on tedious short-haul flights making kinetic sculptures out of gin and tonic waste (plastic cups, small cans and wooden stirring sticks). With this in mind we have devised a number of structural challenges using biodegradable paper straws. For example, can you bridge a 30cm gap with a straw structure that will support a moderately heavy toy truck? You get the idea, with prizes for the most efficient and/or cunning designs.

Morse code workshop

It is heartening, we think, when our younger generations embrace old technologies - vinyl, cassettes, Gameboys, Vauxhall Vivas etc.. Whilst being able to compose and decipher Morse Code on the fly is a skill that takes a year or two to master we reckon we can give you a crash course in around 10 minutes :) All this will culminate in sending insulting messages across our 200ft science tent to your mates -.-- --- ..- .-. / -- ..- --

Synth building with 555 timers

Synth building with 555 timers

What is your favourite integrated circuit? A typical dinner party question. Our favourite integrated circuit is the 555 timer chip. 555 timer chips make amazing oscillators, and if you take 2 of them and feed one into the other and add some potentiometers (variable value resistors) and some capacitors and other bits and bobs you can make something that is popularly referred to as an Atari Punk Console, it's a long story but in the science tent in July you can make your own to take away for small beans.

Gizmobots

Gizmobots

In Mark's own words - "As a 5 y/o boy, I used to get cogs and clock parts from my clock repairing dad and scrap off my bin man uncle. Me and my dad would sit at the kitchen table and make rockets and robots and mad vehicles out of the stuff. 40 years later I turned it into my business, Gizmobots, making robot sculptures out of found objects. Some are just sculptures, whilst others have a function such as being a lamp or a music player. Alongside making robots, I like the idea of passing on my skills to future generations, and, as such, I will be providing robot building workshops at the festival." Ace.

Escape Boxes

Escape Boxes

Sadly sitting in a lonesome corner of our office for the last 2 years - meet our custom-made escape boxes! Inspired by our experience of escape rooms - break in, break out, it's the same idea. Rather than constructing an escape room with limited capacity over the weekend we have created ten bespoke escape boxes that tie in with our Incognito theme (that never was!) All you need to do is break into them using perception, logic, intelligence, observation, spatial awareness - you get the idea. Within the outer box, there might be an inner box!

Laser Maze

Laser Maze

We are some way into the construction of our own laser maze. You know the thing, you contort your body to avoid breaking the laser beans as you try to reach the enormous diamond sitting on the red velvet cushion on a plinth at the end of the corridor. We cannot guarantee that the finished maze will look exactly the same as the image above and we don't think you'll need a crash helmet unless you think it will give you a competitive edge as you try to complete the maze in the quickest time...

Synth building with 555 timers

DivKid

DivKid AKA Ben Wilson is a long standing friend of the festival and science tent veteran. You might expect a science tent at a music festival to have a music production slant, and so we do. Ben is a music technologist who has made a big name for himself as a Youtuber but also as an instrument designer and collaborator mostly in the field of Eurorack modular synthesis. Join Ben and friends in our music production area. Prepare to have your music-tech appetite wetted.

Synth building with 555 timers

Mylar Melodies

Like DivKid, Mylar Melodies is an old friend of the festival on a mission to get you hooked into making your own music. Mylar is a great communicator with a YouTube channel that reflects this talent. Taking you on a journey through the latest accessible music tech as well as some vintage avenues we hope you will find some time over the weekend to visit Alex and friends.

Soundgas

Soundgas

Soundgas is a company that restores and sells all of the vintage bits of music production gubbins that make our music sound so good. Synthesizers, drum machines, old effects units, valves, tape and anything noisy and unpredictable. They'll be bringing all sorts of audio equipment for you to experiment with including a number of legendary Roland Space Echoes, pictured above. We might even get some of the bands on our music line-up roped in!

Puzzle Corner

Puzzle Corner

This is tribute to the work of YouTuber Mr Puzzle with whom we have become slightly obsessed since we discovered his channel. Mr Puzzle solves physical puzzles from all sorts of makers, and ranks their difficulty. Some of the puzzles he solves are fiendishly difficult - it's hard to know who to admire more, the designer of the puzzle or Mr Puzzle for being able to solve it. Anyhoos we will have a selection of our favourite puzzles for you try and solve.

Flat Pack Challenge

Flat Pack Challenge

This is our mash up between 'Ask The Family' (ask your folks) and 'The Generation Game' (ask your folks) and that well-known purveyor of flat packed furniture. In essence, can you construct the perfect Lerhamn Chair (or whatever) before your opposing team? Can you keep a cool head while all around you are losing theirs? Good for you, but no-one likes a smart-arse in the high-octane world of domestic furniture construction. It is a challenge that not everyone will be able tolerate, only the strong will survive. Relationship councillors will be on standby.

Art Gallery Forensics

Art Gallery Forensics

A priceless work of art has been snatched from an art gallery in a most audacious robbery. This sort of thing is always happening. Marvel as we transport you to the scene of the crime. Can you use your forensic nouse to follow a series of clues and ultimately discover what happened to the painting? Will you succumb to the question of 'what actually is art', before you have had to chance to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together? Always a science tent favourite.

Tape Art

Tape Art

Why is all the cool stuff coming from Germany, Berlin specifically? Answers in the comments below. Luckily this falls into our Pocket Planet territory. Art with tape. Geometric uniformity (where we will try to squeeze this into a science programme via some sort of vague implied trigonometry lesson) to a more freestyle sticky mess, and all in between. Old skool black only duct tape, like in days before telly, to a multicoloured Land of Oz aesthetic. Try some tape art collectively (on a grand scale) or maybe solo.

Source Distribution

Source Distribution

Source Distribution might sound like a ketchup train but in fact they are the company that supply UK music stores with musical instruments from the likes of Moog & Arturia to name a couple of their best-known brands. Tom and his crew from Source will be bringing along a selection of bang up to date gadgetry for you to try out. With any luck we might persuade them to give a couple of things away to our most enthusiastic participants. Watch this space.

VR

VR

Put a telly on your nose - that's virtual reality to you and me. After twenty years of being a thing, VR is now a thing that you and I can actually have a go on! Look like what’s-his-name out of Daft Punk whilst your brain struggles to come to terms with walking through space or jumping off the highest skyscraper imaginable, all without leaving the safe confines of the Deer Shed science tent.

Retro Gaming

Retro Gaming

An Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo NES, Sega Megadrive, Nintendo N64 and a Sony Playstation I - plus quite a lot of really ropey old tellies that you have to tune with matchsticks. We invite you to play classic games on each of our retro consoles - some of you may experience a warm nostalgia, and others may marvel at how on earth we put up with such rudimental technology! Jetpack, Chuckie Egg, Mario Kart plus many more. Fail to convince your kids that old games were way better...

Madlab Soldering

Madlab Soldering

Being able to solder is a very useful skill, and it's not hard to learn. To teach you we have the very keen and experienced Madlab. Madlab are an innovative electronics company that manufactures electronic kits that you can put together to make your own useful gadgets. From lie detectors to electronic bagpipes they have something for all budgets and all abilities, from beginners to master solderers.

Ableton

Ableton

You can probably tell that our science tent is getting an increased music production focus as time goes by. We make no apologies for this, not really, you are at the music festival after all. In terms of accessible music making you can't get more bang for your buck than hooking up a Push controller to your computer and running Ableton Live. Ableton Live is a Digital Audio Workstation (or DAW for short) that is very widely used by those professional types. We will have a couple of very able Ableton experts on hand to get you started.