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Mekka & Symposium 1998
Party Report


Submitted by CyberBrain (CyberBrain) on February 20 2002
Written by KBS/Laxity

from Scene+ #2
The Scene+ Mekka/Symposium Party Report

_____________________________________________________________________________



Edited by KBS



Introduction:

-------------



We take a look at another one of those annual computer conventions. This one

known as the MEKKA and SYMPOSIUM PARTY or "MS'98" for short - which, by the

way, is not to be considered as the initials of a certain firm, that we all

like to hate...!



However, this party has grown into becoming kind of an all-in-one computer

convention for not only C64 sceners, but for all kinds of computer fanatics.

This year, it's no different than last year, where the two parties also was

one event; it's even held at the same place!



First, some introductury information that was posted about this event...



Partyname: MEKKA/SYMPOSIUM '98

C64 Organizer: Smash Designs

Place: Heidmarkhalle, Fallingbostel, Germany

Start: Friday, April 10th, 1998, 12.00 pm

End: Monday, April 13th, 1998, 12.00 pm

Features: Competitions for C64, PC, Amiga, etc.

6x4 m big screen

Powerful sound equipment

Live music performances

Party network with internet access

Internet cafe

Drinks available on the party

External warmed up sleeping hall

850 visitors expected





A JOURNEY AND SOME SOUND...?

----------------------------



It all started in October last year, where I got an e-mail from Chaotic of

Smash Designs, containing a link to the homepage of this event, but I never

really got around to take a good look at it though. It was first some time

this year, where I just wanted to know a little bit about which parties was

to come in the near future, that I got a little bit interested in it.

I was on the IRC and the url to the homepage got mentioned again and I thought

I'd better take a look at it once more.



And to all of my luck, what do I see ? Somebody was organizing a bus trip to

the event! So, after thinking about all those trainshifts it took me to get

there last year - I didn't hesitate to contact the organizer of this bus

trip, some Amiga dude named Cytron/Depth.



However, I must admit I was not too comfortable about having to pay for the

bus ticket in advance, but I did it anyway. I was looking forward to going to

this party, although some of my friends did not think too kind of this

(eh? Alex?! :-) So, when it finally got to be easter and time to take off, I

sure had to get up damn early in the morning - as usual I did not get much

sleep the night before the event. I had already packed some stuff the day

before, but I didn't know whether I should have brought any computer

equipment with me. Well, in the last minute I decided not to bring anything

except some storage for stuff and thank god I didn't bring any computers -

I was just about to miss the one and only public bus that should take me to

the city of Aarhus, where the partybus would detour from. After having looked

around for 15 minutes where the party bus would take off from, I finally got

around to where it was parked.



After half an hour of delay, the last of the people that should be picked up

here finally showed up and we was ready to take off.



The bus had to make a few stops on it's way there, to pick up the rest of the

people that had signed up for the trip. It went pretty smooth, except for

some lamers who said that the bus would pass right by the place where they

lived - when infact this was a lye! And this caused a major delay, since the

bus had to go through some town and enter some residental area before we

actually got to the place where they lived. However, we finally picked up all

the people and the bus was finally filled up. That meant we would get some of

the money back, and we did, except of course the lamers from before (hehe)...



Now, we was finally ready to take off for Germany.

We passed the Danish/German border and drove non-stop to the party place.

On the way there we had a look at some party videos with demos from earlier

parties, besides seeing the film Trainspotting. Apparently, there was no C64

freaks on the bus, except of course me, so I just tried to get some sleep.

And all of a sudden we was just there...



WHO HAD THICK EGGS?

-------------------



I was of course excited about whether the partyplace could live up to the

expectations I had... The party had already been going on for about 4 hours

before I got there. But, looking at the invitation, it seemed that they'd

come around most of the promises. The big screen was there, it was quite good

this year, since they'd managed to darken the hall, so that it would give a

better picture. Large loudspeakers was there too, and they were LOUD!

Didn't bother to find out how long I could stay right infront of them,

without loosing my hearing sense...!



It said in the invitation that there would be a party net with internet

access. There was for sure a party net, a really fast one I might add, but no

internet access what so ever... And therefore - no internet cafe aswell.

That would have been nice, but anyway, atleast there was both possibility for

http and ftp download, and even IRC chat; when it worked that is!

At some time one of the party servers died. Anyway, it seems to me, that

today a party is not really a party without a party network..! Lazy leecher,

that pretty well describes the average visitor for such parties...



As for the promised external warmed up sleeping facility, there was put up a

large tent behind the hall - but the heatingsystem did not circulate the air.

Therefore most people considered this too cold, so the organizers might just

aswell have saved their money and spent it on other things.



Having examined the terrain for about half an hour I met up with some of my

groupmembers. There was almost no table space left, but we didn't need much

space. There was quite a lot of people attending this party; also a lot of

C64 people. I don't know exactly how many, but the expected 850 was there I

think, maybe even 1000 people, and that is something!

I for sure met some of my contacts there and of course I also made some new

ones. Lots of laughs and great fun.



When it came to the entertainment, I must say that I really enjoyed some of

the cool nostalgic demoshows that was shown in between all the competitions.

Especially the one on the opening evening, which showed some of the more

recently produced demos, such as: Out of Daze/Resource, Altered States/Agony,

Triage II/Smash, Lonestar/Breeze, Bloody Domination/Samar, Exoneration/Exon,

Wildfire/Coma, Void/Coma+Resource, One-Der/Oxyron & 2nd Reality/Smash.



Of course, this party also had the usual entertainment by Steeler:

"Wer hat dicke Eier?" not to mention the "F"-Wword which was, according to

the rules posted on the big screen, not allowed, along with alcohol and

posing..! Seeing the Accept Party Posse wrapping themselves in toiletpaper

was also pretty hilarious..!



However, the one side of the hall, experienced a lot of power failures at one

time and this was of course not that fun, but it was luckily only rather

short breaks. I think the fixed it after some hours. Of course all electrical

articles such as toasters, fridges, microwaves and heavy sound equipment got

banned pretty quickly (Hint: why not forbid turning on all those PC's!)



Anyway, I loose track of time when I go to parties. And I don't get much

sleep either. I think 5 hours was all I got during the 4 days the event

lasted. But, why go to parties to sleep anyway? So, basically what happened

was that I walked around to see what people are working on and talking with

people - and of course getting some stuff. Whenever there was a competition

I was of course attending to it - to see what it could offer of new

inventions. More about the competitions in a page or two.



When it was time to go home, it didn't take long to get our stuff packed and

move it out. The bus came back to pick us up at about half an hour before

the official closing. We had an extra passenger this time, but there was still

some seats free, so no problem. Another film was shown on the way back, but

people were not really paying attention to it. Of course they were somewhat

tired; but we all talked a bit with oneanother and I guess most of us also

enjoyed the ride home. We had a three quarter stop at the border, and picked

up a couple of girls that was going our way aswell and four cases of beer..

We had to do the same stops again as on the first trip - however, those

lamers that we picked up on the way there - they had to pay for the free

beer... (for all the inconvience they caused us) So, all in all, it was great

fun - wouldn't have missed for the world now when I think about it...



THE COMPETITIONS

----------------



Symposium and Mekka have always had a lot of competitions, but I think they

topped it this year, with quite a lot of surprise competitions.

They were really the funniest... But, I could also see a lot of support for

the C64 competitions. Apparently there seems to be no end to when c64

productions can't amaze both Amiga and PC people, so I guess this is just

another sign of the fact that you don't need no 200 mhz processor to create

something cool. (8 bit is enough!)



The c64 music competition was pretty nice - lots of contributions, but there

was nothing special in there that I want to mention. However, there was

some nice c64 graphics, that I really liked. And that's the pictures of

Sebaloz/Lepsi, Out of Order/Willow, Raze/Hitmen, Hardsequencer/Dytec,

Rayden/Alpha Flight and AEG/Smash.



The C64 4k intro competition surprised me aswell, but generally most of the

contributions were somewhat mediocre.



Last, but not least, the C64 demo competition, the one we've all been waiting

for, it was really cool to see that many contributions for such a competition

and dare I say that once again the C64 has been proven worthy of the title as

"THE ONE AND ONLY COMPUTER"... Some nice, and if you ask me, quite unexpected

productions came up. Padua made everyone smile and sing-a-long with their

"We all live in the sixty four scene". When I saw that a Hitmen demo was

coming, I thought oh no - but it was much better than I expected! And of

course Smash Designs had 2 demos in the competition - once again!



Other remarkable competitions, besides the C64 and WILD competitions, were

the surprise competitions. There was, for instance, a bag-running competition,

which attracted some people. The winner was the one who was the fastest to

exit the back entrance and then come to the stage thru the front entrance -

while having to keep their feet in a bag and jump! There was sort of a

swimming competition, where two people both got their hands tied on the back

and had to dive into a plastic tub with water to pick up a disk with the

teeth. (They just forgot to tell the competitors that the water had urin in

it! Yuck!) Another competition was the 1,2,3 scener competition - where the

winner was the one who could answer most questions correct (by jumping around

on the stage to the correct answer, as seen on THE PARTY).

Of course there was also a game contest. Which game..? Frogger! Yippie!

Oldie from 1983! But, the most spectacular competition was without doubt the

Chiptune Competition, where four musicians from the music group Maybebop

volunteered to do live performances of nostalgic chiptunes, like Commando,

etc. without using instruments! That was so cool!



Generally about the competitions, if you look away from the surprise

competitions, I still feel there could be better competitions - contribution

wise I mean. Of course, a few mistakes happened in the competitions, and a

few deadlines got postponed, but not anything notable. But, where have all

the creativity gone ? I think demos is not just about coding the most

hardcore realtime code - it's the message that it sends that's most

important and exactly the message is what I wish people would care more about.

Also design is most important I think.



THE ATTENDERS AT MEKKA/SYMPOSIUM

--------------------------------



These are the people that was in the list of Chaotic/Smashs C64 Visitor's list



(stripped)



THE MEKKA/SYMPOSIUM RESULTS

---------------------------



On the following pages you'll find the official results of the Competitions.

However, let me just comment on the prizes and the prizegiving ceremony that

took place there. Well, we all know that C64 prizes have a tendancy to not be

very high amount of cash, and eventhough they had plenty of prizes to give



away - the cool cash winners where few and it couldn'T probably pay for the

trip there. So, hope to see better prizes next year - instead of old, used

stuff...!



(results stripped)



IS THE PARTY STILL "THE" EVENT?

-------------------------------



MS has grown into an event that can easily compete with conventions such as

THE PARTY, THE GATHERING, THE "X" parties and others. In fact, some of the

people present here were questioning whether other parties can continue to

claim the title of being "THE" party event of the year. Sure, THE PARTY is

without doubt the biggest event of them all, but that doesn't automatically

mean, that it qualifies for the title of being the party, that people would

most like to visit prior to any other parties...! It's easy to just say, that

other parties are better than this particular one - but it's hard to look at

it, in an objective way. Nevertheless, from what this reporter can gather,

there's still some things, that could make this a simpler choice, because all

the computer parties are special, in their own way, I think. It's usually

different people at different parties, although of course some are attending

several of them. That's why some people consider a party a success - while

some think it's a waste of time. But, what is it actually that makes a party

a success? Hard to say - but it's easy to say what makes it a failure, if

that's the case. So, be your own judge and decide for yourself which parties

you want to go to. If you come to a party with the attitude that this might

just be some lame party, then that's what it's going to be then - but this

applies only for you, remember that. A party is only as good as you make of

it - so make the best of it!



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