This year's summer party trip went to Lund, the oldest city in present-day Sweden, where "Little Computer People 2011" (LCP) was arranged by Frantic/Hack'n Trade, Iopop/Triad, Taper/Triad, Bepp/Triad and Hedning/G*P.
The party location was called "Hemvaernsgaarden", a small-party rental facility able to host around 110 visitors. This location had also been used to host the StLCP2008 party a few years ago. The city of Lund is close to the Swedish south-west coast and is easily reached by ferries and train from many countries around in Europe. Myself, I had only a three-hour car drive to get there. But since I used most of the morning hours to reinstall and prepare a laptop with all my C64 stuff, I skipped breakfast and visited a McDonald's which my car navigator conveniently found close-by LCP for lunch. After some fast food, I drove into the large green park area surrounding the party location where a loud playing ghettoblaster (as straight out of the 1980's era) was playing Commodore 64 SID songs for surrounding groups of people outside the party entrance. With the destination clearly confirmed, I eagerly went inside.
After a short talk with Frantic to complete the payment for the entrance fee of 200 SEK, I got a cold beer as a welcome gift from Bepp/Triad. What a very pleasant way to start the party!
As I arrived at the party on Saturday, I quickly noticed most of the other red eyed people present at the party had arrived the eve before and been drunk since then. I clearly had a lot of catch up to do! After a quick socializing with the party crowd, I sat down to finalize my own compo entries and delivered them to Frantic before the deadline. After that, Pantaloon had ordered a caravan of taxies outside, and off we headed to a nearby hotel suite to start bug fixing the "We are Mature" demo. It turned out to be somewhat of a great imitation of "Leisure suit Larry" as the room-service ladies and long drink orders were strolling into the room to keep the coders busy – all of it "Synkat till music"!
When all the freaky bugs had been sorted out, and final approval given by everyone, the trip had a horrible aftermath in the Hotel bar; self-service suddenly had a new meaning. But we got the final version of the "We are Mature" on a USB stick and instead headed back to the LCP party location again to party on!
At the party, there were many familiar faces. Around 100 paying visitors had come to the party out of a total 109 pre-signed visitors on the official LCP 2011 website. That is really good for such a small party.
LCP as a party experience in whole was very similar to the old-school parties I attended back in the late 1980s. The facility itself being a big square with lots of tables placed in rows, filled with C64/Amigas and lots of creative minds trying to twist new things out the hardware. Group of people were gathering and talking frequently on the balcony, and some really nice Polish guys threw a great BBQ in the middle of the night and shared some very-very tasty hotdogs. It was so nice to meet and talk to so many nice dedicated sceners at the party!
One of the huge party events announced beforehand was the live concert by LFT and his chipophone. The chipophone is a homemade 8-bit synthesizer, especially suited for live chiptune playing. It has been built inside an old electronic organ, and is being mastered by the creator himself: Linus Akesson aka LFT. Apparently, the transport of this unique instrument was managed by Frantic as part of other transports of equipment to the party location, and as Linus lives in the same city of Lund, it made it all easier. I sadly missed out on this live performance myself by arriving a day late, so I don't have any great pictures to share, but there are lots of material on YouTube. But, if you've never heard of the Chipophone before, I strongly suggest you quickly go to his website and have a look on the videoclips there or search for the Chipophone on Youtube. It's truly amazing stuff! Here is a direct link: http://www.linusakesson.net/chipophone/
Another party event was Mogwai the data doctor, who kindly neglected to fix my failing PC laptop proclaiming his service was to 8bit equipment only. Well said, touché! I watched him do some nice repairs, and it's truly amazing all the effort he put in to it and the joy shared from the people he managed to help.
The absolute major party event was the competitions. And a lot of the party visitors worked very hard to finalize their products before the deadlines on Saturday.
But - one group really got stuck and was lost in misery, namely Offence. As their demo linking just didn't turn out as it should. All Offence members were very eager to show their months of efforts nevertheless, and as the last demo compo entry was running on the big screen, backstage efforts were committed to salvage their different demo parts onto floppies in order to load and executing each part individually. I got the privilege to sit beside Paal and Bjorn as their hard and long endorsement of code, graphic and music creations were shown onto the big screen for the party crowd. Even if the loading was messed up, it was a magical and great moment!
One of the other highlights for me was of course to see the demo "1991" from Booze Design celebrating their 20th birthday in the demo scene, which ended first in the demo competition. Dane, the musician from Booze Design, also ended up winning the C64 music compo. Myself, I managed to get a surprising 2nd place in the C64 music compo as well as a 9th spot in the C64 graphic compo between a lot of good submissions.
As it was a small party with low budget in arrangement and little given income from ticket sales, the compo prizes were mostly symbolic ones. Retro hardware, working or not, together with other sponsored compo prizes such as DVDs and books was lined up on a compo gift table to be chosen as souvenirs by the compo winners when being announced.
As a small round-up on the economic part, the total income of ticket sales was approximately 20,000 SEK. From this amount, the rent of the party location alone was charged by 4500 SEK. And add costs to cover expenses for the tables + chairs, AV, HIFI, transportations, food, power cables and multi-sockets, cleaning and fixing some broken things etc. All in all, the organizers ended up with a very small positive result of 5000 SEK, which will be saved for improvements to later arrangements.
As a summary on organizing, Frantic tells that he was very happy with how things turned out so smoothly this year. There was content being displayed on the big-screen most of the time during the party, the sound equipment was working very well, there was a good supply of chairs to sit on inside and even outside, breakfast and constant supplies of coffee helped the dedicated sceners not to get too low on blood sugar levels, the toilets didn't end up like a Armageddon, and the compo deadlines was fairly held within the schedule (compared with earlier events). Besides the compos, he also points out the quiz and concert with LFT were very successful party features that made this year a memorable LCP event for the crowd.
For me as an attendant, LCP 2011 turned out to be a really nice party. I made lots of new nice acquaintances, and I met a lot of old scene friends from the past. There were friendly and helpful staff and organizers. And a real bonus was the unexpected gift boxes distributed by Triad with floppy releases and candy – which came really in handy when returning home; my kids cheered widely!
See you all again soon at a different party!
Magnar of TBL - The Black Lotus
More pictures and content from the Party can be found here:
LCP 2011 results