As part of the Fringe, supported by BBC Radio 6 Music Festival, Bristol-based digital studio Simpleweb, the University of Bristol and UWE are challenging you to build something around the theme of music.

The Bristol Music Hack is made up of two events being held in the run up to the Festival which hits the city 12th-14th February. Simpleweb will be hosting a hacknight on the evening of 11 February which challenges developers, creatives and techies to create something cool around the theme of music.

We caught up with Simpleweb’s content manager Kylie Whitehead to find out a little bit more about the three-day competition…

“We’re challenging developers to create a music-themed web app, a mobile app or something crazy with hardware in just 3 hours”


“We got involved with The Fringe when we were approached by the University of Bristol,” explains Kylie. “The hacknight is part of The Bristol Music Hack in association with the University of Bristol and UWE.”

The second event, hosted by the University of Bristol and UWE, is a 3 day hackathon for students to come up and develop ideas and MVPs for products that use music to benefit young people in the city. This hackathon begins with a training day on Wednesday 10 February, when the attendees will be brought together at the At-Bristol Building for an afternoon of innovation training, team building and talks from local social enterprises.

Who can attend the hackathon?

The hacknight hosted by Simpleweb is open to web developers, designers, creatives and techies. According to Kylie: “You don’t have to be a hardcore developer to try your hand at the Bristol Music Hack, but, as you’ll be competing with other developers, you’ll probably want some coding skills and app development experience.”

However, if you’re not a developer, you can still get involved by finding a developer to work with via Simpleweb’s Meetup Group. Also, if you’re interested in turning a student’s idea into a working product, you can leave a message in the comment section of the page and Simpleweb will hook you up!

“Teams from both events will have their hacks filmed and shown in Colston Hall”


The 3 day hackathon hosted by the Universities is open to students and other young people who are interested in creating and exploring products that use music for the social good. The Universities will be offering  personal cash prizes from a £500 fund and professional business and legal support worth £2,000 from GL Consultancy.


Old hacks: An enthusiastic group enjoying a hackathon supported by Simpleweb last year

Teams from both events will have their hacks filmed and shown in Colston Hall as part of the BBC 6 Music festival for the public to view and provide feedback on. There is also potential for the winners to explain their idea across local BBC radio and television.

This is just one of the hacknights that Simpleweb has planned for the year, so be sure to check out the Simpleweb meetup group. Simpleweb also has a great newsletter aimed at startups called #GetStarted and you can keep up with the company’s movements on Twitter too: @Simpleweb

Kulsoom Middleton