Proper demopartying at
By Curt Cool/Depth
Kindergarden is a fairly small Norwegian demoparty, which has been organized by Arcane (who invited me) and his crew since way back in the Amiga days in the early nineties. For me, though, it was my very first Kindergarden (but my 45th demoparty (!)), and first time in Norway since The Gathering '96 - I'm not much for skiing and expensive alcohol (I much prefer free alcohol - not alcohol free, though), which has probably kept me away from Norway since then.
Even for a Dane like me, one of the main aspects of Norway is that everything is so damned expensive. Before I left, I vowed to steal the Norwegian oil billions, now that I was there anyway (should be a doodle, right?) - but the Norwegians are shrewd, so no matter how much you steal, they just raise the prices accordingly, so that in any case, you will be left with zero.
Jokes aside, Norway's rather restrictive alcohol policies and high prices had forced sceners to plan ahead - and as the pouet.net Kindergarden 2009 thread witnesses, there was plenty of booze swapping going on. To me, this meant that I smuggled some beers and booze in checked-in luggage on the plane (as it is not allowed to bring much alcohol into Norway) and, like others, had brought some cigarettes to exchange for beer with Xerxes/Brainstorm, who after the party wanted to thank the Danish guys: "They were so thankful for the few beers I brought that they gave me enough vodka and cigarettes to never see the age of 40. thanks for that. :)" Well, that's one down, plenty more to go.
As for my own trip, I left girlfriend and son behind, got on a delayed plane at Copenhagen airport, and arrived in Oslo. The delay turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I bumped into the other Danes (from Jutland) while collecting my luggage. Puryx, Farfar and Dwarf had brought a nice bottle of "Linie Akvavit" which, as connoiseurs will know, is a schnaps which, for some obscure reason, has been put on a ship which has passed the equator twice. It can still be drank warm while waiting for a train and chatting about the general oddness of Norway, demoscene and lots of other stuff though.
The trainride went without any particular highlights, but when we arrived at the very small station, I found out just how lucky I had been to meet the other Danes, of which some had visited the party before. The invitation had given me the impression that one could almost see the partyplace from the station, which turned out to be quite far from the truth. That means that if I hadn't met the other Danes, I would probably have ended up walking in the wrong direction, being raped by bears, mooses and reindeer in the darkness of the Norwegian forest - which would not have made a particularly good party report (or maybe it would?).
As we arrived at the party, held in a community house with room for about hundred sceners, with a separate cafeteria and sleeping area, we were greeted by Arcane and Leia, who seemed happy to see us. Leia was on housewife duty, serving the (very fairly priced) food which we had preordered. Having set up our computers, chatted with various people and stabilized our stomachs for more boozing, we went for the bonfire and later on for the Brainstorm Pornmobile(TM) to collect some more beer. As the weather was surprisingly warm for the end of November in Norway, the small bonfire was a great place to sit and chat, drink and smoke until it was late enough (and I was drunk enough) to crash under a table, pure demoscene style.
On Saturday, the main day, it was a long walk to the showers
which were placed at a local sports centre some kilometers away. Later on, the compos started, and a few decent demos and intros were released. This was of course the highlight for the "Pants Off" brigade (http://takeyour.pantsoff.dk/), and there was much dancing, both to the compotunes and to the DJ set by Lug00ber. My own group, of which I had the pleasure of meeting our Norwegian coder Skurk, also released a small Amiga demo.
Once again, someone like say, me, went back and forth between the partyplace and bonfire, drinking and chatting as much as possible, and once again, crashed late at night under a table, after persuading a very drunk Arcane to make us a toast or two, though the cafeteria was closed. This of course leads me to conclude that this is the real way of demopartying and that those who rent hotel rooms and such are perhaps getting too old, weak and decadent.
The trip home (and hangover) went without any particular highlights. We were exposed to the combined expensiveness of "Norway" and "Airport" and had to pay about 22 euro for a shabby burger and some orange juice and about 44 euro for 4 large beers.
All in all, I believe that everyone had an excellent party, and I dare to recommend visiting Kindergarden, should you have the chance.
The photos used in this article are courtesy of Slengpung.