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This is a proposal that Flock 2015 be held in Rochester, New York with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as the event host.


Local contacts

  • Stephen Jacobs
  • Jennifer Hinton
  • Remy Decausemaker

Remote staff

  • David Gay will be helping with whatever he can, though he moved to the Seattle, WA area in late August 2014.

The city

Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Population is approximately 210,565, making it New York's third most populous city after New York City and Buffalo. It was home to Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony during the bulk of their careers as abolitionist and suffragette leaders.

Rochester is home to two world class museums, The Strong National Museum of Play and the The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. Rochester is an easy day trip away from numerous vineyards, Niagara Falls, and Letchworth Park, "The Grand Canyon of the East."

Rochester is now an international center of established businesses and an active entrepreneurial start-up scene. Business Industries include education, medical, optics & imaging, engineering,agriculture, green tech, food & beverage, and manufacturing. Forbes magazine ranked Rochester as the nation’s 14th most innovative city due to our high concentration of tech and science jobs as well as patents per capita.

The region is known for many acclaimed universities, and several of them (notably the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology) are nationally renowned for their research programs. RIT is the home of the first Academic Minor in Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture and has hosted and/or participated in over 50 hackathons in five years. Red Hat, Inc. and Fedora have actively supported RIT's FOSS efforts over the years. Rochester is home to active chapters of Python User Group, Linux User Group, Hacks/Hackers, has a number of hacker/maker spaces including Interloc Rochester, the Rochester Makerspace, and The Construct.


The airport is the Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), which is roughly 10 minutes from the airport by car, cab, or hotel shuttle. Estimated costs of flights from...

BOS $186/$340 (1 Stop/Direct)
RDU $250 (1 Stop)
BOM $1,100 (2 stops)
CDG $1,400 (1 stop)
PRG $1,250 (2 stops)

Some travelers elect to fly in to Buffalo, Syracuse, or Toronto and rent a car or take a shuttle to Rochester. Ground travel time to Rochester from these cities is an hour, an hour and a half, and three and a half hours respectively.

Rochester is also a 4-7 hour drive from Toronto, Detroit, Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and DC.


Rochester is best navigated by car or cab. Cabs can be called or hailed from the street. Most places are no more than a 15-20 minute ride away. The Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) buses throughout the day. Traffic is generally light compared to most cities and it takes less than 20 minutes to get to any location throughout Rochester.

Lodging and Event Locations

Bids and selections are in process with the support of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Lodging in Rochester, NY is very affordable. The hotels that we are negotiating with have rates that range from $119.00 - $134.00 a night. There are plenty of single and double rooms available at each hotel to accommodate Flock 2015. There is complimentary Internet access. Hotels are 10 minutes from the Greater Rochester International Airport and all offer a complimentary shuttle to and from the hotel.

We are looking at dates of 8/12-8/15 for Flock to space it away from OSCON and avoid another conference in town the first week of August.

Event Venues

1. The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, games, and video games and includes eGameRevolution, the first permanent exhibit on the history and impact of video games in the US. The exhibit includes a working arcade space with additional cabinets and pinball machines on the exhibit floor.

Pro – Access to the entire facility.
Con – Two of the hotels we are working with are within walking distance of the museum, others may need transportation.

2. George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the world’s oldest film archives, opened to the public in 1949 as an independent, non-profit museum. It combines the world’s leading collections of photography and film with the stately pleasures of the landmark Colonial Revival mansion and gardens that George Eastman called home from 1905 to 1932. The Museum is a National Historic Landmark. Mr. Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company, is heralded as the father of modern photography and motion picture film.

Pro – A most for Photography fans. Access to the entire facility.
Con – Transportation will be needed from hotels to the site.

3. MAGIC Center at RIT

Pro – Home to RIT's [ FOSS@MAGIC] program.
Con – Transportation will be needed.

MAGIC is a dedicated environment for the construction, experimentation, and playful design of Games and Digital Media. The core facility of the center is located in Student Innovation Hall, a multi-million dollar LEED Platinum certified building that is centrally located in the heart of the academic campus, and a key initiative of the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President for Research. As a part of the MAGIC Center’s formation, the building was completely remodeled with one key design criteria: collaboration. The MAGIC Production lab boasts dual boot Linux and Windows Machines and several OSX machines and roughly 40 OLPC XOs. For mobile development, there are Android and iOS mobiles devices for cross platform development. The facility is designed to promote community, workflow, design process, and multi-disciplinary collaborative function.

Other attractions

Rochester offers a wealth of pre- and post-event opportunities. Come early or stay later to enjoy the nearby Finger Lakes Wineries, take a day trip to Niagara Falls, experience a boat ride on the Erie Canal, or see the 96-foot waterfall located in downtown Rochester!

The venue

Bids and selections are in process with the support of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The venue will either be the Conference hotel or the RIT campus. Any of the properties we're working with have the meeting room capacity to host Flock.


Pros: Free meeting space.
Cons: High AV costs and other "hidden costs".

RIT campus

Pros: Free meeting space.
Cons: Travel times to and from hotels. Bus service costs from 3rd party transportation companies, which can be thousands of dollars per day depending on number of buses needed and number of trips to and from the RIT campus.

Final venue site selection will come down to what's most economical, as the spaces and services on and off campus are fairly equivalent.