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Axis of Evil - Fairlight is Jarig - Backslash report
by Sir Garbagetruck of Accession

What if you threw a party and you didn't bother to show up yourself?

This article follows the general buildup going to the 20 year Fairlight anniversary party. This is probably the hardest party report I have written, what with the death of a friend involved...

The general consensus among folks travelling with me in the car is that this just wasn't the party it should have been. It's hard to write it down and not sound like the whole thing sucked.

I'll begin with this: Backslash did not suck. Axis of Evil did not suck.

Backslash had a few really good highlights: excellent compos, excellent live gigs, and some friends I haven't seen for 4 or 5 years.

Axis of Evil was fun, and it was cool to have that along with Backslash. That said - here's the actual party report, with the buildup and all that.

Getting there

Our friend Turtle, ex-Danish Gold and ex-Fairlight (when he wasn't rejoining - but that was Turtle) announced that there would be a big 20 year Fairlight shindig in Denmark, on a date when there were no other parties (unlike the 20 year Danish Gold gathering, which he wisely placed on the same day as Assembly AFTER everyone had bought tickets to Assembly - stating DDT-like reasoning "Well, they can sell those and come here!")

Norwegians: See, after you hear this from various people long enough, you just realize they are not going to listen to reason, and you let them roll with it. Next year, Bzm will not be on Solskogen dates. Unless you really get that wrong yourselves (:

And, I believe, it coincided with the actual date of Fairlight's forming. The story of the forming, should of course be told by a Fairlight member; preferably one of the oldschool guys like Strider, Bacchus, Woodoo or the like.

Folks signed up, plans were made, people were headed there from all over.

Turtle was then asked if he'd mind making preparations for some parties in the next life.

This made the plans in Denmark void; and so a while later it was announced that the party would move to the 'Axis of Evil' portion of Backslash, a party in Vasteras, Sweden. Fairlight has successfully thrown that party before, including on Flt is Jarig 19, which of course someone should have... ya know. But.

So our plans (the Accession crew) changed. There was no way that we were missing this party, what with, ya know, it being Fairlight - a group just a tiny bit older than we are, and one who's managed to stay active for 20 years successfully, and who's successfully managed to expand to multiple countries and not lose a sense of local friendship, etc etc etc blah blah blah. We were going.

So, time went on and we attempted to manage our finances get and the group there - as many of us as possible. And, heck, if we could, toss Reed into the transport vehicle. He's small, he'd fit somewhere.

As time rolled on, finances continued to be something sporadic and random, timeframes and work schedules came forth and we were not able to secure the ferry transport for the price of dirt. (One of the biggest challenges with going to multiple parties per year is trying to get things purchased months ahead of time 6-8 times. Sometimes, 6-8 weeks in a row. It often results in a party you really wanted to go to being 1k+ euros to go, and 3 other parties being 100 euros. I'll take 3 over 1, sorry guys.) So with the ferry more expensive, and us not able to rent a bus-type-thing-of-some-sort, it was "pack 5 Accession members + Reed into DDT's car!" As demonstrated on the Ferry, where the elevators were clearly marked as holding 8 people, Accession members are 2 people each. And you don't get 10 people + Reed in DDT's car. Not with legroom.

So Britelite wasn't able to get time off work and get fundage, and Reed wasn't going to fit. We nab a ferry spot, head off at 4 am from my place, pick up Nosfe, then head to Turku and pick up H7 and, per the GPS Navigation, "Enter Raft." Then we entered the elevator, where we had people look at us and just go back to pushing the button. There are some serious advantages to travelling in packs.

Breakfast, sleep, purchase of necessary supplies for Axis of Evil (cases + bottles + cans) and then off to Vasteras, where we arrive at about 10 pm Swedish time. (11 pm Finnish time - so 19 hours of travel, basically.)

Vasteras also had another less important party, the Raggare event, where many Swedes and other people brought older cars to parade around the city. People actually lined the streets for this. We surmised this is the biggest thing to happen in that town every year. That means, well, it is a town I could actually deal with living in for a while, but some folks would get bored very quickly. It pretty much reminds me of Madison, Wisconsin. This makes sense as both have loads of Swedes in them. Anyway, the cars were not in the best condition, though there were a few sightings of people driving DDT's other cars and a few where people were driving MY cars. But mostly people were just arriving in cars that were rusting out.

We arrived at the party place, where someone (I forget who) was thinking it wasn't the right spot, but I was sure it was because Maktone was running around up there. Maktone is one of those people you can spot at a party, sort of, ya know, like some people who wear towels. We provide a valuable service: instant recognition that "yes, we are at the correct party spot."

So, we gathered necessary equipment for first arrival, and went up the hill to meet and greet. We ran into Orbiter, and said hi to the others there at the table: Maktone, Hollowman, Pantaloon, Qdor, and 8-10 others. We figured the rest were somewhere else, like inside for some reason (the weather was pretty crap, it was rainy the entire time we were in Sweden, and of course when we got off the ferry in Turku back in Finland, the sun was breaking through the clouds. This is how it is, Sweden has clouds, we don't.)

Orbiter then told us where, approximately, the nearest bank machine was (automat, bank machine, atm, cash dispenser) and DDT insisted we needed to drive as it was over a block, and if it's over a block your shoes wear out. (DDT says this a lot. Well, ok, anymore I just say it for him to make him hear how silly it sounds...which isn't working yet.)

So we hop in the car, see more raggare, ask people if they know where the bank machine is - gesticulations and Svenska and people saying "I don't live here." We find a bank machine, and look for somewhere to buy food, and end up going down one way streets and so on trying to find someplace to eat and park. We buy sandwiches at Subway and go back to the party place, which takes 45 minutes with the slow parade of raggare. It appeared, while we returned from the bank automat, that we were following the Metalvotze van, complete with Metalvotze inflatable doll on top.We spent the entire time basically watching the back of the Metalvotze raggare vehicle. Finally, we found they'd cut the street off to the party place, so we just drove around the barricades and went to the party.

The party

We visited and said hi and drank beers and some vodka and then I was very tired and went to find somewhere to sleep. I found a nice spot upstairs from the party area where Orbiter said we could sleep - just find a spot in front of a door or something. Well, I found a nice cubby hole that had a table in it and a separate light switch, and zonked out there.

A few hours later, I think it was hollowman who decided to sleep ON the table, and then a few hours later I woke up because he'd knocked my glasses off the table. He stood up and looked like he was going to puke, which caused me to wake right up. Instead of puking, he then decided that the ground where I was sleeping looked a lot better than the table so he decided to sleep on top of me, and I was like "no this is NOT going to work" so I got my stuff and moved.

Apparently this caused some relief for folks as I learned on the trip home that the cubby hole actually caused my snoring to be amplified.

Yes, you may all go "um. ow." now.

So then Nosfe came upstairs and asked where DDT was, as they'd run out of liquid and needed the keys to the car. They were showing demos anyway so I needed to get up, which I did. We found a sleeping Pantaloon who, when sleeping, sounds and looks a lot like DDT but is not, in fact, DDT. We then laughed about my moving sleeping places, and Nosfe found DDT, and we went downstairs to see MUNA.

After MUNA, however, we couldn't show anymore demos because the projector had to be removed as the organizers were going to sleep, and they wouldn't let Pantaloon, Nosfe, H7, Dubmood and I have it even though we promised to be very careful. See, this is where we needed more people to be there. Like, someone to add to the list that would convince people that it really was ok. To be honest, I think that may in fact have been the list of the people 'least likely to be trusted with a projector.'

Anyway, we discussed Fairlight and Razor and Accession with Dubmood, Maktone, Panta, and Nosfe and H7 came in and out of the conversation and main room, and then we all crashed. I moved my stuff again and found a doorway to lie near.

I woke up a bit later and went to the bathroom, where a few organizers and Pantaloon were standing with mops. They said I might want to avoid using the men's shower as there were odd metal things on the floor. I didn't get a clear answer on that. I didn't get a clear answer on why they were there so early with mops either. I went back to sleep.

I woke up a few hours later because someone was playing guitar - decent practice guitar - and I was like "hmm, oh! yes. This would be a bunch of practice rooms." Then someone came by who obviously was going to practice something and I decided it was time to get up. And that was just in time to get the promised waffle for anyone at the infodesk at that time, which was a very decent thing.

Then I trudged up the slope from inside the party place, which was inside the hill - an old Swedish army bunker or something - and then up the remainder of the hill. This was a bit much for that time in the morning, and I seem to recall taking a case of beer with me...or two. I forget. And there was no fridge outside; that was carried up later along with more stuff by H7, Qdor, and Buzzie. I think. Anyway, I spent the day mainly talking with Puterman, Vodka, Pantaloon, Maktone, Oxidy, Zabutom, Ugha, and some of the non-Flt guys in attendance.

At this point, Fairlight's representation at their party consisted of Hollowman, Puterman, Pantaloon, Maktone, Vodka, Oxidy, Zabutom, and Ugha. That's 8 guys. Accession had 4 guys there. Now, Reed and Smash had good reasons for not being there (lack of money, plus we'll see them very soon anyway) but ... wtf was up with the other guys? So, I asked. Panta said that some of them had made it to Stockholm, but decided not to come because they were thinking it would be like the old parties or something. Or they were scared. Or I have no effing clue. What the hell, your group throws a party, your friends throw a party and you can't show up?

That was kinda echoed by the Fairlight guys there. It sucked ass that the rest of Fairlight didn't give two shits about being there. Especially since, ya know, for us this was something we wanted to do - to be there to celebrate with them.

There was something meant to be given as a gift but it didn't get given, cuz, why bother if they aren't gonna show up.

And so we moved on thru the day to the compos, which, as I said before, ruled. Good music entries. I was rather impressed with the Polish entries that were sent over; and the Italian entry in the 4k. The c64 music entries were also top notch. Streaming entries were good, too. Basically there were a lot of music entries. Prolly an hour's worth of music to listen to. And then the c64 demo compo, which consisted of 2 brilliant Fairlight demos. The combined demo compo had 1 entry that didn't run on the compo machine.

And then came the live acts, starting with Dubmood doing some bits on the decks or something. He played stuff and mixed stuff throughout both his set and that of the French dude who came with him. Then the French dude did some stuff on stage with a gameboy and some other modified toys that was just absolutely top notch stuff. It was a really good set, just short. I'd have dealt with longer. And then goto80 took the stage and kept going for a while. I went upstairs to pass out, where I met Wix and Girlfiend and Albin.

I had met them earlier. This was Albin's third demoparty. Albin is 3 months old. Albin is hardcore. Anyway, Albin was enjoying a nap. Wix and Girlfiend were enjoying Albin having a nap, and we chatted a bit. Then I went to sleep and vaguely remember a conversation a bit later between H7 and Wix and Girlfiend, where he was very shocked at the end to find out Albin was there on the couch.

The next morning came and people were mulling around. There was a closing prizegiving. Most folks who won weren't there, but a few were and got bronze, silver, and gold flowerpots and a hug from Buzzie. The non-working pc demo won the combined demo compo. We decided later that we should have said we had a demo that was really really good but it didn't run either, so we could have won.

So that was it for the party. We went with the Flt guys to get food and then drove to DMG's place, who was gracious enough to let us crash, shower, and get food. We chilled for a few hours, got sleep, and went to the ferry using the greatest GPS software in the world - one that forgets the road you're on and thinks you're in Stockholm when you're in the middle of the trip between Turku and Helsinki.

In summary

More people would have been a good thing. The party itself is capable of being really excellent (as you can read from earlier years' party reports on the net) but this one was just disappointing, mainly because the Fairlight guys who wanted to make something special got dissed by their own groupmates.

And yeah, I'm sure Fairlight has some things to say about those comments, but overall, we probably won't go back because of their lack of enthusiasm for their own party. Backslash is a nice, small party, but it is small. It was good to see some folks there I haven't seen for a while. And the organizers were cool (despite the whole part where we weren't allowed to use the projector. Really, it was somewhere we weren't going to break it.)

It didn't suck. It just wasn't as cool as it could have been. And it wasn't due to anyone there. It was the fact that people didn't support it who should have. And yes, that means you, if you weren't there. Even with a really, really good reason - had you been there, it would have been better.

Anyway, hopefully at Flt 25 things will be better. "IF they make it to 25," as DDT says.

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