Web Summit: For the first day, the Gods are shining on the capital
FOR the first day of the last Dublin Web Summit, the Gods were shining on the capital.
What had the makings of a typical grey November day took a U-turn just after dawn and the sun rose above the city’s skyline.
It was a balmy 12 degrees at a bustling RDS where an estimated 40,000 business people, entrepreneurs and techie nerds attended the first of the three day event.
If the temperature was comfortable outside, it was a bit warmer inside where Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave got hot under the collar in a rant on RTE’s Morning Ireland about how the Government and Ireland Inc had let the event down and it was moving on to sunnier climes in Portugal’s Lisbon next year.
However, before he laid into the powers that be he also admitted that the Web Summit had gotten too big for Dublin to host and that was mainly why the event, which started off a few years ago with just 400 attendees, is moving to a larger venue in Lisbon where the government there will pay €1.3m per annum to host it.
It’s a shame that the event will not be hosted in Ireland for the foreseeable future, and that was a talking point today at the event.
But just as the event is moving on maybe that should be the end of the tit-for-tat theme that is threatening to overshadow one of the finest events the city has hosted – even during the depths of the recession and despite the wifi problems that had dogged the event in the past.
In his opening speech today, Mr Cosgrave told us that the smart blue jumper he was wearing had been knitted for him by his girlfriend, Faye Dinsmore.
One thing’s for sure, bar some freaky weather, he won’t need the geansai (fada) when the Web Summit hits the sunny climes of Lisbon next year.