The world's largest LAN-party with more than 5000 participants, held annually (in 2001, between November 29th and December 2nd) at ELMIA in Jönköping, Sweden. The tickets (500 SEK each) for the 2001 party were sold out in just a few days, mostly to people from Sweden, but also to quite a few from the other Nordic countries. (I've heard rumours of visitors from Hawaii.) Competitions are held in just about anything from pixelated graphics to live music.

Before 2001 the party was based at Arena Kupolen in Borlänge, but moved to Jönköping because of power problems. In Borlänge, they actually used more power than the rest of the city! This caused a blackout of Borlänge's largest shopping mall. The following electric surge is said to have destroyed an electrical distribution plant.

The first Dreamhack was held in 1992 (I think) in the refectory of a high-school in Malung. The organisers continued to hold LAN parties at the school until 1997, when the party moved to Borlänge. At its peak, the parties held at the high-school in Malung had 120 participants. In Borlänge Arena Kupolen was used. The first party in Borlänge had 750 participants, and the last one there, in 2000, had 3000 participants.

Unfortunatley, the size of the party has become its biggest problem. Many people now regard the party as uncool and too mainstream. (http://dreamhack.lunarstorm.se is THE proof of this.) Local power outages (in parts of the party arena) are quite common. The power problems were much fewer in 2001 after the relocation to Jönköping and the spending of 500,000 SEK on special electrical equipment.

Last year (2001) the network functioned quite well, but in 1999 the network was down for the first 24 hours. In 2001 the network consisted of 100 MBit switches with 100 MBit uplinks. The network was connected to the Internet via a 1 GBit connection.

The crew of 150 is divided into different sections:

  • Admin (just 2 persons)
  • Security (nazis)
  • Info
  • Support
  • Entrance
  • TV
  • Sales
  • Compo Crew (responsible for competitions)
  • Game Crew (responsible for gaming competitions)
  • Cleaning
  • Tech (responsible for the network and the servers)
  • Core Net (responsible for the backbone and the Internet connection)
  • Crew Care
All crew sections have T-shirts with the section name printed on them.

Some numbers:
Total length of network cable: 40 kilometres
Total length of electrical cable: 15 kilometres
Total length of tables: 2 kilometres
Total amount of Jolt Cola sold: 40,000 cans (That's 13,200 litres)
Electricity used: 1.5 Megawatts
Number of places to eat in the building: 5

Sources:
My own eyes and ears
Various newspaper articles
http://www.dreamhack.org
http://swelan.64bits.se

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