Main 2009 Party Report
Report written by SilkCut
Photos by Doh of Dreamdealers
except one which is by Streetuff of TRSI.
Hello, my name is SilkCut and I'm a (d)emoscener. *Hello Silkcuuut*
It was like eight o'clock when I started writing this, couldn't sleep despite having robbed a couch from docd, a French flag as sheet from Markus, and a sleeping bag from [EvIL] (thanks mate !)... and the sun is rising again.
It's Sunday and this is the last day of this party, Only Christian, Pasy and me are awake.
After sleeping like nine hours in three days I'll make the confession that I'm a bit fucked up and that all that follows is only personal feelings and thoughts on a very close past and therefore may lack some objectivity.
I just like this 'gonzo journalism' concept based on ultra-subjectivity, it helps the reader to be more critical by pointing out factors that lead you to deformate your point of view. It's imo as true as the falsely neutral informative shit of nowadays media starsystem. (Or at least that's what I understand from this concept.)
Although being interested in the scene for almost ten years I must admit I am (quite) a complete newbie at it when it comes to parties (which are constituting the substantific features of demoscene, I know).
But for now I'm just 'proud' to say I've been involved with MAiN party's organisation team for two years (that brings us back to MAiN3 fyi). Proudness is to take with attention here, firstly because my first demoparty was also my first time as organizer and that I took (I have a certain part of responsibility in it, I'm telling you) a lot of things on my behalf (mainly IT stuff and beaming), causing inevitable (epic?) fail and secondly because we always need some modesty.
I can also start to make a few statements now, like you cannot improvise a party, you cannot only count on yourself or you cannot take everything on your shoulders even if it is because you are purely well-intentioned and that you want to help as much as you can without any reward than loving a work nicely and smoothly done (and some consideration from your peers, because to be honest, well, I'm just human).
Hopefully, I have never been in charge of too many responsibilities because, believe it or not, I don't like to work under pressure (or at least I'm sure I am very sensitive to it).
So to clear it up I've never been the big guy, the boss of the party. As far as I'm concerned far in front of me was my friend Markus and at the summum of the MAiN pyramid, my friend Christian. My tasks always consisted of building, managing or taking care of more or less critical IT solutions.
Nowadays IT is everywhere, a lot of people have laptops, smartphones and Internet-based social activities from posting random words on pouët's oneliner to exposing your whole life on facebook.
It happens that because it's well-integrated in most of social categories, not "new" (as in commercial buzz) anymore, and not unaccessible to non-initiated people. People think it isn't critical. I think this is wrong, to come back to demoparties which are gravitating around top notch technologies and at the same time prehistoric and mythic machines from (y)our childhood, it is not an exploit to bring some computer with high-price pieces (even gamers are doing it at their 'LANs'), most people know their onions and regarding a pure technical aspect some of them are just better than some pros would ever dream.
But what comes in a party if you don't have any outside connection, no communication with guys that couldn't attend the party to make them regretful, no video streaming coverage of what's beamed, no last recommendation from the gfx that gave you the task to release the team prod to win the compo and therefore some shiny bluebushido or "Help me to stop smoking" NDS game! Huh ? (J/K, huge amount of prizes from sponsors, nice ones).
Anyway, it is not possible. Plus a lot of parties (I couldn't say all since I only been to two, heh...) are basing their architecture on at least some kind of internal network: uploading entries, voting system, beaming system, separatings between organizers and competitors... Let's say you're now fully convinced about that, and if you're not: try some Bastard Operator From Hell(tm) technique: make an announcement (ringeling ding ding this is a jingle!) about the fact that the system crashed, that we lost all compos and therefore the prizegiving ceremony is delayed for 10 hours.. .
So to sum it up my tasks were a small part of a bigger scheme, concerning this year's edition, the technical orga team under direct Markus' orders was essentially composed of Hungarians sceners, a few Germans and a French (just guess who). Let's mention Pasy the king: taking care of compos, beaming... pushing beyond everything the meaning of self-sacrifice (with only soft drinks!!).
Vincenzo taking care of sound, mics; Remage at the video consoles (Octocock !!); Crix with cameras; Pontscho and his lifesaver sysadmin skills plus his very necessary olympic stoicism with some headbanging tendences when big beats are played (yes, i saw you ;); Pohar, well-mannered, sacrificing and also a great scener (congrats for winning, i liked your entry ;); Gergoo and his network and Web skills with whom I had the pleasure to share my concerns, knowledge and needs.
Let's also mention some germans (halloooo) like Docd, most incredible snoring machine on earth, very spiritual and kind though; Netpoet, with his impressive communication skills, facilitating a lot of contacts with competitors, without speaking of his kindness and humour, never arrogant, never bitchy, a must-have! And of course Markus, taking care of us physically and mentally, funny and friendly, when you work with him it is almost forced that you feel the urge to have drink with him or chat about this and that.
Let's not forget pro teams taking care of bigscreen, hugescreen, badass soundsystem... To all of these guys I would express my extreme and sincere gratitude, working and partying all together was a very unique experience. Don't forget some cool volunteers (girls), some Arles locals (girls again), trustworthy sponsors and at last but not least Brigitte and Melodie, doing a lot of annoying but one hundred percent necessary tasks as shuttling, taking care of us and sceners, meals, hotel, papers... Hiho to the catering girls, Charlotte and all. Highfive to Ahmed, the kebab guy!
Concerning productions I've, as my colleagues, been happily surprised by the great amount of productions because we have more than 100 productions released for MAiN - at least 2500 megs of bigness, this is quite a premiere for us.
I liked very much the 4k releases, especially the 1K from my friends at FRequency and of course the classy Alcatraz 4K, hehe.
I was also very impressed by quality graphists who released awesome entries, my personal coup de coeur goes to that war painting and a mention to Pohar's 'pohar' photo. ;)
64k was kinda bizarre with only two entries but that's ok, conspiracy's entry merited to win and I especially liked the end, it was HUGE.
I'm a bit ashamed to say I was very busy during the music compos, fixing stereo stream fuckups with Vincenzo and therefore not paying all the attention to the compos they deserved, though I liked the bitjam remix compo, good good =)
I also liked Vincenzo's one, he's a nice musician. No need to say I really enjoyed Willbe's live set especially when he changed from his classical boumboumtchack to drumnbass, it made me shiver!
I was a bit frustrated at the prizegiving ceremony because we hadn't watched all the compowinners but since we had a little delay it was understandable...
As Scamp said about the hugescreen, it's a shame we didn't use it properly, with delay and all that stuff, I don't have anything particular against the compo that won it though... Let's say it has great great potential for next years.
As Mestaty told me, fast compos would be nice to entertain and encourage productivity.
Demos were cool to watch but I was again busy then so I missed most of them :< Wilds were interesting except that at this hour of the day (night?) I wasn't so much on noise, so I liked Nosfe's plane visuals for example but it was painful (some headache was obviously angry after me during two complete days)..
I met some of the guys I've read for years on pouet and other scene related corners, most of them very cool and rather friendly. Special
mention to [EvIl] with whom I had great fun, wasted or not, I hope for the time between writing and releasing it in your favourite (?)
diskmag (Magic from Hugi took contact with me afterwards) I'll have some way to contact you to joke more about deine blaue scheissewagen
heheh. Mention to my FRequency friends, you guys rock ;) and don't forget to bring
some French friends next year!
I had the chance to see Nosfe for real because well... we basically slept in the same hotel room, he is really cool despite looking "different" and snoring a lot (less than Docd though). His conception about music is not quite the same as mine but I feel a great sense of art and therefore I think he deserves some respect. I also met Cocoon and Streetuff, two cool guys even if the first one should drink more water and less alcohol but that's none of my business anyway, Streetuff is very cool and we chatted a bit about jobs and all, oh and his demo rocks btw.
I also chatted with Sib, Wodk, tEis, wotw... a lot of cool guys with talent! Also big thanks to Sir Garbagetruck for his kind words and buying me a beer after the compos, motivating me to go to Breakpoint and Function, although he was drunk he offered to help me through this.
I also thank Gargaj for inviting me to Function, and making me laugh while imitating "Pimp my ride" tv-show with Markus hahah :D Good souvenir. Also the "imma let you finish" reference at the prizegiving ceremony was hilarious. I had rude thoughts on him after last year party, but he was right although not being here, it was a real mess so for that I apologize. For the record I first took contact with him about some reverse engineering concerns because he wrote a nice article about finding materials in demofiles (PAiN diskmag if I remember correctly) so it basically well started between us. If you're using some instant messenging system I invite you to get in touch, that'd be cool.
Technically speaking the place gave the party an industrial taste with a zest of chaos because of the ruined buildings nearby. It's a nice place to party and feel the bigness, I was also impressed by the fact that videos couldn't really give you a correct idea of dimensions. For the next year it would be nice to see some bbq as Nosfe pointed out, but fire and food are very, very restricted and regulated things in France, especially at parties. So we cannot prepare food anywhere and we cannot start a fire anywhere. We had a security commission before the party to say if it was ok or not, imagine they said no and we had to cancel it... Hopefully the local elected representatives realized what a chance it was for them to have such an event. We will try to keep it for October despite their urge to make it for May or whatever.
Several people starting with Scamp noticed the extreme dirtiness of toilets but they were clearly NOT designed and meant for sceners, only orgas. There were some fuck ups with movable toilets, I'd like to state that they were cleaned by orgas several times but it wasn't enough, obviously. Some people complained about cold showers: to me it's a minor problem since I had cold water at the orga hotel too... We were more concerned about the difficulty to regulate the temperature, because in the beginning it was very, very hot (you don't want to get burned with boiling water, don't you). Anyway, coldness is good for your skin and makes you wake up after your liquid abuses.
Regarding to the general power outage, we clearly need to manage it out to have a one hundred percent reliable system. Hopefully it didn't screw it all up because lines were separated so a lot of tables didn't suffer from it, the epic fail is that our line for orga space was overloaded and went down at least four times in two days, thanks to Jerome for recalibrating and taking measures to avoid it during compos or ceremony. This was, I think, a big reason for delays as well as the sun ruining the bigscreen. I second Markus with his decision to delay the gfx compo, it wouldn't have been cool to see them on a white screen.
I think we also need a totally hermetic orga booth because we just went crazy with Vincenzo by all unauthorized people walking behind us.
For my part I'd say I need a normal IOS version for 2800cisco router, not a custom one (provided by Arles city IT) 'cause removing loadbalancing doesnt help for configuration despite Gergoo's best effort, we also need a bit more bandwidth and better network tree between hubs, switch and router to reduce small lags. Concerning IRC requests I don't see the point of making a local server although this is of course possible, we had an official channel and IRC isn't that much of a bandwidth-eater so... I'm happy with the stream and don't think we need to pay for DTV... Cam-guys just need to avoid filming sceners and putting the signal to the bigscreen, this is useless. From the feedback I think the stream was quite ok, we had some encoding/audio artefacts sometimes though.
Overall I liked this party very much, thanks to all guys I met for such great times. I still had difficulties to settle down and free my mind out of the party when it was over. I was hearing music when I was seeing flashing lights in the city of Arles and the noise of wind on the car window plus tires rolling on road holes sounded like drum'n'bass... (neurological phenomenon called synesthesia fyi).
I'm waiting to see some photos, your feelings/critics on the party etc...
Again thank you for making the effort, we will improve things after some merited rest, don't forget to bring more friends next year, let's keep in touch please.
See you soon.
SilkCut, firstname.lastname@example.org, 6 oct 2009
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