Report: Icing '99
Written by Starfish
The Icing 1999 was held from Thursday the 13th to Sunday the 16th of May in an icehockey hall in "Stenkullen" not far from Gothenburg in Sweden. As the only Norwegian contestants, Walker of Nocturnal and myself, Starfish of Nocturnal, spent over four hours driving from Oslo to Gothenburg to participate. When we arrived at the hall, about five hours after they opened the doors, we were told that the partyplace couldn't handle any more visitors. Now that's not a nice thing to hear after four hours of driving. Luckily, Quizone of Nocturnal, one of our Swedish members, had arrived earlier and held some places for us, so we were allowed entrance. Also, we paid only half the price (100sek) since we came from outside Sweden.
After unloading and setting up our computer equipment, the light was shut off and the party had a small opening ceremony at the scene. There was about 485 registered visitors at Icing, mostly Swedes (what a surprise). Most of them seemed like locals, though I was surprised to see so many good contributions in the compos (more about that later).
There were a few things that really annoyed me at Icing. The first night we were painfully reminded about what power shortage could mean to computers and demoparties. The power went down and the (somewhat mad) caretaker learned to work for his pay. Also, the organizers messed up some of the compos, and it didn't seem like the entries had been tested beforehand. The results of that were that a demo-entry, void main by K2, and a gfx-entry, by Illmidus of Nocturnal, weren't shown and the pixel-compo was shown three times because the compo-computer hung twice while showing the pictures. (Take a quick look at http://www.biosys.net/quizone/protest/.) And if that wasn't enough, all compos were delayed up to ten hours because of the messy organizers. And in the multichannel-compo, they played 31 entries which was way too much. Believe me, no-one wants so sit down and listen to music-entries for two and a half hours.
Anyway, when they first got the compos up and running, they were very nice to see. Personally, I enjoyed watching the demo-compo, which had some really nice entries. My favourite there was Replay's demo, which for some insane reason ended last place in the compo. But as if it was a consolidation, they placed second in the 64k-intro, merely eight points in front of our own contribution.
The compo-prizes were a real disappointment. I got second place in the multichannel-compo and got only 300sek (about 45$) for my efforts. That's pretty bad, considering there were 485 visitors paying 100/200sek in entrance-fee. (Those who paid in advance only paid 100sek. Rumours said this was to avoid competition from another Swedish party, Pool Position, which was arranged only a week later.)
The voting-system was kinda odd, too. When we arrived at the party, we registered ourselves and got our own account to vote in. When a compo had been arranged, we could only vote for that specific compo, and within a limited range of time. Also, the registration-computers were active during the party, and I've heard later on that some registered themselves a new fake-account and voted for themselves. Pretty cynical, but the organizers should have been aware of this.
All in all, the Icing 1999 was a great party, and I'll definitely be back next year. We learned a few valuable lessons about arranging a demoparty, which is a good thing since we will arrange distance 1999 in Oslo, Norway this autumn (see http://distance.cjb.net, or even Hugi's partycalendar for more details).