OK, we’re in. E-Werk, Saarbrücken, otherwise known as a music and gathering venue of some repute. Metallica have played here, so I hear. The place is full of nooks and crannies and has loads of character.
Machines are now set up (two laptops, two Ataris) and in full working mode. Greetings are being exchanged and new friends made. Writing from now on this weekend will be carried out to a background of bleeps, whistles and pings, electronic music and, frankly, sometimes irritating tape loops. A scroller on a machine behind me is playing something which sounds like a bad accordion hoedown and recapping the news since the last Revision party.
Various machines around me are playing assorted demos and music, some are beaming lightshows onto the walls. It’s not quite pitch black in here but as I don’t yet have a backlit keyboard, producing accurate typing is best described as ‘interesting’ and accomplished with much swearing and use of the delete key. It’s a good way to learn touch typing but not the method typically recommended in the secretarial schools! I am sitting on a relatively comfortable typical concert venue chair but typing on a trestle table, which is not the most comfortable position ever, for either my shoulders or my wrists.
People (especially the group behind me) have been on the beer since opening time at 12.00 noon, although we are still all sober in my party – wine drinkers generally don’t start on the sauce until at least 6pm.
The entry price (50 Euros) gets a neat goodie bag as well as one of those ubiquitous wristbands used by many weekend events. The goodie bag contains a can of drink with the party logo on it, some chewing gum, what look like fruit pastilles and some mints plus a cotton shopping bag and a lanyard, all provided by the sponsors. Really great goodie bag, if you ask me. The lanyard and shopping bag will definitely be used, the sweets consumed and drink drunk.
The sleeping area for those not in hotels (the hardy few) is right behind the main stage. The toilets have already been described as ‘an experience’ by one member of my party and they will be used, because apparently the food is pretty reasonable value…and the tea and coffee is free too.
The guy with the scroller has just cranked up the volume on his main machine and is bombing the bassline of a seriously cool SIDchip tune. The graphics are shimmery silver words and aren’t half bad either. Loudhailing frequencies are open, at least judging by the howls of ‘AMIGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!’ emanating from further down the hall.
And with that, I’m off to take a turn around the place, before I seize up even this early in a party weekend.