The tenth edition of Europe’s largest Commodore computer party was held on 1st to 3rd of October 2010 in a small town Someren in southern Netherlands. It was a very spectacular event, which attracted a total of 249 guests from all over the world.
Whole journey to the party place required a careful planning and precision, because I’m not going too often outside of my country. Due to the inability to travel by car (and other such options were simply too expensive) I decided to fly for the first time in my life. I had to get up to the airport in Gdansk, because in Goleniow airport (located near my place) unfortunatelly aren’t supported connections to Netherlands.
After booking the tickets I’ve started to count down the days to leave. The journey at party place began on Thursday (30th of September) afternoon. I boarded the train and then after a few hours I arrived to Gdansk, exactly at the district called Wrzeszcz. From there took me my group mate C1t0z who brought me with his car at Luke/Arise home. As the departure time was scheduled for 6:30 AM, we were forced to be on our foots at 4 AM. At the airport we had to pass check point where our customs clearance went quite smoothly. Luke has been thoroughly searched by one master of the Border Guards and I had to take off my shoes, because they were ringing when passing through the gate. 🙂 After several minutes finally we came on the plane of Wizz Air and while awaiting for departure we were telling jokes on various topics. Soon the stewardesses began explaining of the proper use safety belts and oxygen mask. They’ve been doing a lot of mechanized movements resembling aerobics. At this sight Luke said that I should threw one of them 2 Polish zlotych coin. 😉
After a while we ended up in the sky. For this situation mostly reacted sitting next to us a foreigner who for a few minutes was filling a paper bag with a fractal. Soon Luke baptized him as Zygmunt and I was glad that my locomotion sickness didn’t give this time to know about yourself (Aviomarin worked!). Then the stewardesses began serving sandwiches and drinks, using really interesting conversion rate (1 euro = 4.5 Polish zlotych) View from the plane was amazing! Firstly there were tiny, like boxes of matches houses, then the vast expanses of fields, meadows and towns, arranged in different patterns, and finally indefinitely extending for the white clouds. We didn’t had opportunity to talk so much because soon we’ve been waiting for landing. By the way we laugh from the pilot, who until the very end of the trip unexpectedly greeted the passengers, while speaking into the microphone as if he just woke up from heavy libation. 🙂 Just a one and half hour flight ended up with a smooth landing, which was adopted by travelers with almost an ovation. 🙂
Soon we were able to stand (safely) on the ground and admire the airport in Eindhoven. We stayed there over an hour waiting for Kordiaukis who was late riding by congested highway in Germany. In the end Krystian came to us and greeted warmly. The three of us went at „downtown” to eat something, which at that time wasn’t very simple art. After a small breakfast we went in the Someren direction to see how the party place looks like. Village climates welcomed us with farmed animals and the large expanse of corn. When we got to the street De Hoof 18, to our eyes appeared a bunch of people and located backpacks on the foil. At first we thought that they are party people but soon we found out that these strangers are people who just roll up their stuff.
So we decided to go back to the airport in Eindhoven and wait for the arrival of another team from Poland. At the same time Flea joined us and just after the 1 PM to our eyes appeared another Arise members (Fenek, Wacek, Bimber and eLBAN) and apart from them came DJ Gruby and Sebaloz. Without wondering soon we decided to go at town for consumption. However there were too many persons to fit into the Kordeee’s car, hence each bought a daily ticket for the bus for 3 euros and a whole team soon reached the city center of Eindhoven. Here the team split into two camps – some of them went to KFC and me, eLBAN, DJ Gruby, Flea and Fenek went to the Chinaman. After a wholesome dish we met up with the rest of the team and we decided that Kordee, eLBAN and Luke will go to the party place, and the rest will go visit the stadium of PSV Eindhoven. As we planned, so we made it. After a short walk we arrived at the stadium, and soon we went to the cafe, which had access to the grandstand side of the stand. We made a few memorable photos on the background of the stadium and then after a short rest we went on a bus in the direction to Someren.
On the place arrived for us two cars directed by Leming and Kordiaukis so we didn’t had to wander around the area to get right to the party place. And there were already gathered a lot of sceners, awaiting the opening of the door. Standing at the entrance gate three huge trash aroused the most interesting of eLBAN, who stated that at this point he found the end of the tanks game, which is coded for a long time by DJ Gruby. 🙂 After a while we were greeted by Booker, who was dressed in a pink sweater, and also by Jericho, Splatterpunk and Lolita, who at my sight said that I am the last person, which is expected here by her. 😉 Also I met Dezert, who was known to me from scene productions issued many years ago under Charged label. Also I greeted with Conrad (which incidentally I met several days earlier at Silesia Party 4), StreeTuff and ZZAP69 (I was very pleased that he remember my silhouette from Floppy 2005). After several minutes we stood waiting in a long queue to the party place, where the main organizers CBA and Scout were gathering money for the entrance and stuck to sceners green band on theirs hands. Soon I realized that like during my first visit at X party in 2004, again identifiers were ordinary white stickers, which mostly have been trailed by the visitors to outerwear.
Inside of the party place people slowly were spread out own equipment and they had a lot of space for it, since the building was very spacious and no one could miss the place. Then I went to book a sleeping place and I managed to get into the room where some Poles placed itself at the forefront of Leming. 🙂 The evening has been passing without any revelations. Finally true revival was initiated by Arise team, which started to place at the table Polish delicacies like cucumbers, sausage, beets, or even a pie. 😉 The whole project was dubbed as „unleavened table”, at which soon began to arrive a lot of foreign sceners. On the wall Wacek with eLBAN and Kordiaukis hung plenty of printed photos of famous Poles, including Pope John Paul II, Pan Kleks (Mr. Klex from Polish TV movie for childrens), Robert Kubica, Adam Malysz, Lech Walesa, Zbigniew Wodecki, Stanislaw Lem and many others. 😉 As a tablecloths were used parts of newspaper, which were adding charm to the whole project. Additionally with my participation we glued wherever we could, special cards inviting to a meeting with traditional Polish food. 🙂 I must admit that this crazy idea was a bull’s eye, because the table was occupied by sceners until almost complete depletion of the food. 🙂
At the same time others were drinking free beer and watching various productions on theirs C64 and I got to know people which previously I knew only from discussions on IRC or from snail mail correspondence. So I was extremely pleased by the fact that I could stand eye to eye with SounDemoN, whose work on the C64 I love so much and I have respect, also with Almighty God and BriteLite. 😉 Also I swapped a few words with Jazzcat, Psycho8580 and StreeTuff who after a while encouraged me to view his latest demo on DTV. I had the opportunity to meet the man named Peiselulli, which as it turned out after a while, is the author of the famous game from 1985 entitled Flashbier! By the way I received valuable information that this production was done in machine language monitor and now its author is specialized in coding for DTV. Peiselulli also praised an own version of Boulder Dash and in revenge he received information from me about my Zulder Dash which I published last year at Stary Piernik 4. 🙂
Main flaw of this edition of X party was certainly the power which overflowed by dozens of machines was failing more times. The organizers will soon put in the middle of the room a powerful connection box, which however failed to prevent further interruptions in supply.
Shortly before midnight on the stage located in the lower part of the building DaTucker began to play his music set. His repertoire included many classics in the field of electronic music (including even Axel F.), intermingled with the remix of the composition for computer games. However at the scene wasn’t so much sceners because they preferred to continue sitting at theirs computers.
The real show started one hour later, when came to the action no one else, like Jeroen Tel! Soon he encouraged to party with full of energy, dynamics and melody music set, which was dominated by themes of Commodore 64 sound. In the background were flying various types of visuals for which responses a guy named C-Men. Jeronen’s show was very successful, which can probably be confirmed by many of the sceners from the crowd having fun at this evening on the dance floor.
After the concert I decided to look around the party place, and found that some of the people evacuated to a neighboring building on a well deserved rest. I went back downstairs and met Jeroen Tel, who at the same time finished packing his musical equipment. He greeted me warmly as a good old friend and found that the last time we saw a few years ago, also at the X party. I was therefore very pleased that after so many years Jeroen remember me perfectly, which was also accepted by me with some surprise. Soon, my doubts were dispelled by the great musician who has found that people from the scene are much more associated for him than random people which he meets at his concerts. We talked nicely for some time and we made a memorable photo. Then I joined Oxidy, who’ve been playing .sid files using HardSid connected to the sound equipment. From the beginning I’ve passively watched his actions but soon I was encouraged to help in selecting the next tracks. It was a big fun to stand behind the powerful mixing table and play my favorite music from C64. 🙂 Mostly there dominated songs from the classic games but sporadically we’ve been choosing also some new tracks. The atmosphere was amazing and during that we had a lot of fun with Oxidy. 😉
Finally time has come to sleep so soon I went up to my room. Here surprise was waiting for me, because my bed was… occupied by Nitro/Metalvotze/Goldvotze/Nuance, which however was kind enough that he decided to look up for another place to sleep.
On the morning anything interesting hasn’t happened. After eating a modest breakfast (toasted bread etc.) I went to a party place where some people sat at theirs Commodore machines. One of the interesting facts that I noticed was C64 connected to a small projector at which Mixer was trying his code skills. Soon the boys from Arise spread out theirs equipment and began work on a procedure of finishing stuff for competitions. They were not alone in their endeavors because unfolded around the landscape somewhat reminiscent of a school computer science lesson. Utopian image of Commodore 64 party occasionally was spoiled by laptops, which fortunately were not too much. Because I had nothing concrete to do soon I’ve joined my good friend FieserWolf from Metalvotze with which I’ve played with a few classic games on C64 including for example “Kik Start II”. 😉
Next while walking outside I met unexpectedly MacGyver and ThunderBlade. It was a big surprise for me, because both were known to me so far only on IRC, especially the second one of the brothers, with whom I discussed the first time in the network less than 10 years ago! Finally after many years we could meet in real life like with Arman, whose work I love since I met with her in 1999. So we’ve been talking on various topics and made memorable photos. Also I’ve swapped a few words with DaTucker, who was wearing a sweatshirt with the figure of Rockford from my favorite game Boulder Dash. Finally I greeted well with Jan Harries (Rambones) who at my view as usual he threw the immortal sentence: “Murdock, I’m coming get you”. 🙂
A few moments later I stood face to face with guests from Turkey from Glance, as well as I met personally Bordeaux, with whom I’ve also discussed some years ago on IRC. Before entering the party place Arise guys located theirs grill for which they invited Oswald. At the same time others in the sweat of theirs brow were finishing stuff for competitions, which before started, were preceded by a relatively late lunch served. Fortunately in the meantime came at party place a box with food so it was possible to eat such a solid portion of fries for 2 euros.
In the evening began graphics competitions for which reported total amount of 38 works. Nice atmosphere in the audience was aroused by the announcer who vigorously encouraged everyone to big applause. Hence almost every work received applause and the biggest interests got Bimbrer’s art entitled “D.Y.M.”. Among the works appeared (unfortunately) a lot of so called converted graphics, which indicates a new trend among C64 graphicians. At the end of the work were shown works supplied almost at the last minute. The announcer made a small mistake because he chose wrong nickname and unexpectedly called Sebaloz as… Lolita. 🙂 By the way the great appreciation must be given to the organizers who were professionally performing the competitions. There was no delay even despite the fact that much of the works has been shown from real floppy discs.
After graphics competitions I had the opportunity to talk with Jeff, as well as with Dize, Jak T Rip and also with a team from Sweden: Puterman, Twoflower and JackAsser who remember me from my visit at Floppy 2005. At the party place anyone could buy a magazine called “Return” which to our misfortune was probably only available in German.
Finally it was time for the show of 6581 rock band, which members are: Morpheus, Anton, Anders and Romeo Knight, who specializes in covers of soundtracks from C64 games. His performance began with a strong hit which was a song from “Ghosts’n Goblins”. There were also such classics like “Bombo”, “Arkanoid” and “Garfield” but without a doubt the best sounded “Deflector” and “Mutants” (it’s a pity, that Fred Gray was unable to hear it live!). Big words of respect belongs to the whole 6581 team for a good piece of playing at which constantly were dancing a large group of sceners. 🙂
Setlist of 6581:
1. Ghosts’n Goblins
5. Cream of the Earth
9. Acid Jazz
10. Game Over
12. Monty on the Run
13. Hot Mommas
14. The Last Ninja
After the concert there were music competitions during which were presented 24 tunes. My attention was focused on some compositions from SounDemoN, Arman, Jan Harries, FieserWolf and Klax. Particular attention I’ve focused on moody tune from Kordiaukis (which was actually first one after eleven years of break in composing), Jeff (which track should win competitions), Leming (Hardtrack climates with a little bit inspiration from Shogoon), as well as rumble which was served to us by Booker. During competitions the most active dancers under big screen were as always CBA and Deekay. 😉 Interesting was also the fact that there was a live transmission from the party in SceneSat internet radio, so anyone who didn’t go to this year’s X party, was able to keep track of it all. 🙂
After a short break time has come for the demo compo. In the underground room almost all sceners came together and started to watching what was served to them by the organizers. However at the beginning unexpectedly went out of competition work from Crest which included animations in multicolour cut down from pornographic films. Some of people would be disgusted but significant protests during the projection wasn’t noticed.
Then the first productions starting in the competition appeared on the big screen. These were relatively short demos including one from Metalvotze (issued on the occasion of 16th anniversary of the group) and Abyss Connection. Role’s demo as the only one refused to work and was shown again at the end of competitions. Thunderous applause met Mahoney’s production entitled “Cubase64” to which was attached instructions printed on paper (available on the organizer’s table at the entrance to the party place). But the climax was a presentation of a demo by Offence and Prosonix entitled “Another Beginning” which was kept in an 0ldsk00l climate (press space). The audience spontaneously responded to the subsequent parts of the production and the tension associated with the projection grew linearly. Already in the middle of the show I knew that we have before us the undisputed winner of the demo compo. My attention was also focused on interesting productions from Fairlinght and co-operation between Booze Design and Instinct (incidentally the last in the history of both groups). Among fifteen demos entered in the contest something that would be able to knock down on the shoulders any of viewer (so-called “killer”) was unfortunately missed.
After the competitions were distributed to sceners several floppy discs which worked as votesheets. It was necessary to run a program on the C64, enter your handle and cast votes for all productions involved in competitions (which incidentally were open to the public). In the meantime room, where a moment before demos were shown, was almost completely deserted and only a few people had the opportunity to see the productions played outside of the competitions.
The floppy disc received by me from Scout has proved to be defective and therefore after a while I brought her back and then gave my votes on someone’s computer. However I couldn’t reach the ceremony of announcement of the results because soon I gave up into the arms of Morpheus (went to sleep).
Sunday morning was a time of cleaning, trips and farewell. Some people quite quickly evacuated from the party place and I met Reyn Ouwehand accompanied by Jazzcat with whom I took a commemorative photo. Party place was going empty slowly. Organizers cleaned up the trash and everyone packed their equipment. I said goodbye to part of the Arise team which Kordee soon threw at the airport and also I’ve thanked CBA and Scout for a successful party.
The journey back was divided into several stages. First Kordiaukis took me and Luke to his place. Along the way we were accompanied by beautiful mountainous landscapes and extending vineyards for kilometers. The road was extremely twisty and tricky but thankfully we arrived safely. After a short rest we went to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport from where we had a flight at 7:30 PM by Ryanair to Gdansk. We were already solidly tired, hence the return flight didn’t do us much of an impression with the exception of hard knocks at the landing.
In Gdansk came for us again C1t0z and took us to Luke’s home. From there I took my other stuff and went with Michal to his apartment. We were watched a few demos on his C64 and the latest collection “Lifework” from Wacek which I got from the guys at the party. Traditionally we played a few parties in the classic game “Hat-Trick” and that was the end of another day full of adventures. In the morning I’ve entered the train to Szczecin and after a few hours I got home. In this way my trip to the X’2010 party came to a happy end.
X’2010 Party – photo gallery:
In closing this report I would like first to thank Kordiaukis for mobile support and a friendly atmosphere (obviously you did a great job which should be appreciated by some people), Luke for a journey full of good healthy dose of humor and hospitality, as well as for transport and sleeping place to C1t0z. Special thanks to Fei for his support. I send warm greetings to all whom I met at the party, especially to Oxbow. 🙂 See you there!