Web Summit to move to Lisbon in 2016, cites infrastructure reasons

23 Sep 2015

The Web Summit in Dublin will be no more from 2016 with the organisers confirming that the event is to up sticks and move to Lisbon, with the organisation citing infrastructure as one of the reasons for its decision.

The event, which was first held in 2010, has gradually risen to become one of the largest tech events around, attracting major entrepreneurs and CEOs in the field of tech, and even celebrities in the last few years, but now it feels it has outgrown its Irish home.

Announcing the decision in a blog post, the event’s founder Paddy Cosgrave began his piece by thanking Ireland for the last five years, but subsequently went on to say that if it wants to continue growing the Web Summit needs to leave the confines of Dublin.

“It has not been an easy decision to move Web Summit from its Irish home,” Cosgrave said. “We are going because we want to take the next step on our journey to international growth.”

This, of course, would reflect the many grumblings that the Web Summit team has had about its current venue of choice in Dublin, the RDS, over the last number of years.

Threatened move last year

At last year’s event, Cosgrave took to the stage after the venue’s Wi-Fi went down on the first day and, showing his frustration, actually threatened to move the event that day if similar issues persisted.

“I’m looking forward to a time when I can stand here [and enjoy good Wi-Fi] and I believe that time will be 2015,” Cosgrave said at the time, “otherwise we won’t be in this country very much longer.”

In his blog post today, Cosgrave went on to cite infrastructure as one of main reasons for the move to Lisbon’s MEO Arena.

“Lisbon is a great city with a thriving start-up community. What’s more, it has great transport and hotel infrastructure and a state-of-the-art venue with capacity for more than 80,000 attendees.”

This November, the Web Summit expects more than 30,000 people to attend the event in the RDS.

“We will always be grateful for the support and encouragement we received from the Irish start-up community and those first Irish attendees who helped turn our tiny idea into something beyond anything we ever imagined,” Cosgrave added.

MEO Arena image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic