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Million Ways of Cheating Party Organizers
by Melwyn/Haujobb [issue 02/2002]

Actually this article isn't about cheating at all. Cheating is dirty and I don't support that kind of an action at all. Perhaps a better name for this article would be "How to spare some precious money by not giving it all away to party organizers". Yes, that's all that matters if you're a poor scener but still want to attend as many parties as possible.

The thing is that if you're short of money, perhaps travelling a long way just to meet your friends and have fun, paying an entrance fee may feel unjustified. This holds true at least with huge parties like The Party, Assembly, The Gathering and Dreamhack. I know there are a lot of people who just refuse to pay and are not getting in at all. But since compos are an essential part of the fun I always try to get in, no matter what I have to do.

But one more thing before we start. If you attend a small and cool party, please support the organizers and pay for your ticket. Going in for free on some bigger or commercial party is ok for sure, but keeping all the small parties with nice atmosphere alive is more important than saving few bucks.

And here we go, kids. Uncle Melwyn is here to teach you how to get your butt inside with no cost at all (or at least with a fat discount). Disclaimer! I hereby deny all the connections to any fictional characters presented in the following chapters. I also haven't tried any of these tricks myself but they all have been evaluated and tested by my dear friend Grillimestari of HiRMU Media Labs. So now I'll pass the keyboard to him.

Hi, Grillimestari on the keys here. We have still 500k space left in this diskmag so I don't even try to make this the short way. And now, finally, to the business...

The most simple way of getting in for free at parties is to be a foreigner. There are a lot of cool small parties that have free entrances or at least half price tickets for foreigners. If there is no discount, ask for the main organizer who is often very busy and wants to get rid of the situation fast and he'll give you the discount. If you still don't get a free entrance or discount don't lose your faith! There's a bunch of alternatives you may consider. Just move to the next tip.

Being a foreigner is or has been profitable in following parties: Assembly, The Gathering, Demoparty, Dreamhack, Traxparty, Buenzli, Scene Event, PHAT, Dialogos. Pros: Very easy and clean way. Cons: Can't change your nationality, so doesn't work on domestic parties.

Actually quite similar to being a foreigner. Just be enough oldskool and you'll get either a free entrance or again a big discount. I have no idea why parties have oldskool tickets nowadays, but I also don't mind. You don't even have to be oldskool - just pretend to be a true oldskooler (i.e. drink beer and smell bad) and everything goes fine. I know I'm definitely not an oldskool scener but it seems like people have short memories and nobody is ever going through any background check anyways (imagine a pimp organizer being younger than you moaning "You weren't at Asm93! You're not oldskool enough!")

Parties which give warm handshakes to oldskoolers: Assembly, Proxy, Escape. Pros: Saves you more money for drinking beer and smelling bad. Cons: Well, if it turns out you actually weren't the one behind Cyboman...

If you're a good coder, gfx artist or musician get yourself working on an invitation for that party you're going. Even if you're not doing anything valuable for the invitation try to get your name in it so that you can use it to get a free entrance. Later, when coming to the party ask for the main organizer and while he's busy once again he'll give you a free ticket without any hesitation.

Parties that have given me a free entry because of this: Evoke (even though I din't know our Asm2k intro was an invitation for Evoke, as well :), Lobotomia. Pros: A free ticket guaranteed. Cons: Requires effort.

Now, even though this may sound like a difficult option, it isn't hard at all. If you're a real journalist of course getting in for free is not a problem, just show your press card and that's it.
But as this most likely is not the case there are some tricks that will bluff the organizers for sure. Email them beforehands and tell you are from game magazine x and that you are coming for a visit to make a story about the party. Make yourself a press card with PRESS text on a large font and add your personal info and accompany it with a photo. Even if the card is cheap made you will have fairly good chances to fool people with it. On the entrance try to spot a young girl selling the tickets and tell her that you're from game magazine z and that you have mailed the organizers about your visit. Even if she checks it (which is unlikely), you're on safe ground. Fetch your press ticket and enjoy the party!

Parties where this trick has been tested: The Party (worked without a press card), Dreamhack (with press card). Pros: Works well on big parties and stupid organizers. Cons: Propably after this article everybody tries this and due to massive press bluffing you'll get caught.

Every partyplace has more than one entrances. Try backdoors or try to get in inside a crowd. Also the toilets are often behind the guards at the checkpoint. At Remedy'99 I got in simply by asking "Where's the toilet?" and sneaking inside from there. When Dreamhack was held in Borlänge, Sweden, there was a small hotel entrance on the other side of the big hall complex. Though sneaking in from there wasn't very wise thing to do since we broke the alarm...

Parties good for sneakers: Dreamhack, The Gathering, Remedy, The Party (they all have big halls with many entrances). Pros: Relatively easy, just watch your timing. Cons: If you get caught all the organizers will remember your face for the rest of the party and you have almost zero chances to get in.

In the good old days when badges were the most common party ticket type it was really easy to just give your badge to someone else for a while so he could get in. However, nowadays badges aren't in fashion anymore, but you can do the same thing with bracelets, too. Especially if you can close them yourself - just make sure the bracelet is not too tight so that you can take it off whenever needed. Also the kind of bracelets they use at Assembly (with a plastic lock) can be chewed open, but there is also a danger of breaking it while doing that.

Parties where ticket-sharing is or has been easy: Juhla, Demolition, The Party, Dreamhack, etc. Pros: With badges this is ridiciously easy, and with loose bracelets not bad either. Cons: You need a third wheel to help you, because if you give your ticket to someone how are you going to go in yourself? Also bracelets can brake or be too tight.

Making your own party ticket isn't actually that hard. At TP8 some clever HiRMU members noticed that actually those bracelets they had there had almost the same red color as they have on Viking Line plastic bags! After few scissor cuts it turned out that self made bracelets weren't exactly the same color as the real ones but nevertheless they seemed to work ok. Well, tough luck.
Parties suitable for hobby crafts: The Party and all those that have one-colored or simple to fake tickets. Pros: If you're good enough with scissors, tape and glue faking a ticket isn't hard at all. Cons: Not good for lazy people, also some organizers may spot your faked ticket easily.

Mat/Ozone gets in for free almost at every party. All you have to do is establish same kind of status by travelling around Europe from party to another... Or then you can fake your identity and test the IQ of the organizers. I've heard that in the good old times telling that you're Dune/Orange helped to get in for free but I doubt if it works anymore (or if it did even back in -97).

Parties that want famous people: All of them (Even Assembly allows you to get in for free if you're Bono from U2). Pros: Just make sure everyone knows you and you are on clear ground. Cons: Well, are you famous enough? Thought so.

Sometimes you just can't be nice to organizers anymore. Especially if they're a bunch of yelling monkies. At Jehna'99 party in Lahti, Finland me and couple of other sceners that had bothered to come in this small event - which turned out to be just a lame lan party - decided to march in just like that. Since the organizers were mostly upper secondary school aged teens they just sat there telling us "you can't come in" but they didn't do anything about it when we just camped in front of the big screen.
Parties where proved to work: Jehna and basicly all the other parties you would have avoided if you were wise enough. Pros: You can be an arrogant bastard at least once in your lifetime. Cons: Everybody thinks you are an arrogant bastard. Also if the security has guys bigger than you they will probably throw you out immediately.

I demand equality! It's so wrong that girls get in for free while I don't! If you're a male there's basicly two possibilities and only one of those is suitable for most of us. I have never tried this one, but I'd place a bet on this, that if you dress like a girl and act like a true transsexual you should be treated as one, too. If not, don't blame me - you're just not good enough of an actor.

Parties for girls: Almost all the other than big ones like Assembly, The Party and Dreamhack. Pros: None, actually. :) Cons: You'll become marked as weirdo transvestite.

Last but not least. If you can't win them, you can try infiltration. Being for example a compo organizer isn't that much of a bad job if you'll get in for free (just remember to avoid music compo jury!). I volunteered being security guard / organizer at Proxy 2k1 when they were lacking the needed amount of adult people. The weather was good and while I had morning shift we were playing basketball most of the time just outside the main entrance...

Parties that need more organizers: Proxy, Demolition and basicly every party, if you just volunteer early enough. Pros: You are safely in and have access to all the nice gadgets like fridge and silent sleeping rooms on backstage that normal visitors can't use. Cons: You have to work, or at least look like you're doing something.

Finally, if none of these tricks work, improvise and use your imagination. There is no such thing as party without free entrance if you try hard enough. And that was about it. Happy hanukkah and may the future be full of free parties for you!

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