The Gathering (TG), Norway’s largest computer party, has been held at the Vikingskipet, Hamar every Easter since 1996. TG has over 5000 participants and is still growing both nationally and internationally. The party is organized by the non-profit organization KANDU (Kreativ Aktiv Norsk DataUngdom/Creative Active Norwegian Computer Youth).
How it all started
The first “The Gathering” was held by the demo group Crusaders in 1992. In early 1991, Vegard Skjefstad and Trond Michelsen, members of a demogroup called Deadline, decided they wanted to organise a big demoparty in Norway.
Because Deadline wasn't particularly well known, Vegard suggested they should get the group Crusaders involved. At this time, The Crusaders was one of Norway's most popular Amiga groups, partly because of their music disks, but also because of their diskmag, the Crusaders Eurochart. Vegard convinced them that this was their chance to show everyone how organising demoparties should be done.
They quickly decided the Easter was the best time to do it. The holiday meant that most of their target audience would be able to attend TG, and all organisers and crew could work full time with TG with minimal use of vacation days.
Expecting about 500 participant's, they were surprised to see 1100 people in Skedsmohallen in Lillestrøm that Easter.
TG is a huge success
Over the next few years TG continued to grow, reaching 1400 participants in 1993 and 1800 in 1994.
In 1995, a party called ”Gathering 1995” (G95) was held in Stavanger. This party, however, was not hosted by Crusaders but by another demogroup. That was when they realised they would soon need a bigger place for the party.
The choice fell upon Vikingskipet in Hamar, which was considered an excellent venue with lots of space and a good infrastructure; plenty of power and parking, etc.
TG has been organized by KANDU since 1996, the same year as moving the party to Vikingskipet. At the time TG had around 2500 participants, and the number has kept growing. The event has been sold out every year since 1997!
Compos and eventsDemoscene
A ”demo” is a non-interactive multimedia presentation made to showcase the creators’ skills in programming, graphics, 3D-modelling and music. The sole reason for developing such a program is to show it and enjoy the ensuing fame among other artists. Being able to make high quality electronic art also attracts the attention of companies within the gaming, music and graphics industries, who are constantly on the lookout for new talent. The “Creative Lounge” is a designated area for the most eager artists, where they may exchange ideas, work on creative entries, make new contacts, go to interesting lectures and performances and participate in competitions.Game
Annual game competitions attract many participants who compete in several game genres. Every year there are competitions in both computer and console games with valuable prizes.Lectures and shows
TG being a hub for aspiring geniuses with a broad spectrum of hobbies and interests, the organisers work hard to be able to offer the participants an equally broad spectrum of entertainment, shows and lectures.Random facts
- The average participant is a male student between 16 and 20 years old.
- In 1999 20 per cent of the participants were girls!