Review of Drammen Party Report by Crusaders for the Amiga 500
(This post was originally published on the 2nd of July 2012 and updated on the 22nd of May 2019.)
This review is not about an ordinary demo, but of a slide-show that was created by a group that called themselves Crusaders. It was released way back in 1990, over 20 years ago!
The slide-show was a direct response to the Police raiding a copy-party in the city Drammen the same year.
Before we start looking at the slide-show, let’s have a quick peek at the credits:
- Dr. Claw (intro) (programming)
- Switchblade (programming)
- Gunders (graphics)
- Zeb (graphics)
- Dr. Awesome (music)
- Dr. Outtasight (text)
No special requirements. I think it works on most configs. Please give me a sign if it doesn’t. A regular Amiga 500 should be fine.
Cryptoburners, IT and Visual Arts Party 1990
The party started on the 7th of April in 1990 and it was arranged by three Norwegian demo groups, namely IT, Cryptoburners and Visual Arts. The location was a school in Drammen, Norway. It was supposed to be the biggest gathering of Amiga freaks in the country at the time, but things didn’t turn out that way, since the Police decided to launch a raid against the party.
I’ve taken a screenshot of a text in the slide-show that shows Crusaders views on what happened:
As you can see from the story, the Police didn’t really know what they were doing.
They probably confiscated quite a few games, but they also took away stuff that people had spent a lot of time working on. Many of those attending were members of the Demoscene and spent their time drawing pixel-art, programming, writing articles and making music. The Police took their work with them as evidence and I guess a lot of interesting art disappeared at that moment.
With this slide-show, Crusaders wants to show us what went on during the razzia. I’ve taken a few screenshots for you to see:
Ruffian of ReadBird’s Memory of the Party
The event was surely something all of those who attended would remember for years to come. Ruffian, a member of ReadBird, left this comment about his experiences to Old School Game Blog:
“Oh man, I can’t belive I got to see this after so many years! I was at that copyparty. I was 17 years old and this was my first big gathering with likeminded fellows.
I remember that after the police had finished their stuff, we where told to leave, but since we lived some distance away, and there where no trains going in the right direction, we got permission to stay to the next day when our parents could pick us up. On one condition: We where not allowed to use our computers!! And the police was going to spotcheck throughout the night. Needless to say it didn’t take long before some found a way to hook a policescanner up to the PA system in the school.
I remember I took the chance and hooked up my 500 and some guys from Finland(I think) used it to finish a little demo. I think they called themselves Wizzcats or something. I don’t really remember since it has been… og god.. 23 years ago! Anyway, I went by the handle Ruffian back then and this was my first meeting with both the demoscene and the police.”
Big thanks to Ruffian for sharing his memories. 🙂
I think this slide-show represents an important piece of computing history. The production is well made, the pictures are of good quality and the humour is nice. 🙂 This demo takes you on a journey back in time, to a society without the Internet and The Pirate Bay.. to a place where people traded demos, games and programs through snail-mail and met each other at copy-parties a few times a year. Definitely worth watching in my opinion. 🙂
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Download and Information
I used to be so envious of the ‘Europeans’ and their Gatherings. Not being able to afford to go was so frustrating. Always the best parties, best coders, graphicians, musicians, the ‘in crowd’ where everything was cool and the scene was hip n’ happening (in my opinion). The Elites!
I absolutely loved productions, as with this example, of digitised photos of the event – this was cutting edge stuff.
But ultimately for me it was the community spirit that was foremost, a void not even the Internet can fill. The coming together of like minded persons, sharing, partying was the pinnacle of the experience.
I’ve just found a shed load of new goodies on Magix’s FTP server – it would take several life times to view everything. Includes a couple more Disk Magazines (if your Italian is any good.) hehe. 😉
Many thanks for commenting. 🙂 Much appreciated!
I was lucky enough to be able to visit quite a few demo parties in the 90’s, like The Party in Denmark for example. Good memories. It was fun meeting contacts face to face after years/months of snail-mail swappping. Another highlight was of course watching the different competitions on the big screen.
I presume you lived in the UK at the time? Haven’t heard of many parties there, other than the Digital Symposium back in 1995.
Ahh.. the Magix’s FTP server – so much good stuff!
Have a nice day!
I was jealous of anyone with an Internet connection, back then! Would’ve loved to have got on bbs or aminet… I was kinda watching the scene from a far. It had lost its zing when I finally got a connection in 1999 and joined the mod archive team.
Hi there Juniorrobot,
Many thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting. Much appreciated!
Cool that you’ve worked on the Mod Archive. Are you still involved? 🙂
I didn’t get an Internet connection before the year 2000. At that time I only had my Amiga 1200 and used it for everything, like my studies at uni, web browsing, e-mail and other things. Later on that year I got myself a PC as well.
I’m not really involved these days! Used to be a mod on there, filtered the tracks people uploaded. Boy did people upload some terrible songs. I remember letting a few through because they were hilariously bad… wish I had some links actually.
Must have been interesting to a moderator on that site. 🙂 Are you familiar with the AMP (Amiga Music Preservation) project?
I am, though I haven’t really browsed it too heavily. They were the good ol’ days, eh? 🙂 I still track myself, but I use Renoise and it’s a whole lot more like using modern software.
Oh yes, the good old days. 🙂 I often miss the days when I was an active swapper, sending floppies in the mail, writing letters and reading every article in the different diskmags. A lot of things were more exciting back then, as it wasn’t as easy as now to get hold of new stuff for example. Getting several new demos from a demo party like The Party or Assembly was like Christmas for me. Those were the days!
I’ve read in many of the Disk Magazines, such as Grapevine, where Amiga users were busted, having their disks, computers and peripherals taken away – then messed about for months at a time to get them back.
Must have been a devastating experience given the cost of disks, computing equipment and the fact for most Amiga Users it was their lifestyle.
I wouldn’t have been able to cope.
I think you’re pointing out something important there.. it was a lifestyle for these Amiga users, so loosing source-codes, sketches and unfinished music have been horrible! 😦 I can relate to the feeling myself, as it is probably a bit similar to having a HD-crash and not having backups. I remember coming home from a copy-party with my 120MB HD crammed to the limits with stuff. Sadly the fun didn’t last long as the engine of the HD died. Never managed to ressurect it unfortunately. I’ve saved it though, so if I win a million bucks in the lottery, I can get some clever guy to repair it. 😀
Oh yes, the diskmag articles! Must re-read them again. Been far too long. 🙂 Maybe I can post a small collection of them on my blog as a follow-up to this article? What do you think?
I used to live in the UK, until some aliens from that film Cocoon visited me and now I feel energised with youthful vigour living on their planet.
Wise move keeping your crashed HD, depending on the fault you could explore swapping out the pcb/motor from an identical working drive to see if you can at least get it running to salvage the data.
Have you seen the Alpha Flight/Vision Factory/PowerSlave and Crionics interviews on YouTube?
Haha! 🙂 Cocoon.. now that’s a classic! Do you have room for more people on your planet? Can i bring my Amiga machines?
Yes, hopefully I’ll manage to restore the data. Lost a good deal of source-code that I’d like to recover, along with some graphics and music I worked on. Would be nice to see it all again for nostalgic purposes.
Will have a look at the interviews right now. Thanks for heads-up. 🙂
Btw.. have included a link to your site in my blogroll now.
It’s very nice to see this party report reviewed! I also recommend Fraxion’s demo Revenge, where the scrolltext tells about a bust: “Lamers panicing, disks flying through the air..”
Great stuff! Don’t you just love that they were called copy parties back then? Not LANs or whatever the kids say these days.
Thanks for your comment! 🙂 Hope you are well and enjoying the summer up North.
Awesome! Thanks for the tip concerning the Revenge demo from Fraxion. I’ll have a look at it today. 🙂 Love the quote btw.. hehe..
Copy-party sounds much cooler than a LAN, that’s for sure.
Do you know of any other stuff worth checking out from the party in Drammen?
Yes, Crusaders’ music disc Bacteria from the same party is definitely worth checking out. But I’m sure you’ve seen that a hundred times already. 🙂
Oh yes, that’s a nice music disk. Great tunes. 🙂 Love the selector-menu with the hand and the old-school music rack. Wasn’t the song 12th Warrior on it? That’s one of the better modules I know.
Should really start digging up some old and possibly obscure demos from the early 1990’s. Maybe I’ll have a look at those released at the Arendal copy-party.
Fraxion were very diplomatic in their scrolltext regarding the incident. Given the logistics to organise an event to then get busted is most annoying.
Going to check out the Fraxion production today. Looking forward to read their thoughts about the whole thing. 🙂
So the police showed up to crackdown on pirating software? How did they even know or have a hint? It isn’t like they had some high tech equipment that would go off when someone would pirate software. I would be pissed if someone came into my home, took my comp, and then made it a pain in the ass to get it back.
Thanks for your comment. 🙂
I think the Police got information from several companies that sold software. Some people at the party did also willingly share information with the Police as well. The biggest problem was that the party wasn’t filled up with pirates and crackers, but creative people making graphics, music and visual art to participate in a competition.
It was always nice to see what new PD came in via my local shop, they were a great bunch and I had a good friendship with all of them. I don’t recall seeing this demo at the time, but then 1990 was a couple of years before I got my own Amiga. My favourite demo was Odyssey – http://youtu.be/xBzVMSUMGXU – a stunning mega multi disk epic!!
Many thanks for your comment. 🙂
I remember Odyssey, but I’m afraid I’ve never seen it until the end.. I know it is a masterpiece, but it lasts for a very long time! I must see it in full sometime. 🙂 It’s certainly an epic Amiga demoscene production.
My instant comment would be that the computer freaks were considered those day as regular punks, drunkards and pirates… At least on the East side of the famous Iron Curtain 😉 Based on the disk mags and photos in demos though, this wasn’t much different on the West 🙂
Many thanks for your comment. 🙂 I think you are right there. Glad you liked my post! Much appreciated!
Just as insane and non-moral as busting a party for drugs.
Oh man, I can’t belive I got to see this after so many years! I was at that copyparty. I was 17 years old and this was my first big gathering with likeminded fellows. I remember that after the police had finished their stuff, we where told to leave, but since we lived some distance away, and there where no trains going in the right direction, we got permission to stay to the next day when our parents could pick us up. On one condition: We where not allowed to use our computers!! And the police was going to spotcheck throughout the night. Needless to say it didn’t take long before some found a way to hook a policescanner up to the PA system in the school. I remember I took the chance and hooked up my 500 and some guys from Finland(I think) used it to finish a little demo. I think they called themselves Wizzcats or something. I don’t really remember since it has been… og god.. 23 years ago! Anyway, I went by the handle Ruffian back then and this was my first meeting with both the demoscene and the police.
Many, many thanks for sharing your story with us. 🙂 Using a Police-scanner was a brilliant idea! That is dedication.
Are you still interested in the Amiga or demo-scene related stuff?
Thanks again for sharing and also for visting my blog.
Greetings from down under (New Zealand)!
I heard about this in 1991 when I saw the demo for Fraxion’s Revenge (as mentioned above) – I was still at high school and from memory, it happened when a local computer shop apparently reported the party to the Police. That’s the story told in the Revenge demo anyway.
I was a huge fan of the Crusaders back then, even though it was nigh on impossible to get one’s hands on their demo disks easily. The internet didn’t really become available here (dialup, at least) until 1996. Pity most of the groups weren’t still around then, they would have had a great distribution method for their works.
Thanks so much for posting this demo, I wasn’t aware of it until now (all these years later!) 🙂
Thanks for both visiting and commenting. 🙂 I did a lot of mail-trading (floppies in the mail) back then. Did you do that as well? 🙂
I sent a floppy once to a group in Europe somewhere but never heard anything back. That put me off doing it again. I usually just traded with my classmates at high school. That way I could see them if they didn’t trade back 😀
And I tried your link again but still no go sorry 😦
…except I just checked and the demo isn’t there (or I can’t download it, anyway)…d’oh! 😦
Here is a working download-link:
Hope this helps. 🙂
I was at this party, as a member of a very minor and fresh group. We joined up with another equally fresh and minor group, and eventually became Andromeda. Good times.
Hi Nostradamus! Thanks for your comment and for visiting my blog. Cool that you actually was at this party in Drammen. Must have been fun. My first demo party was in the beginning of 1996. What was your nickname/handle and function in Andromeda by the way?
[…] grunn av denne hobbyen, finnes det i dag en fascinerende gjengivelse av hva som skjedde den dagen: Drammen Party Report by Crusaders (Amiga) (1990). Et herlig eksempel på tidlig datakultur i […]
I was attending this copyparty, and my pal is in one of the pictures in the party-report. We took the train from Larvik, about 2 hours from Drammen. Loaded with our Amigas, monitors and stuff, we made it to Drammen Gymnas. When the cops came, I remember seeing a couple of guys jumping out of the windows 2 stories up to get away. As far as I know the party was reported to the police by BJ Electronics, a software-distributor. Tha cops declared all attendees unwanted in Drammen, and we all had to leave. Only the visitors that could not get out of Drammen that day were allowed to stay to the next day.
The copyparties in general were great, and I miss the “good, old” days travelling with the Amiga and my pals.
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Hi Exlex and thanks for sharing your memories from the party! 🙂
Hi I just googled demoparty and Drammen and ended up here.
That day in 1990 I remember very well.. I was 24 at the time and the police arrested me and put me in a cell for 3 hours, they believed I was the “gang leader”. Stupid idiots 😉
I was invited by the organizers to sell disks and stuff, I owned a small shop in Oslo. I enjoyed watching the demo scene at the time, and we never even thought about it being illegal.
I think there is a picture of me in handcuffs on my way into the police van, published in the local news but I never kept it.
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Hi Baard and thanks for sharing your story about Drammen Party! If you are interested in doing a small interview about the party and how it was, please let me know. 🙂 Can send you a text-file with questions. This will be for the next issue of our disk-magazine Versus, which is made for Classic Amiga and AmigaOS 4. Cheers!
Sure, I can do that before my memory are fading. 😉 Just send them to my gmail.
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That sounds great! 🙂 It’ll take a bit of time to compose all the questions, but will send in the near future. 😉 Cheers!
Haha, This brought up some good memories from that party. I had borrowed a Canon ION camera that was probaly one of the first cameras with disc media. We (Crusaders) had just packed out all our stuff when somebody shouted out that the police came. One of the guys jumped the window from the second floor with his most precious discs 🙂 I opened up one of the lockers at the school and just showed all of our discs in there so we could go back and pick them up when the police left. I took the camera and started documenting what the police did. When taking one of the overview pictures of the yard I got the window in my backhead and almost got knocked out! When taking pictures of the the policemen I almost got arrested but managed to sneak away in the crowd. After the police raid was ending and all guys gave them some discs just to be polite on our way out we went to a place called the B room and continued the party making this slideshow. I belive we cracked Real3dand the dongle that weekend too 🙂
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Wow, thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting! 🙂 That is one wild story for sure! Crazy times! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂