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Now in its fifth year, XOXO started here on Kickstarter—selling every ticket to the inaugural event in two days.
Now in its fifth year, XOXO started here on Kickstarter—selling every ticket to the inaugural event in two days.
735 backers pledged $175,511 to help bring this project to life.

XOXO Is Back

Posted by Andy Baio (Creator)

A year ago, you helped make something ridiculous happen. Let's do it one more time. Welcome to XOXO 2013. We're bringing the love back.

Talk Videos Go Free, Recap Video Released, and the DIY Kits Ship

Posted by Andy Baio (Creator)

Hey, XOXO backers! We've just released all the videos from XOXO to the public, now freely available on the official website and our YouTube channel. Go spread the word!

Also, we just released a two-minute montage from the festival, created by local documentarian Paul Searle. It's a great overview that captures some of the feeling of XOXO. Lots of great moments in there, we hope you enjoy it.

And finally: the DIY Kits are shipping! While we released the digital portion of your XOXO DIY Kits on schedule, I'm so sorry that the physical packages haven't shipped by now. I underestimated the time it would take to pull together so many pieces, but I'm very happy with the end result — a great collection of stuff from independent artists and organizations involved with XOXO, with a heavy emphasis on locally-made items from here in Portland, along with your own silkscreened XOXO shirt printed on super-soft American Apparel tri-blend. 

Several of these items took longer to produce than expected, but I'm very happy to announce that the last two items for the DIY Kit arrived yesterday, and every package should be in the mail tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your patience, and thanks for helping make XOXO possible.

Official XOXO Videos, Photos, Limited-Edition Posters, and More

Posted by Andy Baio (Creator)

Has it really been a month since XOXO? I still feel like I'm waking from a long sleep with feverish, blissed-out dreams. It's taken this long to digest what really happened in Portland last month: the real-life manifestation of your collective trust, generosity, and joy. Andy McMillan and I were walking around dazed for the first week after XOXO, in no small part due to the insanely positive feedback from the festival. We posted some of our favorite responses at the end of this post.

But first! The long-awaited XOXO talk videos are done, all the footage from the two-day conference portion of XOXO, totaling seven straight hours from 24 awesome people telling their stories. We just emailed the passwords out to everyone who backed this project at the $25 level and up, and the info should be sitting in your inbox right now. (If you haven't received it, get in touch and we'll sort you out ASAP.) To get a sense of the video quality, here's my opening comments from the first day. Switch to 1080p for highest quality!

We're thrilled to announce that we've partnered with local design studio Jolby & Friends to produce a limited-edition screenprint poster commemorating XOXO. These 18"x24" illustrations were silkscreened by hand locally with a two-color rainbow roll, and each one's signed and numbered by the artist. We're very proud of these, and we think they're going to go pretty quickly. They're on sale right now for $40, a limited run of 300 posters. For a limited time, we're also included early access to the XOXO videos with each purchase, so feel free to tell friends. You can see more photos and order now from Buy Olympia.

We've also released all the official XOXO photographs on Flickr, released under a Creative Commons license for your remixing pleasure. (See the slideshow here.) We asked Kelly Searle, our photographer, to capture the festival on the ground and around town, and the shots she came back with are just beautiful. I've been rotating some of these as my desktop wallpaper over the last month. Please feel free to add people or tags to the photos! 

And if you want more photos, we highly recommend checking out Scott Beale's incredible gallery of XOXO photos, the 900+ photos on Instagram, and photos from John Biehler, Rex Hammock, and many others.

The Reactions

One of our favorite things about organizing XOXO was experiencing the response — your feedback in person, the postmortem blog posts, and reactions from the traditional media. Here's a roundup of some of our favorites.

"XOXO wasn't really a conference. It was a face-to-face reminder of what's possible, a Sex Pistols gig of legend for modern creative geeks to run with. That's the internet we should all live in." — Ryan Gantz at The Verge

"But at the end of its run, XOXO also felt, to me at least, like a defining moment for people who express themselves creatively and independently online, as well as for those who aspire to help them, a moment when that community became aware of itself as a growing, sustainable cultural force, and a moment when it embraced the fact that, unlike in the early days of the web and of the internet, it is now pointedly distinct from the boomtown mentality that seems to characterize so many on the global computer network." — Ryan Tate at Wired

"Maybe it's terrifying that a positive, uncynical and honest event like XOXO should come as a culture shock at all. Or maybe it's good and necessary for us to participate in a periodic affirmation of reality. Regardless, XOXO did me and all in attendance a world of good." — Ben Ward

"Even at its smallest, I doubt SXSW ever had such a singular, socially-minded ethos, or had any particular commitment to independence or art, or was celebrating such a specific vision for the future of commerce and the Internet. XOXO was something new and something, almost everyone at the conference seemed to agree, pretty special." — Ruth Brown at Willamette Week

"I have fallen in love with a building, hundreds of people, a MakerBot, a portable toilet trailer, food trucks, and two men each named Andy. Is it possible to fall in love with a conference? If so, I have. The organizers named the conference XOXO for hugs and kisses. This was presented without hipster irony or marketing-speak. They meant it. They delivered." — Glenn Fleishman, Boing Boing

"The attendee list at XOXO couldn’t have been better curated if one had tried to. The fact that it wasn’t actively curated at all is almost surprising." — James Duncan Davidson

"XOXO was a beautiful reminder of what we, as creators, have in common, and that we’re all in it to incite change for the better. If we can look to and learn from each other, we’ll get there that much faster." — Brooke Parrott

"It’s easy to forget, sometimes, that behind all the screens, behind all the slide shows of funny animal photos and GIFs, the Internet is made of people." — Jenna Wortham and David Gallagher, New York Times

"This is, more accurately, the tension that exists between the Techcrunch Internet and the XOXO Internet. The tension between passion and greed." — Jon Lax

"This past weekend’s XOXO Festival changed my life. Ok, it probably didn’t, but the buoyancy I felt leaving Portland last weekend had me feeling otherwise. For now at least: it’s opened my eyes, lifted my spirits, inspired me to believe in ideas I’d been uncertain of, re-inspired me to believe in myself, and reminded me of all sortsa good I’d always known was there—but is so easy to lose sight of in the day-to-day." — Nina Alter

"I can't think of anything else other than to say I really hope there is another one next year that I can attend, which is just about the highest praise I can give for a conference." — Matt Haughey

"Before it actually happened, no one could have imagined XOXO. Only they know for sure, but I'd wager not even the Andy's themselves guessed that the outcome of all their hard work would create an arts and tech love-in from which everyone came away feeling positive, inspired, glad, and grateful they could be a part of it." — Alli Dryer

"I’ll leave it to others smarter and more articulate than me to describe the details — each speaker took a turn removing marble that wasn’t part of the statue — but the upshot is that if you are of a particular mind, a particular bent, there is now a place for you. A place to talk and share and experiment and explore. A place to feel among friends. A place to not feel lonely." — Greg Knauss

"I am a different person than the one who left for Portland last week. My world has shifted irrevocably. I have ignited a creative spark that I promise to nurture and not let sputter out." — Laura Zander

"The @xoxo festival is a love letter to the internet." — Jason Santa Maria 

And more: Anil Dash liveblogged every talk, Recollect created a beautifully-organized archive of attendee tweets, Tantek Celik made an unofficial attendee directory, and Will Turnage made an XOXO hat that lit up every time someone tweeted #xoxofest.

Absolutely amazing. To every one of you who wrote about XOXO, and to the many more we didn't mention, thank you. xoxoxo

XOXO Social, Unofficial Parties, and Partner Events!

Posted by Andy Baio (Creator)

We've announced all of our official events from Thursday to Sunday — our opening party, three days of our public market, food carts, Music, Film, Arcade, and, of course, the conference on Saturday and Sunday. (The schedule overview, conference schedule, guide, and list of fringe events are all on the official website.)

But we know that some of the best parts of every festival come from hallway conversation and social interaction, so we've left most of Friday open for what we're calling "XOXO Social" — a shorthand for a series of events around town, your chance to experience the first day of the Market and our food carts, and an opportunity to meet and explore Portland other 'XOers. Here's a list of all the social events on Friday, as well as the other unofficial events this weekend!


2:00pm-5:00pm — Ground Kontrol Freeplay Freekout. Ground Kontrol is one of the best retro-gaming arcades in the world, set in a retro-future bar. 90 classic arcade games and 26 pinball games, all set on free play, thanks to PIE, Silicon Florist, and Metafilter. XOXO badgeholders only! 511 NW Couch St at NW 5th.

2:00pm-5:00pm — Ice Cream Social at Panic Inc. Like modern-day Willy Wonkas, the crew at Panic have been making world-class Mac and iOS software forever, but rarely let anyone inside their factory. Today, that changes. Join Cabel, Steve, and the Panic gang for ice cream and drinks at their first-ever open house, and try to find the secret rooms, subtle videogame references, and Mario-meets-Toontown rooftop deck. 315 SW 11th Ave at Burnside.

5:00pm-6:30pm — XOXO Rooftop Party at Wieden+Kennedy. After you've had your fill of pinball and vintage Apple hardware, head over to W+K's amazing office for a rooftop party with food carts, drinks, and a performance by the Wanderlust Circus. Don't be late for your meeting in The Basket. XOXO badgeholders only! 224 NW 13th between Everett and Davis. 


6:00pm-late — Kickstarter Meetup at Dig A Pony. Join the team from Kickstarter for a drink at Dig A Pony, the lovely bar where XOXO was conceived, and one of the five stops on the XOXO Pub Crawl. RSVP requested at An easy ten-minute walk from the YU Contemporary. 736 SE Grand at Morrison.


8:00pm-2:00am — Etsy's XOXO After Party at Union/Pine! After XOXO's over, head over to celebrate at Union/Pine, with drinks, snacks, and live performances from pocketknife, Craft Spells, and DJ JD Sampson (from Le Tigre). 21+ only, free admission. 525 SE Pine at Grand.

Partner Events

September is festival month in Portland, and we've teamed up with the other major events this weekend to run a continuous free shuttle between them on Saturday and Sunday. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 9am to 7pm, and hourly from 7pm to midnight, picking up at the Westin Downtown and stopping at XOXO.

Before 7pm on Saturday and Sunday, the shuttle also stops at these three events worth checking out.

Time-Based Arts Festival (Wednesday-Saturday). A five-minute walk from the YU Contemporary, TBA's The Works occupies the abandoned Washington High School, turning it into an interactive art gallery with classrooms converted into exhibits. It's completely free and open to the public, just walk right inside the front doors located at SE Stark and 13th. This is the last year TBA will be at Washington High, so see it while you can.

Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI (Saturday-Sunday). A two-day, family-friendly friendly showcase of creativity and cool tech, with exhibits, talks, demos and performances. Located at Oregon's Museum of Science & Industry in SE Portland. 10am-6pm, $12 for adults and $8 for ages 3-13. See the full schedule on their website. 

Fabrication Fest at ADX (Saturday-Sunday). You'll see ADX's stamp all over XOXO, from our cafe countertops in the market and Kickstarter's booth to the huge fabricated signs hanging overhead and on the stage. ADX is opening the doors to their 10,000 sq. ft. workshop and gallery space, and showing off their posse of physical hackers and makers, only a five minute walk from the YU Contemporary. 

XOXO: The Food Carts

Posted by Andy Baio (Creator)

Portland’s street food scene is among the best in the world, with over 400 food carts across the city. Like whales, Portland food carts gather in “pods,” averaging 5-8 but with the largest hosting more than 60 carts. If you’re coming from a city like NYC, LA or SF, you might think food trucks are the same thing, but there are some big differences — while food trucks need to stay on the move, Portland’s food carts are effectively permanent.

The benefit is that they can build word-of-mouth at a fixed location, and each cart pods develops its own unique community and vibe. For example, the 10th and Alder carts are a shantytown of international food sprawling across two city blocks, while the D-Street Noshery has intimate live performances and the city’s first cart serving craft beer on draft.

For a festival about independent art and technology, food carts are the culinary equivalent. The barrier to entry and costs are low, letting you experiment with new ideas and build a following without falling into deep debt. And several carts in the last year — like Lardo, Salt & Straw, and Nong’s Khao Man Gai — have leveraged their fan base to open brick-and-mortar restaurants.

About 75% of XOXO attendees are coming from out of town, many for the first time, so we wanted to do something special. So we’re closing down the street in front of XOXO on Friday through Sunday to build our own pod, with our favorite carts around the city. Three of them are even leaving their own pods, towing themselves out to settle in for all three days!  Here's the full lineup:

PDX 671 — Named after Guam’s area code, chef Ed Sablan brings the Chamarro cuisine of his native home to Portland, a delicious and unique fusion of Filipino, Spanish, and Malaysian influences. Winner of this year’s Eat Mobile festival.

Cheese & Crack — Funded through a successful Kickstarter project, William Steuernagel makes handmade cheese and cracker boxes, along with charcuterie plates and housemade bitter sodas, out of an adorable reclaimed wood food cart. Perfect for snacktime.

Wolf & Bear’s — Middle-Eastern meets Pacific Northwest in Tanna TenHoopen and Jeremy Garb’s charming trailer with its own homemade porch. Entirely vegetarian, with many vegan and gluten-free options, the Sabich (a traditional Iraqi-Jewish breakfast) and Olea pita wraps are some of our favorites.

Bunk Truck — Launched just last month, this is the mobile arm of chef Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood’s sandwich empire of Bunk Sandwiches. Avoid gimmicky carts like Big Ass Sandwiches, and stick with the real thing: simple, high-quality ingredients on damn-good bread.

Salt & Straw — In one year, the handmade “farm-to-cone” ice cream by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek took over Portland, expanding from a single tiny cart to two retail stores and another on the way. Their constantly-changing menu allows for creative experimentation, with recent flavors like Aquabeet (Aquavit liquor with red beets), Amber Malted Plums, and Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Black Pepper. Don’t worry, they have chocolate too. (Friday and Saturday only.)

Violetta — Some of the best burgers in the city are served from this truck, which launched during the long development of Violetta’s downtown location at Director Park. The restaurant sadly closed its doors in May, but the truck fortunately lives on. Don’t miss the Oregonzola fries!

Nong’s Khao Man Gai — Taken from the street food of her native Bangkok, Nong Poonsukwattana only makes one dish: poached chicken & rice, wrapped in butcher paper and served with a spicy sauce. But it’s so insanely good, the lunch lines at her 10th & Alder location often stretch down the street. Last year, she opened two new locations to satiate the addicts. (Sunday only.)

Taco Pedaler — Melanie and Erica ride their three-wheel cargo bike around Portland, spreading their local and organic tacos across the city like modern-day Johnny Appleseeds. But instead of apple seeds, tacos. (Saturday only.)

The carts will be out all day Friday through Sunday, and open to the public!  Come on out!  

(P.S. Voodoo Donuts is for tourists.)