TV Fest Too Pricey? Try Free Television Un-Festival

The MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival starts tomorrow. The two-day festival, which is really a large industry event for the broadcasters and those working in television, aims to debate and discuss the main issues of the day as well as a being a forum for the all-important business of networking.

This year's keynote speech, the MacTaggart lecture, will be given by television presenter and author Jeremy Paxman. There'll also be preview screenings, masterclasses and discussions led by Channel 4, Google and Virgin Media.

A year is a long time in the world of broadcasting. A year ago, Google didn't own YouTube (Google announced it was buying YouTube for $1.65 billion in October last year). Video on the web seems to have grown exponentially.

The big question everyone must be asking is what is the future of broadcasting and how are broadcasters going to achieve high quality programmes as television advertising revenues start falling?

Delegate passes to the Television Festival are in the hundreds of pounds. However, there is an alternative festival, The TV Un-Festival for mediaphiles that is free ("the cost of entry is participation," says the publicity blurb).

This day-long event takes place on Saturday 25 August from 10am to 7pm at the William Robertson Building in George Square.

BBC, Google, Microsoft TV,, Sclipo, MTV,, Freenet, Blip.TV, Zattoo, Licorice films are among the companies participating.

As you can probably guess by the list of delegates this is very much slanted toward the new media world, with the theme of the day being "the clash of the well established TV world and the
constantly accelerating Internet world... to speculate on the future of TV,
online entertainment and cross platform narratives."

There are open slots for anybody who wants to say something on the subject.

Participation in the un-festival entitles you to free access to the George
Hotel party on Saturday night and free entrance to the whole TV
Festival on Sunday all day.