Umbraco Festival Germany was initially named umbOktoberfest and was first held in summer of 2012 – just months after byte5's team of Umbraco experts became an Gold Partner. A retrospective:
Back in August 2012 – byte5 had just invited German-speaking Umbraco developers to the first nationwide meetup –, nobody really knew what to expect. byte5's founder Christian Wendler's team of six had just become the first German Umbraco Gold Partner. The team had worked its way up, getting closer and closer to being the top expert on Umbraco in Germany. Along with the success, the developing team grew as well.
The Umbraco User Group Germany (UUGD) had been founded only a few months prior and it continued to fulfil a pioneer role in supporting and representing the CMS in German-speaking countries. At the time, communities in Scandinavia and the UK had already grown to hundreds of members. The German one was still small, though. A German festival seemed to be a great opportunity to create a central platform for local developers.
umbOktoberfest began as a rather plain meetup for the then small German Umbraco community. In the course of the next years, the festival kept growing and really flourished since.byte5 founder Christian Wendler
This led to a... well, let's just call our festival's premiere a „spontaneous act with a star cast“. We welcomed about a dozen Umbraco developers from all over Germany, but also newly appointed Umbraco project manager Sebastiaan Janssen and Chief Unicorn and Umbraco founder Niels Hartvig. The latter was given the honour of being picked up from the airport in a DeLorean. The experiment of hosting a German Umbraco festival was successful and hence, a brandnew tradition was born.
A tradition for which we stuck with the working title, umbOktoberfest, for a while. One reason for this might be that Frankfurt is not only well-known for Ebbelwei (a local type of cider), but also for delicious German beer.
The first umbOktoberfest's discussion groups quickly evolved into something bigger in 2013: a hackathon, several workshops and thirteen sessions. We welcome speakers from three different countries, such as uCommerce founder Søren Spelling Lund from Denmark as well as byte5's own, Christian Wendler. With 43 attendees, the number of participants had more than doubled. The objective of umbOktoberfest 2013, however, was not only to grow, but also to grow together – just like the communities at CodeGarden or UKfest had done over the years. A happy and well-networked community is a strong community!
Therefore, we started a new tradition in 2013: We rented a party tram from the famous Ebbelwei Express line and showed our guests around Frankfurt. After another attendee record in 2014, the last umbOktoberfest was held at the Museum for Communication in 2015. We had the honour of welcoming Rune Stand and Mads Rasmussen from the Umbraco headquarter as well as developers from various expert companies which have worked with Umbraco for years.
We are planning on focusing more on our target group of Umbraco developers, meaning more tech content, quality speakers, intensive workshops and a supporting program that connects everything perfectly.byte5 founder Christian Wendler
Constantly striving for improving our festival, we gave it a big makeover after umbOktoberfest 2015. We wanted to come back with a new and improved version of the community event, which is why there was no festival held in 2016.
And improve it we did: With a new concept and the new name of Umbraco Festival Germany, our festival was back in spring of 2017. It was a big success – one that was honoured with a Community MVP at CodeGarden 2017. This award motivates us to make Umbraco Festival Germany 2018 even better than all our previous festivals.