Riverwash 2007 - Party Report

Written in Polish by Mycyr of Mawi
Translated into English by Fei of Brygada RR

At least a REAL party in Poland! Party, not a meeting! As I recently neglected many "social" Polish scene events, coming to Riverwash became my utmost priority. The date was well suited 24th to 26th August, end of summer holidays. Location was "close to nowhere" but that's not important when you want to see old friends. Let the preparations begin! I felt a bit embarrassed as I took with me not only my girlfriend but also my swimming trunks... Well, time flies and we all suffer the change :-).

We departed on Friday morning after typical packing mayhem. Of course, we immediately got stuck in the first traffic jam near Bochnia. I wanted to be smart and took a detour but it didn't change a thing. Traffic jams slowed us down from the ring roads of Krakow to the tollgates of A4 motorway and then to Gliwice. Only 180 km but it took us 5 and a half hours!

Approaching Szymocice we encountered a "trekking camp" with Sir Wix at the head, carrying his baby. We greeted them asking for the nearest river washing place and took Wix, his wife and the baby (namely Dr. Ilban/Fairlight ;-) into the car. The kid became a party star but I'll tell you about it a bit later.

After logging at the reception and signing some papers saying we'd not burn down the bungalow we rented we actually got to it. The bungalows were really nice clean, with a shower and fridge in each one. There were fresh bedclothes which moved our friend Comankh. He said that sleeping in a fresh bed at a party is unthinkable and he'd rather curl up at the floor nearby but later he surrendered to luxuries anyway. The only disadvantage of the bungalow was lack of demoscene.tv among available channels in the TV included in the house. ;-)

We went to the nearby beer garden where most of the party people seemed to be. We greeted many familiar faces, some really not seen for a long time. Then we started negotiations about who was going to sleep in which bungalow as they were for 5 people each. We had had it all settled before but now everything got changed and new alliances were formed. I felt like a landlord when I had to collect money for our bungalow from others. At last we ended with Comankh, Hakon and Kolacz as our "bungalow-mates", that is old friends so there were no problems. Well, maybe once or twice Zosia reproached Kolacz for not turning off the light in the fridge. ;-)

I think the party location is worth mentioning. As the website informed, it was a leisure centre called "AquaBrax" and warned we wouldn't be alone. But we didn't expect so many people at the place. There were hundreds of people at the swimming pool, swimming and sunbathing while another several hundred took part in some corporate grill party at the other end of the centre. Luckily on Saturday fewer people came and there were no serious incidents with them.

The very party place was a rather small room with equipment and the beamer. At the beginning the screen was traditionally a big, white sheet but it turned out to destroy the wall due to lack of any hanging points and the organizers decided to take it down. Then the picture was displayed on the wall, which worked almost fine if not for a recess in the middle. Unfortunately the equipment was very rarely used apart from the compos as the room turned out to be too small for so many partycomers. Anyway, most people stayed outside because the weather was fine.

The first event of the party was a presentation of the Efika computer, interesting hardware but let's be honest the presentation was dominated by Deadman's speech in the middle of it, completely off-topic as to say. He was supported by some anonymous voices from the audience, some of them shouting unspeakable phrases. The speech ended with applause, then Silentriot (Symphony party organizer) thanked the Riverwash team for sparing him the pain this year and announced Riverwash to be the best Polish party of the year. His reasoning was indisputable. ;-) Friday ended when the centre staff manager came and threatened us with the police so we decided to move the party to our bungalows and so did we. The staff was satisfied with sudden silence but some of centre's customers - on the contrary. One lady tried to object but she didn't get any attention and we continued until almost morning. Many bottles were drunk, many souls spoiled. Somebody fell, somebody rose you know how it usually goes among sceners. The part which traditionally made organizers most mad was

singing the "Suck my dick" song with a 50-voice chorus.

Saturday started in quiet and peace. Around noon, Bonzaj^Plastic showed his new demomaking engine called Pico. After that we decided to visit the nearby Raciborz town in search for some decent food as that at the party place didn't suit our taste. I won't write about many adventures we had during that trip, maybe except for a car accident we took part in. The side mirror of my Skoda cut some red Fiat's mirror in a nice fragging manoeuvre. That risky Fiat driver lost also the other side mirror trying to overtake a minivan. Sucker.

When we got back, a series of crazy compos was taking place. The first was the "China Szczecina" compo with eating a kind of cheap fish paste (some say it doesn't contain any fish ;-) called "paprykarz" (for tasting purposes ask any Polish scener at a party, we usually carry some to scare off the customs officers ;-). I took part but had bad luck and my tin lid didn't want to open so I lost by default. Damn cheap sceners' food! ;-) Another compo was "Stone face" which involved tasting hell-hot sauces and staying calm after that (really difficult if you know that they were almost 100 times hotter than classic Tabasco). Deadman was a compo guru here and showed how to do it. Then some locals appeared and wanted to join the compo. They proved to be really hard as only one cried after a really big serving. Tough Silesian guys! There was also a compo in which you had to play a mobile tune on a party whistle and at the end Scottish tazo. It involved three sceners dressed in skirts who ran around the centre collecting some Pokemon tokens. Pants not allowed so they drew some attention. There were more crazy compos, about 15 in total during the party but I didn't see all of them.

While waiting for another event a concert of the band called "Greater Embarrassment", we took a collective photo of sceners present at the party. Many people took photos, many also hunted for some good entries in the upcoming "Goods on friends" compo, for example chasing friends who just wanted to give a piss under some tree. Longhi posed for the winning one when he jumped in the swimming pool completely naked. Although it was summer, somebody shouted "jingle balls", I didn't know why back then. ;-)

Coming back to the party's attractions the concert was a big success. People had great fun, the musicians too. I think that the guy with a trombone did his best. With audience's support, they played for over an hour.

Real compos started after the concert, with music compos even before that. As very few people are usually interested in listening to all music entries, I think it was a good idea. I was personally disappointed with 3D graphics there were only two entries and they weren't good. Executables proved better two interesting intros and two demos. Anadune's demo was their first "not fairy tale-like" production, with a serious 9/11 theme. Some people say it's already been too much exploited but, anyway, the demo was interesting with a few motives worth watching like a plane crash in a building. The downside of the demo is the boring second part and the monotonous purple background. On the other side, Kiero's demo didn't show anything new but it's worth mentioning that it used graphics of late Budgie, making it a memorable entry. A compo that warmed up the atmosphere was, of course, "Goods on friends" but let's leave it to the past. ;-) If you want, find the entries and take a look.

As I write about compos, I must mention what I promised Wix's baby carried everywhere by him or his girlfriend. The baby, that is Dr. Ilban of Fairlight, was only 4 months old at that time but he already visited 4 parties and was present at most compos, including those noisy ones (he was wearing special protection earphones ;-). Scene long and prosper!

After the compos finished, voting started as usual. It was also continued on the next morning, everybody could log in using a barcode on the back of the party badge and choose favourite entries. Then we left for the bungalows to continue consumption. This time the centre staff didn't threaten us with anything.

Sunday, the last day of the party usually people leave the place in the very morning to reach their homes. Not this time. Almost everybody stayed until the voting was over and, almost immediately, the voting software produced on-screen results (in a form of fish swimming slower or faster Bonzaj's idea and coding). The organizers gave away many prizes. Even some people who didn't win anything but applauded a lot got something. ;-) As it occurred that Voyager, one of the organizers, won some music compos, he gave his prizes to other sceners. For example, Deadman was lucky to leave the party with two computers.

After the results, two more crazy compos were annouced. One involved flying a plastic plane over a small river at the end of the centre and under a very narrow bridge. Obviously, it was called "River Raid" and forced some participants to undress and get really wet. The final crazy compo was "River Wash" - participants had to wash Voicer's socks (really, really stinky and dirty) in the river, using a washboard and some soap. Organizers were merciful and provided the participants with rubber protection gloves. The winner was Bonzaj, who was supported by his girlfriend Kinga with professional wordly advice. He got a gaming console for his washing skills. Shortly after that, everybody started packing and the party ended. We said goodbye to each other and set out home.

To sum up the Riverwash party it was a success. About 75 people took part, which is almost twice as much as the last year's Symphony. I recognised many faces I hadn't seen for a long time. As far as organisation is concerned it was the best of all parties I've been to. Of course it's not the same as 500 or 1000 people party of the past or abroad but I liked many new ideas as the voting and results visualisation system. It proved well, quick and many people voted thanks to that. And the prizes there were many of them and some were really expensive (the total worth of prizes was around 3000 euro with 10 euro entrance fee to the party and around 40 people paying it). It's a result of professional contacts party organizers have and sponsors they could reach thanks to that. I remember parties when hundreds of people came and prizes were such as a pack of floppy disks or nothing. At Riverwash there were more prizes than people. The organizers had to pay extra for organising the party but they decided to give away all prizes anyway and, what's more, they made a badge lottery and one person received refund of travel expenses.

Thinking of party failures, I would mention the place. The leisure centre is nice for a vacation but proved not really well as a party place. The atmosphere was nice, the swimming pool was a kind of feature but we didn't feel really free to make usual scene evil with all those people and centre staff watching us. Anyway, the organizers say they feel the same and next Riverwash will be held at a completely new place.

To end this report, traditional greets to all comers and fucks to all suckers who had to stay at home and take care of their sick hamsters. ;-)


Riverwash 2007 video