Today, we are officially announcing the tagline for Solskogen 2020: “Sunset”, and we would also like to tell you the story behind this tagline. You see, Solskogen 2020 marks the end of Solskogen; let us explain why we have made this decision.

TL;DR: Solskogen 2020 will be our last party. Tickets will only be available in advance; no at-the-door tickets! And yes, we will sell out!

We’ve come a long long way together

Solskogen started as an idea back in 2001 – 19 years ago – an idea that was born out of rebellion, really. We had grown tired of the big parties turning away from their origins and becoming huge, commercial events for a different audience. We had grown weary of it for a while, and in 2001 we started planning what would become Solskogen 2002 – our very first event.

We found a location, spent our savings and all our free time, got help from family and friends, and came together to make it happen. Yes, all the competitions were delayed, and oh yes, we had taken on much more than we could handle, but for the 60-70 or so people who showed up, it was truly a great summer demoscene extravaganza.

We celebrated a Spaceballs birthday party, we had the vote & meat bucket, we had no internet connection at all, and it was amazing.

Neon at Solskogen 2002. Picture by Steinar H. Gunderson.

Through the hard times and the good

For various reasons (a mix of accidental and intentional), we ended up doing Solskogen on a two-year rotation for the first three times. In 2007 was the first time we actually got the party going on a yearly basis, and it’s stayed that way up until now.

Several new people joined the crew, and others moved on. The crew that organizes Solskogen now have more or less remained the same for the past decade or so, and with that comes a certain level of comfort in what we’ve been doing. But with that comfort came a certain degree of complacency as well: we knew what we were doing, and to a certain degree we had stopped innovating. 

That is – until we were forced to..

I have to celebrate you, baby

After a particularly raucous year at Kroer (our first location), we were told we weren’t welcome back any more, and the search for a new home started. We visited many locations, considered options, and at one point we thought Solskogen would be no more. 

Then, we found Flateby.

Flateby Samfunnshus, Solskogen 2013. Picture by Steinar H. Gunderson.

The location was close to perfect, and there’s a reason we haven’t felt the need to move since our first event here in 2013. We’ve grown every year since then, and for the past few years we’ve actually sold out. As in: we can’t fit any more people. That’s an amazing achievement for something that started as a bit of a finger in the air to the establishment, but it also means we have become the establishment.

Now, we can’t claim that a space that celebrates the Commodore 64 and has loud “AMIGAAA!”-shouting matches on Saturday nights is “the establishment”, but you get what we’re saying. 🙂

The team behind Solskogen have had this as a permanent fixture in their summer holidays for close to two decades now, and as we’ve grown, so have our needs and wants for what we spend our time on. 

We’ve had many discussions on what the future of Solskogen might look like, and through these discussions, we’ve reached the logical conclusion that what we really want for our baby is a worthy end. Not limping across the finishing line a few years from now when the demoscene activity slows down even more, but rather to go out with one big last party. 

We decided to have one last hurrah.

I have to praise you like I should

So, that’s what we are going to do. Solskogen 2020 will be our last event, and we have plans to make it the biggest and best one yet. We hope that you will join us in celebrating the demoscene and creative computer pursuits as many of you have done for years, knowing you’re helping the last event of its kind go out in style!

Since this will be the last one, here are a few things we want you to know: it’ll be the same party you’re used to, but we’re adding a few more big-ticket items (such as a big demo show on Friday evening, taking a look at Solskogen compos through the years), and we’re also (for the first time) placing a cap on available tickets and won’t sell any tickets at the door. 

That’s right: this year, you’ll have to get your ticket in advance, or you won’t be able to attend. And, they will be limited. This is to ensure we can create a comfortable and safe party for everyone who attends: we simply can’t go over capacity (because it’s a fire and safety hazard), and we think there’s a risk of this, knowing it’s the last one.

We will be back with more information on the party, including our special anniversary t-shirt (designed by a graphics legend and hero (who only occasionally wears a cape)) and other details later, but for now, know this: this is how we want to end our time as the ultimate summer demoscene extravaganza, and we hope you’re happy for us and want to join us this July.

Night at Solskogen 2019. Picture by Steinar H. Gunderson.

If you’ve ever contributed to any of our compos, wanting to take home that number one prize..? This is the year to outdo yourself and make your ultimate compo entry. 2020 or bust!

PS: if you have any questions, you are more than welcome to join our Slack community (which will actually live on despite the end of the party) and ask us in the #general channel. Please refrain from contacting organizers privately in PMs, as that’s just annoying for everyone 🙂

The Solskogen Crew
Bent, Christian, Glenn, Greger, Ketil, Martin, Nadine & Ola

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