Four down... One to go...
The REW / Nostalgia - Takeover Main Organiser
Since Adok helped me a lot by supplying a couple of articles for the Takeover 2000 party magazine, I felt the least I could do is write a Takeover 2000 report for his mag. :-) So here we go...
Time flies - when you're having fun. It seems like yesterday that the idea of setting up a party in The Netherlands first came to my mind. Now, nearly five years later, the fourth Takeover is already in the scene history books.
This "Takeover Review" will not be regular party report, cause I'm the main organiser of the event, so I see this thing a bit differently than most other sceners. ;-)
After organising Takeover for three years, you'd expect that organising a fourth one is a piece of cake. Well, I can tell you that it isn't.
Of course, a lot of things are organised much faster when you set 'm up for the fourth time. The first year it took us quite some effort to get a catering present, a place to sleep, cleaning crews, a network, our first sponsors, and of course an accomodation. Most of these things were arranged with more or less a single phone call this year. Well, the sleeping accomodations were nearly a fatal problem this year. Last year we have had a whole list of complaints on the sportshall on the university campus, so we decided to hire a couple of hugh tents for sleeping this year. It was like 10 days before Takeover that we heard that we would not get a permit to setup tents on the campus. The reason of this was that the Eindhoven authorities wouldn't let us because of the European Soccer Championships. So, we were forced to contact the sporthall again, and allthough the sportshall usually needs to be booked several weeks in advance we were able to hire it for the weekend.
Like the previous years, most preparations were last minute stuff. Here's a small time schedule for goods to arrive on the Friday morning of Takeover (doors opened at 19:00, but the entire crew was at 9:00 present in The Auditorium): at 11:00 the Cisco switches arrived (needed to build the network), at 13:00 the 600 party magazines and the crew shirts arrived, at 14:00 network cables arrived (we nearly forgot that you also need cables to build a network), at 15:00 the 8 (sponsored) PCs from Paradigit arrived, at 17:00 the 600 entrance passes arrived, and at 18:00 the party T-shirts arrived. Actually the only things that we already got on Monday were the 600 Takeover mousepads.
Now, most of these things could have been arranged earlier, but for some reason this stuff always gets delayed, and is delivered at the very last moment. So once again we've had some very scary moments if everything would get there in time... But everything got in time, and even the main party hall was ready nearly two hours before opening.
From the previous Takeovers we had learned that the main organisers should not be assigned any real tasks during the event. Usually a lot of things happen that would need "main organiser assistance", so the main organiser would probably be busy throughout the whole party. But for some reason this year was different. And I have been thinking why this was.
First of all we had for nearly 2 million Dutch Guilders of network equipment in the Auditorium (stuff we arranged with sponsors; I'm not counting the millions of goods that were already in the Auditorium). The network team began building the network on thursday night, and by Friday afternoon everything seemed to be working perfectly. And it kept on working perfectly until Sunday night, when we pulled the plug. For what I have heard we have generated over 8 terrabytes of data traffic during the Takeover weekend, and we were even mentioned in the monthly UUNet newsletter. (See www.takeover.nl for network stats.)
Then there was Druid's magic everything system. I call it "everything system", cause we didn't only use it to manage the competitions, but we also used it for the website, the voting, the bigscreens, the prizes, for entries, for the.. well.. everything. I call it "magic", because unlike other years, the system seemed to work perfectly. So, with this system some more (main) organiser's worries were solved.
Like last year, we had made a fullproof power setup together with some technical folks from the university, so unlike the first 2 episodes of Takeover we had no power failures to deal with.
So from an organisatorial point of view, Takeover 2000 went very smoothly. So smoothly, that long times I was doing.. well.. ehm.. nothing. :-) I think that on Takeover 2000 I have slept more than on all previous Takeovers together! :-)
On top of this, Takeover 2000 had a somewhat "disappointing" number of visitors; only 450 to 500. I think the main reason this was the hot weather (cant remeber the exact temperature, but it was very hot). Now, this is absolutely not a bad thing, but based on the visitor numbers from the previous years we had expected some more than 500 this year. And once again, 400 people cause less problems than 600 people.
Also, there was little or no press present. In 98 we had this French camera team shooting during the entire party. Last year we had the eight-o-clock news ("Het Acht uur Journaal") at the party (wasn't broadcasted because of the peace in Bosnia). But this year only the local newspaper showed up. Since talking to press is one of the tasks of a main organiser, once again not much to do eh?!
Put all these things together, and the conclusion is that we took three months or preparation and hard work, three relaxed days of running a party, and some three weeks of after party stuff (returning goods to sponsors, getting money from sponsors, sending promotional stuff round, having meetings and of course having an afterparty for crew and friends).
As the title of this little writing suggests, next year's Takeover will be the last one. We feel that we have just one more trick up our sleeves, so we're saving the best for last: 2001: A Takeover Odyssey will be the coolest Dutch demo party ever. Trust me.
During the years Takeover has been a very advanced party. We were the first with a split music compo (normal and house), we were the first with a free party booklet for all visitors, and we were the first with a free mousepad for all visitors. The last three years we broke our own record for maximum prizemoney on a Dutch party (nearly 15000 guilders total prize money this year). And I'm not even talking about our network.
So what's next? We don't know ourselves - but we have some ideas. :-)
The REW / Nostalgia
Takeover Main Organiser