Propeller Fest Comes to Hoboken
Technology, music, and food take over Hoboken’s Pier A Park on May 20
By Sarah Emily Gilbert
On Friday, May 20, 2016 Hoboken will be even hipper than usual thanks to Propeller, a daylong event designed to unite northeastern tech leaders and enthusiasts, and allow ideas to “propel” forward. As a millennial epicenter, Hoboken is a hub for entrepreneurial spirit and tech enthusiasts, making it an ideal host for the event. Thus, it’s no surprise that over 5,000 attendees are expected to flood Pier A Park for the first inaugural Propeller Fest, founded and produced by the founder of New Jersey Tech Meetup, Aaron Price.
Price saw Hoboken’s potential early on when he began hosting NJ Tech Meetup’s monthly gatherings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Six years later, Price believes the northeast is at the helm of startup and innovation activity, making the area ripe for this type of event. Price, along with a team of over 100 volunteers, group partners, sponsors, and exhibitors, have organized over 14 hours of programming for the event.
As a Hoboken resident, Price understands that millennials like technology almost as much as they enjoy food and music. That’s why Propeller Festival combines the best of all three. Indie-electronic band and former Coachella performers The Naked and Famous will headline with singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe, who is known for her use of technology to connect with fans. The experimental performance group, Human Digital Orchestra, will showcase the fusion of technology and the arts in their live performance that heavily depends on human interaction. According to the Bell Labs website, the virtual orchestra, “merges the motion of the artists and audience to create a multimedia experience with music, speech, and video to create a multimedia sensory artist experience.”
An impressive list of close to 90 influencers in the Greater New York area will be speaking throughout the day. Highlights include jet.com founder Marc Lore, Bell Labs CEO Marcus Weldon, Founder of The Crated, Maddy Maxey, Chief Technology Officer of NYC, Minerva Tantoco, and Mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer. Attendees can also visit over 50 exhibitor booths featuring the latest projects in technology.
In support of Propeller’s mission to help people “propel” ideas forward, the event is providing rare opportunities for entrepreneurs like Venture Capital “speed dating” sessions and Networking Lounges. There will also be a start-up competition co-hosted by Techstars and Newark Venture Partners and a community area for local groups to congregate and share ideas.
But what’s a tech event without a drone? Don’t worry; the Propeller team covered all interactive technology fronts for the event including a drone racing competition and an immersive Virtual Reality Sound Chamber that combines depth of audio with virtual reality. Festivalgoers can also take “blimpies,” something propellerfest.com explains as “selfies” from a blimp that “you’ll just have to experience to understand.”