A kind of compressed scrapbook about the Alternative Parties, 1998 to 2005. Not quite in all their awful glory, but enough to give you a taste. CiH, March 2002 through to 2005.

1st Alt Party - Easter 1998, Turku, Finland.

This was our first trip to Finland, and we ended up in this nightclub in a place called Turku, 200 miles or so from Helsinki. Most memorable things about this visit, were the life-signs of a thriving 8-bit loving community based around the MSX computer, some very loud and VERY sleepless nights, and our first contact with the beast known as "Sauna" afterwards!

Only these remain of the first Alt Party picture archive..Top left, Sektok, mid-left, Wiztom and Evil. Mid right, are Mr Pink and Sh3, and a small group of us. To the right, a Hesburger in classic centrefold or Page 3 pose, and an ST keyboard and some Finnish Markka.

Into this strange whirl, a lengthy and detailed party report, with realtime extracts, was produced. Now this will give you it all, blow by blow, so here it is...

The first Alt Party Report. As originally seen in Maggie 26!

2nd Alt Party ("2 ALT") - July 2000, Helsinki, Finland.

The second in the series saw it move to a more summery and central setting in Helsinki. For some reason, probably to do with the fact that we were staying with the main organiser, Setok, we got a lot more wrapped up in the fetching and carrying, before and after the party. Still, this had a nice payoff in the form of a great after-party combined Sauna and piss-up!

On the left, *the* coolest machine at the party, the Vectrex Console! -- On the right, table hockey in action!

Whilst we're looking at some nice piccies, do you wanna see my Sauna Certificate!

I even had a competition entry in this time, the unforgettable, for all the wrong reasons, MP3 tune entitled My Pizza Topping has Four Cheeses and Three Hallucinogens!

And you're not getting away without me mentioning the fact that, yes, there was another full report produced afterwards.

2 Alt report, as first seen in the Maggie 10th anniversary issue!

3rd Alt Party - January 2002, Helsinki, Finland.

We were plunged into the sub-zero depths of winter for this one.. Errm, not really, as it wasn't quite that bad. The inside of the party place, in a building called 'Gloria' was nice and warm. Quite aside from the usual strangeness, a famous (in geek circles) Amiga designing dude called RJ Michal turned up and reminisced on the Sunday night. Someone please tell him of the correct way to spell 'Michael' in future! A variety of drunks, some of them wearing bin-bags on their heads, made our nights memorable, and sleepless!

On the left, RJ Michal, Amiga and Lynx Designer! -- On the right, overhead projector demo!

On the left, the lovely Reservoir Gods! --On the right, Me, John H. and a Vectrex!

I got around to writing a report on this one again, and a group of us chipped into making a quite a neat separate realtime report, as events unfolded. Here they are. (First seen in Alive! Mag, issue 4, February 2002.)

3rd Alt Party Report.

3rd Alt Party realtime diary!

4th Alt Party - January 2003, Helsinki, Finland.

The air was cold, so cold. Ice crystals of expectation formed from misty breath and hung momentarily in the still freezing air...

This was our second visit to Gloria, which was heated fairly well to be fair. The problems started with the great outdoors, or 'grating' outdoors, which greeted us with a temperature of minus 24 degrees celcius! We were also assailed by the bestial presence of the great Lord Yak, Jeff Minter, as the guest of honour, and his common-law sheep. The usual mix of loud music, raucous people, and fantastic demos all came together, sloppily, somewhere on the central part of the stage. I managed to get some sleep this time, by the simple expedient of nailing my head to the floor. The after-party sauna, with Yak in close attendance, was the most memorably drunken and prolonged one yet, at least whilst my tiny brain cells were still working that evening?

Tired and emotional with Jeff Minter,  the great Yak himself!

And do you think you could seriously get away without a party report being written in the usual overlong style?? Of course not!

4th Alt Party combined realtime diary and party report.

5th Alt Party - 9th - 11th January 2004!

And so we returned to Gloria for the third time, to take part in the fifth edition of the Alt Party. After last year's glorious Minterquake, we weren't sure how the organisers were going to follow that. It seems neither were they, as this years event seemed to have just a little less impact in most areas than before.

The party was still cool, but it seems that someone invented the perfect demo-watching aversion therapy there. To turn love into loathing, take a perfectly good demo (but a bad or indifferent one will do just as well!) Then make your audience watch it twice over, telling them to try to spot the difference from the first time! It almost worked for me! The party was a landmark for showing, and subsequent disqualification of a strange fake demo writting by an even stranger demo crew on Atari computers, the first fuji-powered release since the second Alt Party in 2000. Still, it's the thought that counts...

Left, Marycloud posing with my Falcon! -- Right, a battle-damaged Viper..

Left, Partycle walks like an Egyptian! -- Right, Marycloud and Satan, erm Setok?

The after-party though, it just gets better every time! You can read all about the 5th Alt, mixed sauna fun and all, in my report.

5th Alt Party realtime diary and party report.

Alt Inc - 14th - 16th January 2005!

We gathered once more at Gloria, for what may well be the final Alt Party, at least in its present form.

The party was fun, but offered nothing really new and amazing. It is memorable for taking sleeplessness to new heights, owing to the very early Friday morning journey that we made. Also for some bad luck with our baggage, when it decided to stay behind at Amsterdam Schiphol airport for a while ;-)

This time around, I did collect some photographic evidence of my own, courtesy of an extremely low-tech Nokia camera-phone..


An empty stage area, quivering in trepidation shortly               Twilighte Inc, clearly this management trainee was
before the first of the live acts was due to take place.                thinking outside his box?!


A live video feed was hacked into Nosfe's optic nerve.            One of the less frightening for small children entries to
This still capture from the friday night shows a Nosfe-eye        the plasticine model competition..
view of the floor at Gloria...


Wiztom manually re-enacts the textured tunnel effect               Ian Smith was so excited by the demo competition, he
from the ZX Spectrum demo "Zszploch!" for the benefit         fell asleep for it!
of Twilighte. This is the most active that he has been for
a year!


There was a sketchpad at the after-party, and this was              I managed to get this picture shortly before the drink
something found in it.                                                                shut down the non-apathetic parts of my brain..

And of course, as always, we have the traditional lengthy party report.

Alt Inc party report, written from memory, no realtime!

(Note:- There wasn't an Alt Party in 2006, but some of the organisers and friends did manage an after-party. Look out for 2007, where there may well be a new team, new location, and some new ideas..)