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BFP 2013 Party Report
by Taper/Triad

After a two year break for me, Jucke and Frantic as organizers, it was once again time to arrange another party in the south of Sweden, as hosted by TRIAD, Judas, Hack n'Trade and Durex. The city of choice for this iteration of BFP became Helsingborg, a south Swedish town just a ferry ride from the Danish border.


The party initials BFP were this time to be interpreted as Baroque Floppy People, with the tagline Royal Antique Monocledata. As the party was held in the large ballroom in Folkets Hus (Peoples House), built in 1907 by the workers in town and with more than hundred years of history, which was a very fitting party name to say the least!

As preparations before the party commenced, some of the people who were to assist dropped out because of various reasons. In the end it was just me, Jucke and Frantic left to row the boat ashore. Frantic, being used to host parties on his own in the past was probably most OK with this, while I appreciate a few more helping hands. The actual handling of things was not a worry, but I kind of like to slack around at the party a bit myself, and time for things like that is rather limited when organizers are few. Then again, as tables, chairs, big screen and a lot of other things were already included in the ballroom, that turned out to save us a lot of time and work. On previous parties stuff like that has cost us both time and money, which we didn't have to deal with now.

The party opened its doors on Friday the 2nd of August in the early afternoon. I arrived a bit earlier than that though, and found Jucke and Frantic already at the party place. Since Jucke had set up all the chairs and tables during the passing week, we could concentrate on setting up our gear and preparing the organizers table before the visitors arrived. The ballroom contains one wing to the left, a large center hallway with a stage at the front, a bar desk at the back, as well as one wing to the right. The stage at the front houses the large big screen, and so we set up the organizer tables beneath that stage. A clinic was set up at the end of the wing to the right for Mogwai the data doctor, where he could repair broken equipment for the visitors. Itch and Tao had also arrived early, so we grabbed the tables on the left wing of the ballroom for TRIAD.

Soon more people started showing up, and the center hallway of the venue filled up with people too. The fridge was quickly filled to the brim with beverages, and believe me, cold beverages were needed during that weekend! Despite a very good ventilation system, the party was hot as the massive summer heat found its way inside. During the days it was about 30 degrees Celsius outside, and not any cooler inside, but it seemed people didn't mind that much. Cash and Iopop also showed up, and so the TRIAD line up for this party was complete. Many other well-known groups were now present, including Genesis Project, FairLight, Censor Design, Offence, HT, Oxyron, Panda Design, Arsenic, Booze Design, Onslaught as well as Up Rough from the Amiga scene, and yet others.

People had asked us if we planned to provide a stream to broadcast from the party. Initially Ziphoid/Active/Scenesat was to attend, but sadly it turned out he couldn't attend BFP this year. Still, he instead provided us with a computer setup for the stream which Johey brought with him and delivered to us on Friday. I and Iopop connected it at the organizer booth and thanks to Ziphoid's directions we were soon going live over the net. The stream was a bit shaky at times though, mostly due to Telenor's crappy 3G coverage, but it worked as it should most of the time.

There were more rooms behind the bar that we used for sleeping. I noticed that the air mattress I brought along missed one very important feature - the plug used to hold the air inside it... I wasn't too keen to sleep directly on the floor, so when fellow TRIAD'eer Tao and Yonx from Up Rough wanted to be shown the way to the city core, I tagged along as a guide and ended up buying some cables we needed to connect various stuff to the big screen, as well as a working and more high-tech airbed. It did wonders for my back...

Back at the party place some hours passed, spent with organizer duties and a bit socializing. Then it was time for Jucke to perform his SID show, which he pulled off just as magnificent as usual. Dino was also a major part of the performance, making live PETSCII on the big screen while the music was playing. The sound system at the venue was simply great, doing justice to the performances. As Jucke ended his show, Moppe/Oneway started his live act and again filled the party place with music for the masses.

Between organizer duties I tried to assist Mogwai a bit, who had manned his clinic and started working on various broken hardware. In the end somewhere between 12-15 C64s were repaired and a few other things like a disk drive and such. One thing that didn't get repaired was an Amiga 600 with bad audio-out, brought in by AcidT*rroreast/HT. A cat had peed on the machine, and the smell was simply too nasty to handle. The machine was opened up, but that was all we could take before it was put together again. We promised to take another look at it next time, if the motherboard was cleaned until then! The Censor boys were so impressed with Mogwai fixing some of their broken hardware that they recruited him to the group. I bet they have broken machines to keep him occupied!

As morning approached, I managed to get a few hours of sleep before getting up again. By the time I was awake, Jucke had already served the breakfast and headed home to get some rest. After filling up on some energy at the breakfast table together with other hungry sceners, it was again time to do a bit of socializing with the visitors.

Later during the day some more sceners arrived, but there were indeed fewer people present than we had expected. About 85 sceners showed up, even though quite some more had pre-registered at the BFP homepage before the party. The smaller amount of people did in no way affect the great vibe at the party though, nor the amount of contributions for the compos.

As documentaries about the BBS scene and cult movies like Emmanuelle And The Last Cannibals were shown on the big screen, some groups were working hard on their contributions for the upcoming compos. We decided not to run all compos straight after each other this time, and also to start the compos earlier than usual, mostly to avoid very late night compos way past our bedtime... Let's face it kids, we're not getting any younger... As normal, everything was a little bit delayed, but not that much, and I must say I prefer the compo schedule we used this time.

So, at about 1800 hours the graphics competition kicked in. First up was a nice Amiga contribution (and the only contender in the general old-school graphics competition I might add). Then followed seven Commodore 64 screens, all serious attempts of excellent to fine quality. Most applause from the audience were drawn by Yazoo who also ended up winning the C64 graphics compo, but the pieces by Sphinx (came in on second place) and AcidT*rroreast (third place) also provoked a quite a cheer from the crowd. When the graphics compo was over there were some more time for people to go about their business, but around 20:30 it was time for the music competition.

This time there was a fair deal of contributions for the Amiga, and a bunch of them were fine entries. Then the C64 music compo started. Eleven tunes, and I dare to say all of them were good in their own way. Some were greater than others though, and some hours later Scarzix was appointed winner, with Magnar and Qdor close behind. Now the tension could be felt in the air (or was it just farts and sweat?), and the wait for the demo competition began. People stacked up on drinks, went to the pissing stations and prepared the best they could. At about 23:30 the demo compo made its debut. We organizers deserve a medal for almost keeping the deadlines this time around... Is that a world first??

Now the first (and only) Amiga contribution was shown, a small techno demo that I thought I'd seen somewhere before... Who knows, could be my mind playing tricks on me... Then it was finally time for the C64 demo compo, the event most of us had been waiting eagerly for. However, this was also when things soon got really stressful for us. Jucke and Frantic had their hands full of handling SAM and running the demos, and I was checking so the stream was working.

First demo out was the least serious, made by Panda Lovers (could it be a budget-label?), but quite neat for a onescreener anyway. Then it was time for Solaris from TRIAD. However, now the technical problems started. Something was wrong with the compo C64, and garbage graphics were displayed in our demo at several places. I tried to communicate this to the demo jockeys, which wasn't all that easy considering the sound level in the building. When they understood that something was wrong, the demo had already come to an end. However, still uncertain on why the garbage appeared and as the C64 had worked fine before, the same machine was continued to be used. However, when the demo from FairLight+Offence+Prosonix, Scrollwars, also showed a few signs of garbage (although very minor compared to how the TRIAD demo suffered), that C64 was exchanged for another one.

Somewhere in the middle of this, Telenor's 3G coverage decided to take a plunge and the stream went down. I've heard that some people who sadly couldn't make it to the party cried blood when that happened. All I can say is that I'm sorry for the problems with the stream, and that I did everything in my power to get it back online. Sure enough, the network started functioning again after a while, but about one and a half demo was missed on the stream I guess. This part of the compo is a bit of a fuzz for me, since I was focused on fixing the problems with the stream. We'll try to get some better Internet connectivity the next time around.

Censor Design drew massive applause for their demo Wonderland XII, and it was clear that the top position would be a battle between them and FairLight+Offence+Prosonix with Scrollwars. Both had big demos with long runtimes. However, we should not in any way forget the wonderful PETSCII journey from Hack n'Trade, an anniversary demo entitled 20 Years Is Nothing (ending up grabbing the third place) and the fine effort from Arsenic, Too Hot to Trot (fifth place). When the demos were all shown, Solaris from TRIAD was shown once more on a working C64, so the audience could view it as intended (awarded fourth place).

Now it was time for me to set up voting stations among the crowd. Since we had the voting program on disk, it turned out to be a bit of a problem finding some C64s with actual disk drives. Everyone and their mother seem to be running 1541Us today, but HCL/Booze Design, Zzap69/Onslaught, Goto8o/HT and Jucke/Judas had real drives connected, so four voting stations could be used.

A deadline was set for the voting process, and the disks were collected for Frantic to calculate the results. Shortly afterwards the results were announced and the happy winners were awarded diplomas and prices, followed by the runner ups who also got to pick prices from the price tables. The price table was filled with everything from a VIC 20, C64 game cartridges, books and DVDs. The winner diplomas were made even greater as Dino signed each with the winner's name before we handed them out, a perfect task for an old graffiti artist.

After the price ceremony the party was slowly getting to an end for our visitors. While many stayed to get some sleep, others packed their cars and bid their farewells. Sixx/G*P might have been the last visitor awake, apart from us organizers, but in the early Sunday morning I decided to tuck in to get a few hours of sleep before it was time to start cleaning and packing all our stuff.

Two hours later I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. There were still visitors left, but not that many. Some sun and relaxation on the rooftop with Dino, Goto80 and AcidT*rroreast started off the day, and then I went breakfast shopping with Jucke. Post breakfast, it was time to gather the last strength available and start cleaning the place up. A special thanks to Qwan/Up Rough for tagging along and recycle cans, which turned out to be an adventure of its own!

A lot of cleaning later we were finally done. It was now Sunday evening, and it was time for me and Tao to go back to my place where he stayed for another day, before heading elsewhere. To sum it up, BFP 2013 was yet another successful Swedish party with great releases and sceners. A bit more visitors wouldn't have hurt, but that is more their loss than ours, as we had a splendid time at the party. I have a feeling there will be more BFP parties in the future, but when is another question...

TAPER/TRIAD

Results from the C64 competitions:

C64 MUSIC

1. Da Cheese Cut by Scarzix
2. Alice in Wonderland by Magnar
3. Frozen Yoghurt by Qdor
4. Saturday Night Beaver by Fegolhuzz
5. Gremlinfunk by Stinsen
6. Helsingborg Uprising! by Devia/SIDwave
7. The Rage by Corpsicle
8. Citroen Xantia '98 by X-jammer
9. Skovballe Hangover by ZZAP69
10. Iopop Is Awesome! by Max Levin
11. Second Try by sLASH

C64 GRAPHICS

1. The West Is Not Too Wild by Yazoo
2. Fearless by Sphinx
3. Skal by AcidT*rroreast
4. 10 MAKE FIRE:20 GOTO 10 by grip
5. Sheeta by ekg
5. Jucke by Mindcooler
6. Vilken dum bild by Max Levin

C64 DEMO

1. Wonderland XII by Censor Design
2. Scrollwars by FairLight+Offence+Prosonix
3. 20 Years Is Nothing by Hack n' Trade
4. Solaris by TRIAD
5. Too Hot To Trot by Arsenic
6. Live in Mokba by Panda Lovers

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