Yellow Hat Goes MS2K1 - Mekka & Symposium Party Report 2001
by Zito/Darkage^Reason^1oo%

These are my memories of Mekka & Symposium 2001, the first computer party I visted since 1997 and the first really big one ever, so please forgive me if it gets too personal from time to time. Also the events are not ordered in a chronological way, because I am not sure if I remind the things happened the right order...

The ArrivalAfter some personal problems which did not allow me to travel with the guys from www.moods.2xs.de to Fallingbostel on Friday to arrive before the opening ceremony, I made my way by train from Leipzig - with a stop in Hannover, Bennemühlen - to the place where I always dreamt to go to, in the morning of saturday. The whole trip gave me nearly five hours to prepare for what was awaiting me at the target place, but I never thought to be confronted with such a mass of sceners.

Being afraid to have missed `Welle Erdball`, who should have done a great show on thursday evening, I was taken from the train station - and it does just look like a normal one, not like something legendary - to the party hall by my friend Ghandy/Darkage, after d!RT!E/Layout^Moods wanted to take me with his car too because he was so confused due too less sleep that he forgot he came to the train station to take of another guy to the party place then me. (He was more than tired at this time! I wondered how he was able to drive anyhow.)

Finally I arrived in front of the party hall - where I was directly confronted with some freaks wearing white plastic "biohazard" stuff - paid the fee and let me guide into the world of Mekka & Symposium by Ghandy.

A New WorldLot of different sounds hit me wandering through the hall with Ghandy at my site showing and explaining everthing and everyone to me. Sometimes he introduced me to some sceners I have not seen, legends I never dream to talk to before and famous PeeCee-Editors who looks more friendly than I imagined a peecee-scener ever could.

This is a totally diferent world compared to the one we call real which ended at the doors of this hall. So many people, so many computers and even a lot of Amigas among them. Such a big screen where already demos are running, C64 classics and advertisement.

And more and more the spirit infects me, I forgot about being shy as I am and started feeling really scenish. Already I began to wander the hall without fearing to get loose and I discovered faces I know from slideshows. And I met a lot of guys I know since years due swapping and other scenish activities, but never saw before: The guys from IRIS and Depth - Curt Cool & Cytron who looked like amish femals in their special party clothes (they wanted to show up as witches as they told me) and Darkhawk who looks the same he always does - the Moods guys with there funny equipment - A4000s and A600s besides a Mac where they ran their own party server on - the Loonies beneath their shining sheep next to the C64 corner, and finally I found Ghandy - whom I lost long before while talking to PS/Calodox about his "Brussels-Paris" article (to be found in Showtime #16) and the real horrible background of it - between a lot of PeeCees doing some recording with a girl.

He stood up and introduced me to the sweet Clary/Drifters - who directly wanted him to make a freestyle and in no way prpared interview with me for Havok Radio (which became slight famous for my spelling of C64) - to Skywalker and Mystic/Faith modelling some F1 cars and drinking beer.

Later I was invited to go out of the hall for some barbeque arranged by the Faith crackers, but because I am vegetarian I just stood their talking to half of the illegal Amiga scene and making jokes about scenish behavior and Ghandy being not able to eat like a grown man.

Then followed some more action outside: The harddisk throwing compo. Very funny to watch - especially the lot of girls taking part - so d!RT!E took the digital camera he "borrowed" from the firm he was working for and record everything.

At last "Wer hat dicke Eier" Steeler gave away the prizes to the winners and Mat/Ozone was introduced to be plastered with coins and even on condom. (I do not want to be a social critic but whatever the tradition with Mat is, it is not human to treat him this way - there are others to help him getting money - in my opinion.)

Slowly it became colder and even darker outside, so I went into the hall where had a longer chat with my friend Aztec/Layout and made some advertising to sell the new Moods record on CD. Later - after exchanging swapper memories with Adonis/IRIS - I was invited to go for supper at MacDonalds with Cytron, Aztec and Strife/Apathy. (But I noticed it was only because I was propably one of the last sceners who had not drunken anything so far and who could drive Cytron's car.) There we had not only good pommes frittes, but also really friendly conversations about the scene, asciis, the life in norway and got impressed by Cytron not only being able to speak danish, german, english and norwegian. Coming back with new energy I entered the party hall while there was the multichannel competiton with a lot of of queeel tunes.

Guarana InsideBecause I did not feel like dancing right in front of the big screen like Azzaro/Mawi for example, I searched for Ghandy but only found Clary there. After a bit flirting with her and talking about Drifters and the past of the scene, Adonis hit me from behind with his Amiga in the one hand and some beer in the other one. Forgotten was Clary when Adonis plugged his A1200 to some lonely monitor and we started to run famous demos by Polka Brothers, Sanity and Mad Elks.

While watching, talking and laughing a lot the SID competition started behind us at the big screen. So we turn down the volume and listened. Later Adonis wanted to meet Mr.Tickle I think, for some more beer because I was not boozing, so I got up and searched for Browallia/Nukleus as I saw the Nukleus flag decorating the wall somewhere. Unfortunately he was away the first three times I had asked for him, but therefore I learnt to know Altruist/Tulou who was actually coding a demo for the Gameboy competition. (He could not believe that anybody knows their stuff although they did such cool demos like "Mortality".) Luckily for me, because he was the man who lent me his Amiga for nearly finishing Showtime at the party. At last Browallia came back from a long sleep in his car which is airbrushed with the Workbench1.3 by the way. We had a chat, made some funny photos and I looked over his shoulder while he was pixeling his entry for the next coming party.

Zito At MS2k1 (Althruist/Tulou In Background), Photo by Browallia/Nukleus - Click To Enlarge! Then I started working on Showtime #16 as Ghandy and me planned to release it on the last day of MS2k1. Althruist went out for chatting with some coders and allowed me to (ab)use his computer for my activities. Writing, correcting and coloring all the time I did not recognize the passing of time. I had eaten some guarana pills to keep me a bit more concentrated and when I raised my head once, nearly nobody in the hall was awake anymore. It was calm, just some monitors were flickering and some harddisks buzzing. I stood up and had a look at my watch: It was 4 o`clock in the morning. Wow, bit late, but because I was not tired I saved the last changes and walked around in the big hall. There I could see people sleeping in their sleeping bags beyond the table, while sitting in front of their computers and their heads on their keyboards. But not all of them slept. A few heors stood awake to finish graphics and demo sources before the deadline. So did Ransom/IRIS and Stingray/Secretly! (now Scarab). I stood and looked over their shoulder and I saw previews of coming productions and how effects develope.

Walking by thousands of lonely computers, I reached the one owned by Mat/Ozone - you have surely seen photos of this unicum - and because the floppy was reading I set down on the chair and started looking Arte by Sanity. After watching this fabulous thing three times - including the endscroller - and Mat still being absent, I thought I should visit the toilet and go back working on ST#16 until the sun rises.

After I corrected two or three more articles life came back into the party hall. People start to talk, to play and leech porns again. A new day started, or at least it must have been a new day, because I could not be sure as I had not left the hall since hours and there is no chance to see if it is night or day inside. After another music, some other competitions and the game "Scenionair" followed, it suddenly became sunday evening. I did not know how as I have not sleept a single minute since I started off to Fallingbostel.

ImpressionsWhile writing another article for ST#16 together with Mr.Tickle/Darkage, Ghandy suddenly asked me to follow him. Being in a state of doing everything I was told, I went on upstairs and there I followed Ghandy`s finger which was pointing to the party hall to be seen from above. This time the C64 democompo started and we could see the crowd gathering and applauding the starting shows. Standing there and seeing the full hall, the smiling and applauding people became one of the most impressive moments of my life.

Of course I (had to) met some ignorant and stupid PeeCee scener, but that again I experienced a lot of respect. Especially for C64 sceners, whose work is honored by all people I talked to, not only Amigians. And this year the C64 scene got special respects from some Amiga groups like TBL, IRIS, Secretly! or Darkage showing the C64 logo inside their demos. But when I talked to C64 sceners I was told several times, that they think the Amiga demoscene is the best demo scene of all because it still has the spirit and a lot of good releases. Also a lot of Atari stuff has been shown and applauded between the regular competitions and I have not heard anybody shouting against any of the "smaller" or "older" computers.

Another thing that impressed some people I talked to were the friendship all around. I already experience this way of scening as a swapper but also have not thought that the so-called elite would be so friendly in real as most of them keep to stay arrogant in IRCs for example. For example Kalms, who searched and finally found me (thanks to the help at the "Info Desk"), was more then a nice guy. Not selfish in anyway!

Also the Nature guys, so shy and friendly not as elite-like as they could behave when you count on the productions of a group to become elite, asked me if I could check the content of a disk for them. Such things made my already positive feelings more possitive and made me looking forward in the scene`s future!

Even a german tv station showed up and made some shots for the science show called "Nano". They interviewed Chaos/Farbrausch and Clary/Drifters. At last the report was not so good, but interesting for non-sceners for sure.

Competitions Is None ...a once by Abyss stated phrase is more true then ever. At least when it comes to enjoy computer parties. It does not matter what age you are, if you are new in scene, if you are an elite-coder or if you are scening on Atari instead of Amiga. The only thing that counts is if you are friendly. Fun is everything!

Of course competition is good for quality and number of releases but at the party itself friendship rules. Events like MS are more for dringking, chatting, having fun and driving together with strange people to undiscovered landscapes at midnight. Just to smoke a joint while have a good view from a hill to the lights of the city.

Parties are to enjoy the spirit and to learn from the others (live, not checking their sources only) or at least to see how demos for example develope.

So did I by looking over Cupid/IRIS` and Tickle`s shoulder while both were working on their funny "Welcome To Our World 2" demo. I also saw a preview of Traktor`s first demo, which is surely not the best I have seen but looked very promising.

Who Said We Were Dead? A lot of people claimed the Amiga scene to be dead. As much as those who claimed the C64 scene were dead years ago. All of them were wrong and the Amiga scene proofed this at this year`s Mekka & Symposium.

Besides the more than 20 demo releases in the Amiga compo, the mass of Amiga scene graphicians and musicians taking part of their competitions we also had the revival of Devotion, D.I.S.C. and now JP this year! I even heard that the next issues of Oepir Risti and Grapevine were already in progress.

At MS Amiga ruled in any case all the time. Although there were more PeeCee`s than Amigas and C64s together, the best spirit was within these scenes. And as well sceners from PC as from Atari or C64 I talked to, said they really resect us, the amiga sceners, for doing the best and coolest stuff! That again you will hear such comments as the following by Hellfire/Haujobb from the PeeCee scene: "We have done this Engine using OpenGL. 2 Graphicans will make the Demo using a scripting language." And we will have a new boring Haujobb-PC-Demo as AEG/Smash Designs stated: "That are not demos, maybe that are MTV-Music-Videos"

There were many cool releases from Amiga sceners in the graphics compo for example with a lot of Photozop stuff from the peecee side as always. And although I was told that their best graphician did not contribute the compo of the c64 graphics were really good. PC demo competiton was so boring that I went to bed, means I asked Ghandy for the keys to sleep in his car. They simply could not compete with the mass of Amiga demos of such a good quality which was held before. So I gave back my filled votesheet to the organizers and went outside where a really cold wind surounded me. I found the car, pulled my sleeping out and directly felt asleep. Yes, I slept this night. No guarana, no Showtime. Just sweet dreams of colors, twisting vectors and funky music.

PeeCee Sucks! Some birds were singing when Mystic/Faith beat against the window of the car I was lieing in. Right beside me the feet of Ghandy. Arg, my head was thumb and I saw fog only. I took my teethbrush and stumbled to the party hall. After washing and eating some cookies I felt better. Coffee was to expensive so mineral water had to be enough while walking through the party hall watching most people packing their backs. Smoking a cigarette from somebody else as most were only smoking and waiting for the closing ceremony.

And with a delay the end show came. Besides the usual prize giving and an as always funny Steeler, there was a guy from a PeeCee group who was so intellegent to shout out the letters "P" and "C" while standing on the stage. And of course the whole crowd replied with just one word: "Sucks!"

But something went really wrong. Secretly! won the 4k intro competition and somebody took their prize money away. Luckily for the guys Steeler paid it again in respect of their work. "Btw, does someone know, who the guy saying he was Secretly! and getting the prize money was???? I really want to write an article about him for next ST, because this is not, what I call a real scenish behaviour..." Stingray the former Secretly! coder told me. "Anyway, the organizers were kind enough to give us the money, because they knew, we were the real SCL! dudes, despite of this nasty guy."

And then it really ended. I could not believe it. Still a bit drunken from too less sleep I helped the Moods guys to pack their Amigas in the car and after shooting some photos together in front of the party hall we got up home.

Well, at last I needed half a year to write this party report but I am still not satisfied with the result, because I was not able to catch the spirit from the party within the text. My appology to Madbart/Appendix for not finishing this report as planned for the last Taboo issue, but that again this mag ist still in polish only, so... Anyway, Mekka & Symposium 2002 is near, but for the next months Zitah takes off his yellow hat.