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Why isn't there more demand for demoparties in the UK?

category: general [glöplog]
Apologies if the question is silly, but I did the mandatory googling :)
I've been monitoring the demoscene for a loooooooong time (I'm 40) but only recently got serious about participating myself. I know about pareto curve and the 80/20 effect but still, not finding large-ish (400+ attendees) parties in the UK is still a bit of a shock to this day.

Reasons I can think of it would be popular to do one near london:
- cheap, easy transport thanks to the 4 airports
- reputed to have many , many spaces available (I run corporate events regularly, and it's not hard to find warehouses)
- erm... amstrad :)

Thoughts welcome :)
added on the 2018-04-16 23:42:29 by DS&B DS&B
Something I've wondered too, it seems to boil down to costs, time and enough people willing to do it. And Budleigh is certainly a more of a budget option as the organizers can probably tell.
added on the 2018-04-16 23:53:10 by visy visy
Possibly somewhat relevant thread: Demoparty organizing for Dummies - UK edition

I gather the combination of London, appropriately large single space, willing to allow people to sleep over, and not screamingly expensive is a really tough one to crack. If you have any leads, I'm sure they would be gratefully received :-)
added on the 2018-04-16 23:59:00 by gasman gasman
We did try holding one in a hotel in Luton a few years ago and they knocked the hotel down shortly afterwards.
added on the 2018-04-17 00:32:29 by Subi Subi
are these events related?
added on the 2018-04-17 00:45:48 by trc_wm trc_wm
I believe it was decided not to ask, so as to maintain plausible deniability.
added on the 2018-04-17 00:48:44 by Subi Subi
Luckily there's still some video footage of that hotel available, also trc_wm probably will undoubtedly also enjoy the rest of that video given his release history :P
added on the 2018-04-17 01:11:00 by havoc havoc
Hey! I had nothing to do with that release, except for throwing TVs out the window.
added on the 2018-04-17 01:30:47 by trc_wm trc_wm
Thank you so much for linking to the informative and detailed post by ruairi, it was great to read, but also quite sad as evidently sundown is no more.

1) In a way, I'm 'relieved' to see that it might a lack of 'organizers' than a lack of demand for a demoscene event. This can be resolved by simply putting up the framework of an event, proving one's capability to deliver through previous events or referrals, and seeing who might be committed to come. If in a major metro area we don't get 300+ people registering their interest, then it's probably worth reconsidering (I run IT-related meetups every month on non-mainstream topics in the 200/300 pax range without any difficulty or advertising.)

2) Assuming demand has been validated, money is a bitch. I know that from organizing or co-organizing events in London, and I've seen everything from super small (10 people) to very large (4,000). Ironically, the 'middle of the road' tends to be harder to organize, because at small sizes pretty much 'anything goes' (as long as you have friends who own said space and very large venues tend to have everything at the ready for IT-related events. Middle of the road is tough, but not impossible IMHO.

3) Sponsors, sponsors , sponsors. It's no big secret to us that a lot of incredibly talented people participate in the parties. But you'd be surprised how few people from large corporates do. And yes, they do need the mad skillz, even at Visa (for whom I worked for four years). Efficiency is still the name of the game in many industries, including finance (esp hedge funds) and nowadays, crypto (especially wrt chain development, I know at least one major platform with a few members with a keen interest for the scene). It's not just the gaming companies that could be interested. And don't get me started about recruitment companies. They'd have a heart attack :)

I know I write too much, but TLDR: I'm thinking the price of tickets is almost irrelevant or should be kept very low, as most of the cash could come from sponsors, especially if there's good streaming/vod content out there. Volunteering would be key yet very difficult to organize (maybe in conjunctions with a local university? I had a quite a bit of success that way in the past). And of course, sleeping arrangements... that is probably the #1 issue in the UK.

I'll have a think and post again if I think I can help put something together. I'd love to help give back to the community.
added on the 2018-04-17 01:39:36 by DS&B DS&B
Also this post made me want to extend a great 'thank you' to all the organizer out there - in particular, reading ruairi post I couldn't help but think of the great people at Revision who have managed to put an event where n00bs like myself feel incredibly safe and welcome while still maintaining the 'feel' so dear to everyone in the scene. Thank you :)
added on the 2018-04-17 01:55:43 by DS&B DS&B
While it would probably be doable to organize a party with around ~100 sceneres attending (if done right, which means: right timing, right location and the right people in for the idea), I doubt it will hit the 300 mark. At least not from the spot or without also taking other communities into focus.
added on the 2018-04-17 02:00:05 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
Sundown might be sadly gone, but Nova is going strong (coincidentally in the exact same location).
added on the 2018-04-17 09:44:49 by psonice psonice
Reality check: Name 3 major metro areas with 300+ demoparties. If you can't, try naming 3 parties with 300+ demoscene visitors... <sound of crickets>
added on the 2018-04-17 10:53:01 by havoc havoc
i love London. i'd consider visiting.
added on the 2018-04-17 11:24:01 by nagz nagz
DS&B: good luck, and thanks for thinking about the issue! The Synchrony/Recursion orgas might also have some useful data on running parties in major metro areas (albeit very different ones).

havoc: good point, but it doesn't have to be pure scene to count. De:coded 2016 had 3e3 (not 3e2) people, and Asm is expecting 5e3. (Sources: party web sites: decoded 2016 report; asm press page)
added on the 2018-04-17 11:52:35 by cxw cxw
cxw: wtf? try to make sense next time, maybe
added on the 2018-04-17 11:58:06 by havoc havoc
well i believe having a demoparty in london itself would be attracting more visitors than nova does, simply because there are flights from anywhere to london/stansted for ~40€. i mean i can literally go to the next small airport and be at the party in <3hrs.
added on the 2018-04-17 12:17:41 by pro pro
It's fair to say the largest proportion of sceners live in main land Europe so somewhere near Stansted would be an almost ideal location.

One big thing to consider is with a location is NOISE! We've had a couple complaints in the past for Sundown and Nova so we now have to be incredibly vigilant after midnight. This may well not be on the "guide lines".

Find a location where you can make as much noise as you want into the small hours, with some shops near by and you could be onto something.
added on the 2018-04-17 15:28:30 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
Also if you want help running compos and s**t, let us know.
added on the 2018-04-17 15:32:14 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
*puts hand up* if there's anything I can help with too, then count me in ;)
added on the 2018-04-17 16:33:27 by DanLemon DanLemon
It's fair to say the largest proportion of sceners live in main land Europe so somewhere near Stansted would be an almost ideal location. ...

There is a tube connecting Heathrow with every zone of London so it pretty much doesn't matter, most sceners would commute even 2.5 hours to get there :) just make sure there is a sufficient amount of lodging options around.
added on the 2018-04-17 16:52:08 by nagz nagz
London is an amazing city, and it would be fantastic to have a demoparty there (here), but it is eye-wateringly expensive for most of the facilities that you would need to host a succesful event of this (mid-size) scale.

rc55 (ruairi) does an awesome job organising NOVA (formerly Sundown) in Budleigh each year (maybe we'll see you there in June?) and his post linked above covers those challenges, which are not insignificant.

That said, if you have traction in getting a sponsor for a London party then I would also be happy to join an orga, as I work in zone 1. A university might be a good starting point - they will likely have space and student volunteers but no money.
added on the 2018-04-18 18:38:47 by kieran kieran
added on the 2018-04-18 20:44:36 by g0blinish g0blinish
I'd like to visit Nova at some point but it's overlapping midsummer which is to Finns like choosing 24.-26.12. as the demoparty dates. Other reason has usually been that flying to London is really cheap (cheaper than to Outline or Revision from FI) but train tickets or so costs a fortune.

Hopefully someone would organize a party at some point in the UK so that a relevant airport would be nearby! ;)
added on the 2018-04-18 21:18:49 by waffle waffle
What I noticed at Sundown was that a lot of UK sceners go there and nowhere else. Maybe they would if there was another UK party, but I doubt it could reach 300+.

Having the experience of 20+ scene events as an organizer and well over 100 as a visitor, I'd recommend everybody who is thinking about it to read Ruairi's post linked above. It's so true. To put simply, if you want to be a main organizer of a demoparty, you need to be a masochist with tons of free time (or sleep deprived). Or just plainly mad.

Also, what Hoffman wrote is a very good point: organizing a party in a metro area doesn't only have the obvious advantages of convenient travelling. Venue prizes in those spots can be several times more expensive than in remote places and noise generally IS an issue, like, every time.

If I were to organize a party in UK, I'd find a spot outside of London and compensate the inconvenience with shuttles. Sundown/Nova already has a very expensive entrance fee even in comparison to parties like Revision and it is in a remote location. Anyway, I already have a ticket bought to visit it this year because they changed the name and I can't say I've been there ;).
added on the 2018-04-18 22:13:23 by Fei Fei


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