They called it a “Celebration of Creativity in Print” held over two days in a festival-like setting complete with artificial ‘green grass’, a music stage, comedy tent, a range of gourmet food outlets, and enough beer and wine to drown a battleship. Here was the making of a print revolution - an important change in the way that people in print do things, and it was nothing short of brilliant.  


This was Duplo Fest 2017, a time for people in printing to kick-off their shoes, leave their suits at home and don their shorts and t-shirts for this inaugural printing industry summer music event. It is the brainchild of Duplo UK’s managing director Peter Jolly, whose vision was to create a uniquely different event for our industry, and it worked. I have been to pretty much every kind of event our industry has had to offer over the years and Duplo Fest was a great way to get out of the office for a day, have a few beers, enjoy some good food, watch a few bands and have a good laugh in the company of like minded industry people.


This is the replacement for the company’s annual London Calling print application event, so there was a dedicated area set aside to showcase Duplo's print finishing systems alongside the offerings from event partners that included Renz, Vivid Laminating Technologies, Infigo Software, and Friedheim International. 


The event was compered by It Has To Be Brilliant sales director Chris Rushton who, having once enjoyed an evening’s VIP hospitality in a German nightclub after he was mistaken for Noel Gallagher, thought he’d give something back and learn an Oasis song for the occasion. Even though it was his first public performance as a guitarist, Rushton played and sang Slide Away as though he really had written it. 



All of the bands and performers were very good but there were far too many to name check, although I was sober long enough to see Duplo Fest sponsor David Smith from Vivid Laminating Technologies playing bass with his band The Zufflers who were good. 


Over the two days some 350 people came together to have fun, network and celebrate all types of creativity in print and the people who make up our industry. It was a indeed a print revolution, and Jolly’s vision to create a uniquely different event for our industry went better than anybody expected.


This was a stark reminder that printing industry events can still be a great deal of fun to attend, and it was refreshing to see a company in the modern world unafraid to get its baps out on a hot summer day and just revel in the experience. 


I think it might be a good time to get the band back together again…