Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose may be the talk of the town during the first week in June, but it's certainly not the only party in town.
If you're attending WWDC or just hanging out in town with your fellow developers, designers, and tech pals, there are a bunch of other meetups, events, concerts, runs, and secondary conferences worth your time. Here are just some of the ones we're looking forward to.
It's also worth checking out the Parties for WWDC (opens in new tab) app, which is frequently updated with information for events, podcasts, food meetups, and parties.
Best alternatives to WWDC during the day
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As the developer community has grown, tickets to WWDC have gone from hard to get to lottery-level impossible — and in response, the secondary conference model was born. Held in the same general area as WWDC, these conferences are designed for developers, designers, and enthusiasts who want to come to town for WWDC, but can't (or choose not to) attend the flagship conference itself.
Layers (June 3 - 5)
Jessie Char and Elaine Pow's Layers conference has become one of the most popular events of WWDC, and for good reason: For four years running, the dynamic duo have put on a two-day event featuring scintillating speakers, a gorgeous venue, and snacks.
The two ex-Apple employees founded Layers in 2015 to give designers their own WWDC experience, but the conference has grown to include speakers and talks (opens in new tab) on culture, leadership, teamwork, social responsibility, creativity, learning, and business.
It's an unconventional, interactive conference that presents incredibly diverse experiences and stories, and 2019 is filled with fantastic experiences. This year, the speaker list is brim-filled with exciting names, including many important figures from Khan Academy, paper artist Kelli Anderson, Terrifying Jellyfish founder TJ Hughes, Sketch app founder Pieter Omvlee, Amber Samdahl, who has developed many entertainment experiences for Disney Theme Parks, and a whole lot more.
Layers begins with an opening night party on Monday at the Montgomery Theater, followed by two days of conference talks broken up by snack breaks from local vendors.
You can grab a pass to the conference on the Layers website; if you belong to an underrepresented industry group, you can also use the code REPRESENT to receive $150 off a Layers pass. Additionally, Layers is offering scholarship passes for those unable to otherwise afford to attend the event.
AltConf (June 3 - 6)
One of the first "alternative conferences" to pop up at WWDC, AltConf has provided a free space for WWDC-goers to learn and interact with fellow tech enthusiasts — whether or not they're actually attending WWDC. AltConf takes place at the San Jose Marriot; the conference will stream the Keynote and State of the Union for over 900 attendees before splitting into two theaters' worth of free talks along with AltLabs, where attendees can host a group event or public lab.
WWDC Daily Hangouts
Want to spend time with fellow WWDC, Layers, AltConf, and NextDoor attendees? These hangouts are often more informal or smaller than the big events and happen multiple times throughout the week.
Some are ticketed, some are free and open to the public; some require running shoes, while others a healthy appetite.
Dub Dub Run (Monday - Thursday, 7:20am)
Get your activity rings closed early and wake up before the conference by running an easy 5K along the Guadalupe River! Founded by Slopes developer Curtis Hebert, the WWDC Run takes place every morning (Mon-Thurs) at 7:20am; if you're curious, all you need is a pair of running shoes and to meet at 345 Park Ave in San Jose (opens in new tab) (approximately a 10 minute walk from downtown San Jose).
Night of Dim Sum (Monday and Thursday, 7:30PM - 9:30PM)
If you come to WWDC for the food experiences (and, given all the delicious eats in San Jose, who would blame you?), check out the Night of Dim Sum at Din Tai Fung in Santa Clara. Tickets cost $125 for a two-hour smorgasbord of unlimited dim sum delicacies and chatting with fellow WWDC friends; Monday's dim sum dinner has sold out, but there's an additional dim sum event on Thursday.
Live Podcasts & Events
If you're a fan of ATP, the Talk Show, Relay.fm, and more, you'll want to hear more about the great live podcasts going on during WWDC week.
There are shows pretty much every day of the week, in venues like the Hilton, California Theater, Hammer Theater, and more.
Accidental Tech Podcast (Monday 6:00 PM)
Tickets are currently sold out, but you can still listen to the episode after the fact on the ATP website.
The Talk Show with John Gruber Live (Tuesday Evening)
Gruber brings the Talk Show to the California Theater in San Jose once again to interview an as-of-yet unnamed special guest. Who might show up in 2019? The past few years have seen Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, and both of them together to take the stage; this year might bring another big Apple executive to the forefront.
Tickets will be available through Daring Fireball soon; keep an eye on the site for more details.
RelayCon (Wednesday, 5PM - 8PM)
Podcast network Relay.fm is hosting its yearly WWDC event on Wednesday at the Hammer Theater. 2019 brings a live episode of Connected back to the stage for an entertaining look at the goings on of the week.
Tickets have currently Sold Out, but you can catch the recording on the Connected stream after the event.
Looking to hang out with fellow developers, tech journalists, and Apple aficionados during WWDC? Here are some of the awesome events and parties happening.
Beard Bash (Monday, 8PM-12AM)
Presented by The Loop and Salesforce, Jim Dalrymple's annual celebration of developers, Heineken, and rock and roll is entering its ninth year. Come hang out with Jim, Dave Mark, and a host of rock 'n rollers at The Ritz. As always, tickets are free, but limited. Register now and show up early if you don't want to wait in line!
LIVE near WWDC 2019 (Wednesday, 7-11PM; show begins at 8:30PM)
James Dempsey's coding-themed rock band is back for another year of strumming and singing about Swift, broken iPhones, and eponymous breakpoints. Now in its eighth year, the show will be held again at The Ritz, and will have a full open bar.
As always, the show is a benefit for App Camp for Girls courtesy women@wwdc; general admission tickets run you $35; there's also an $125 VIP ticket that gives you access to the VIP section and big-screen shoutouts during the event.
The WWDC Beer Bash (Thursday 7PM)
This event is for WWDC passholders only, but it's a time-honored tradition nonetheless: Obligatory big-name band, lots of WWDC attendees, and — you guessed it — liquid libations.
There's no official announcement yet as to who's playing at Beer Bash's, but you know it's going to be a real banger.
WWDC 2019 (opens in new tab)
What have I missed?
Anything you're looking forward to attending during WWDC week that I haven't listed here? Drop it in the comments.
Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).
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