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Wikimedia meetup 2005/City Candidate List

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This Wikimania page is inactive and kept for historical interest. If you want to get the latest news on the coming Wikimania, or join the discussion of its planning, you may visit the conference's official website.

The city candidates have now been narrowed down to Dublin, Frankfurt and Rotterdam.

Please add below concrete information about the rental costs for conference facilities, dates that they can be booked, availability of network connections etc. If you want to add pictures, please do it on Wikimedia meetup 2005/photos.

The final city will be chosen at the end of October.

We haven't decided how many participants to plan for exactly, but conference locations should have one hall for at least 200 people (or more) + several smaller workshop rooms.

In terms of the meeting date, four days around the weekend might be best, from Thursday through Sunday, somewhere in the range from July to September (please add exact dates when conference facilities can be booked).

Location: ??? Accomodation: ???


  • Generally cheaper than Amsterdam
  • Only 45 minutes by train from Amsterdam International Airport (around the clock)
  • City Library could house the meetup at about €12 per hour, including 20 computers, beamer etc.
  • Active Wikipedia community in Belgium and the Netherlands can help to organize things
  • Relatively central in Europe
  • Most Dutch people have an excellent command of English (they're not native speakers, but since theatrical movies in the Netherlands are frequently shown in English with Dutch subtitles/captions, the Dutch speak markedly better English than citizens of many other non-English speaking EU countries). Also many people speak German and French.
  • Dead center of Europe, Busiest harbour in the world, EXTREMELY good Land, Sea, Rail, Air connections to rest of planet.


  • Less touristy than Amsterdam. Done that, have you seen the dikes, the windmills, the biggest harbour in the world.. Room enough for plenty new articles :)
  • Excessively modern buildings, very little of a historical feel

Local helpers: As the Netherlands is relatively small, I think many of the nl: crowd may help. Ellywa 22:22, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC) I will anyway

so will i, and in rotterdam there are of course many more possible places that are able to house the meetup, such as the university building, "de Doelen" (conference centre, may be expensive) a.o. oscar 00:51, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Location/Possible Venues: The RDS is a suitable venue for a large number of attendees and is located in the city centre. For lesser numbers, the Helix at DCU and the O'Reilly Hall at UCD are both good venues.

I've emailed dcb at dublinconventionbureau dot com, but please don't let that stop anybody from pursuing other avenues of inquiry about a venue (Ropers).

These are the emails exchanged between myself and the Dublin Convention Bureau so far:
The following preliminary info has been kindly provided by the Dublin Convention Bureau (.PDF files):
Don't be put off by the rather high end/high profile impression the above may convey. (I did not oversell us -- they just were extremely happy to help.) Depending on our effective numbers we can also expect travel savings to more than offset venue booking costs. I will elaborate on my enquiries at the latest during the upcoming IRC chat.


There were some concerns regarding venue costs in Dublin. While we obviously don't need to pick the costliest option, maybe the following lends some perspective on the issue:

Jimmy's travel cost numbers suggest that for US Wikipedians, Dublin may be 100-200 euro cheaper to travel to when compared with other places.

Compared with Frankfurt Dublin is only $14 cheaper for US Wikimedians (based on Jimmy's research). Continental Europeans would have to pay much more to cross the English Channel.

With 100 people, saving 100 euro per person on travel will amount to 10,000 EUR savings. That may more than offset potentially higher accommodation/venue cost.

Accomodation: Tourism Ireland (the all-Ireland tourism body) or Fáilte Ireland (the Republic-specific organisation) can be contacted (preferably well in advance) to organize accommodation. Bed and Breakfast is probably the best option for most people, though the quality of individual B&B's can vary greatly (the majority of B&B's are probably quite nice, but there are less desirable places as well). For best value, bookings should be made WELL in advance and preferably people should try to get hold of pictures from the individual B&B's (and/or local knowledge) to avoid unpleasant surprises.


  • Closeness to an international airport – Dublin Airport
  • Availability of conference facilities is excellent: Red Cow, Jury's, the RDS, etc, etc, etc.
  • Availabiliy of excellent IT/network facilities.
  • It's not too costly getting there: http://www.aerlingus.com, http://www.ryanair.com, http://www.mytravellite.com/, etc. etc. (for the USA, approx. US$400, from New York, Boston; US$500 from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle prices as of 12 Oct 2004 from Orbitz by BCorr) — also see below
  • The craic
  • Loads of universities, which may be good in terms of attracting an audience, maybe also accommodationwise.
  • Obvious point: It's an English-speaking city (with apologies to Dublin's Irish speakers and sizable Chinese and Nigerian communities). — For better or for worse, English is the de-facto lingua franca of supernatural activities at the Wikipedia and in other organisations as well. So it might be good to pick a city where people can rely on that common denominator.
  • Generally very open to all comers — the Irish may be predominantly Catholic, but you'll find that all kinds of cultures mix and mingle in Dublin. Jews, Anglicans, Latter Day Saints (Mormons), the Society of Friends (Quakers) — they're all in Dublin. Incidentally, Dublin's New Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre is particularly splendid: [1], [2], [3], though some like the Dublin Mosque better [4], also see [5]
  • Involvment of those on ga.wikipedia - it would be very likely that we could get involvement from Irish language bodies like Gael Linn and Foras na Gaeilge.
  • The recent founding of the Irish Free Software Foundation [6].


  • Cost of accommodation and living (food, beverages) can be quite steep. When I lived in Dublin, my rent was higher than what my sister paid in Paris.
  • Dublin traffic (see [7]). It would be a good idea not to bring a car.

Sample Airfares: 20-25 July, from New York, $657 (price as of 25 September 2004 on Orbitz by Jimbo) — also see above

Local helpers:

  • Kiand 17:49, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC) — I'm within 45 minutes of Dublin City Centre, and less of the westside of the city. I can assist in July, August or September and later, but not June or earlier.
  • Kwekubo — I live a similar distance away on the southside, and if the meetup is in July or August (or even early September) I should be free to help.
  • zoney talk I live 2.5 hours away in en:Limerick, but I should be able to help.
(IRC access a bit flakey/cobbled together) 18:33, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Ludraman 17:18, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC) I'm not local, but sure I'd be willing to help. I'm only 14, so what I can do is limited, but would be willing to seek hotel rates and transport info, buses, and other research and organisation. And maybe I could pull some strings with my parents :-)
    "not local" — to explain: according to his user page, Ludraman is based in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, but not in Dublin
    Ludraman — You talked about "pulling some strings"—what do your parents do, then?
My dad's involved in hotels, my mam's a good organiser for these sort of things, but its not what they do, it's more that they have connections with people and might be able to make bookings etc. Ludraman 20:29, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  • One the world's most important conference and literature cities, where also the world's largest Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse) is arranged annually. Goethe was born in Frankfurt!
  • Multicultural city: nearly 200,000 people from more than 180 different nationalities are living here (overall population of approximately 650,000). Wikipedians with special needs regarding food (halal, kosher, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO...) supply will be happy. Contact the local wikipedians to get the information in advance.
  • Central European location
  • One of the biggest (some say the second biggest others say third biggest) European hub airports (Frankfurt International Airport) which garantees cheap flights from other continents
  • Second airport nearby (Airport Frankfurt Hahn) which provides low-cost flights from many European airports [8]. Cheap bus transfer to Frankfurt central station.
  • Biggest European railway station (Frankfurt central station)
  • Good transit system. Congress Ticket offers unlimited travel on Frankfurt´s public transport system (all RMV lines within the city districts incl. Frankfurt Airport, 2nd class) for only € 3.75 per day.
  • The Congress-Museum Ticket provides free admission to 26 museums and cultural institutions throughout Frankfurt for only € 1 per day.
  • Wikimedia has an existing legal body in Germany (Wikimedia Deutschland)
  • Language: many Germans don't necessarily speak English particularly well. However, they would be happy to jump at the chance of talking English. Many people also speak French.


  • Not as cheap as Eastern Europe (but cheaper than e.g. London)


  • Haus der Jugend (House of the Youth)
    • Located in the centre of Frankfurt, on the banks of the river Main with a view of the sky-scrapers and the old city. Many sights close by: the major museums on the banks of the river Main, the town hall Römer, St. Paul's Church, the cathedral, the "Goethe's House". And the romantic apple wine district "Old-Sachsenhausen" (with many nice pubs) starts from right beside the house. Reachable with public transport from the airport and the central station within 30 minutes.
    • Conference rooms - Used especially by international non-profits in the past
      • Large conference hall (350 m²) for up to 400 people (€ 420 per day)
      • Medium conference hall (175 m²) for up to 200 people (€ 215 per day)
      • Small conference hall (112 m²) for up to 80 people
      • Seven smaller conference rooms from 15 to 50 people
    • Cheap accomondation - The House of the Youth is both a youth hostel and a hotel with about 430 beds in total. Prices for Juniors (up to 26 years) including breakfast:
      • Youth Hostel: € 16
      • Guest House 4-bed-room: € 20
      • Guest House Double-room: € 25
      • Guest House Single-room € 30
      • Surcharge for Seniors € 4, for private bathroom € 5
    • Warm buffet (optional) for € 4,80 at noon and in the evening
    • Conference halls and at least 200 beds are still availiable during August and September (not asked for July yet), except between 2005-08-21 and 2005-08-24. If the convention takes place in September 2005, best would be the first half. In the second there is a fair where hotels (perhaps not all people want to sleep in the House of the Youth) usually are full and/or expensive.

Sample Airfares: 20-25 July, from New York, $671 (price as of 25 September 2004 on Orbitz by Jimbo)

Local helpers:

  • Mathias Schindler - living in Frankfurt (8 minutes train station, 5 minutes downtown), board member of Wikimedia Deutschland
  • Akl - living near Frankfurt (30 minutes to downtown) and would take a holiday for two weeks to volunteer as on-site manager; some experience in event management, board member of Wikimedia Deutschland
  • Melkom
  • DaB., living in Offenbach a City quite next to Frankfurt, board member of Wikimedia Deutschland
  • Timmy living near Frankfurt, a little experience in event management (Sports Tournaments, Fairs)
  • JeLuF living in Frankfurt, but amount of help depends on office workload.