Im finally home, had a nap and had something to eat… Eve Manchester has certainly been an experience. Im sure anyone in attendance would agree that this was a huge success, and tons of amazing memories have been made. Here’s something of an account of how my experience went for this. I’d love to hear the stories from everyone elses perspective, so please reply with how everything went for you.
Part 1: The form up;
TraderJohn (TJ) and myself live in the same area, and made plans to travel down together. However nearer the time, I saw the need to go down a bit sooner, so I could scout around venue and start to get a feel for how everything would be set up (since @amiomia) would be streaming the event. As a result, I changed my travel bookings and accommodation.
The night before I was due to travel I get an email saying my train was cancelled, so I called up the company I bought the tickets with, and they told me to cancel my outbound journey and book a coach instead, so I did. However the only coach that wasn’t already fully booked left Newcastle at 6.30am. I dont know about anyone else, but thats the middle of the night for me!
My initial plan was to take snacks and drinks, then leave them in my suitcase as I could move easily to get things from the train, however given the cancellation, I decided to take a backpack along too for this purpose. This resulted in me doing a bit of re-packing which resulted in me forgetting a few important things, such as a flask of coffee, my headphones, and a shirt I was planning on wearing at the event.
I must note that Im already sleep deprived at this point, being far too hyped for the event, so been living on many 2-3hrs of sleep for the days running up to this.
I get on the coach, and plan on trying to sleep the whole way down. The first hour was nice and quiet, then once we reached Middlesbrough, the coach was packed to the point it was just too hot and uncomfortable. There was also no option to open a window!
I get to Manchester around 10am on the Friday. I meet up With Callum (A fellow INIT dude), we go for the breakfast of champions… a beer! A few others are in the area and decide to join us. Nyota Isayeki and someone else who’s name eludes me.
I leave them around 1pm to go check into the hotel, and wow. This was definitely an experience. For those of you who are familiar with the tv show “Faulty Towers”, the only way I can describe this place is a more… budget version. That being said, I planned on drinking, and only really needed it as somewhere to pass out for a few hours that night.
I go back into town to meet Callum, we go to the Pixel Bar where the event was being held. A really cool place, Its definitely the kind of place I’d consider my local if I lived in the area. There were boothes where you could play games, there was some retro arcade machines around you could use, and a lot of the drinks were named after something gaming related.
AJ/Amiomia arrive and we have a few more drinks, and Callum then leaves for the evening. Nyota and Weems (BOSS alliance) come along, as does Urethraptor (TURBO) and we have even more beer, cocktails, and shots. Friday is already shaping up to be a messy night. I end up with a BOSS sticker on my wallet as is part of their tradition.
AJ/Amiomia leave, and Im out until about 1am with the rest before getting a taxi back to Budget Faulty towers. I get in my room and crash out for a bit. I wake up at 7am raring to go, full of life and energy. Between lack of sleep and pure adrenaline, I feel great and hangover free. I do realise that hangover Gralky is a future Gralky problem for Sunday.
Part 2: The Op
I meet up with Lov, and we go for breakfast, and then are joined by Weeems and CJ. We have a bite to eat and then head off to the venue to get ready. My map reading prowess was so good I walked in front one of the Trams . We get to the venue, announce who we are and everyones taken downstairs to where the event was being held.
We have a few more beers, and I start getting out all the swag I’d brought for the raffle. A few others start to appear, and I have to head off to check into a different hotel as the place I’d booked couldn’t accommodate me for both nights.
I get there, punch in the code to get into the building, only to learn that the chain is on the latch behind the door and I can’t get in… (You can see I have great success with my choices of accommodation!). I call the owner, and he makes arrangements for someone to let me in, which takes about 30 mins. Taxi back to the venue, and the party is starting to get going.
We have a few more drinks, and Lups is signing people in, giving lanyards with “EVE MANCHESTER” as well as some skin codes which were kindly given by CCP.
Ami/Lups start the announcements, to let everyone know what we’d been planning and what to expect over the course of the day. I start getting things going for the raffle. The next few hours are a blur because I was constantly running around most of the afternoon selling raffletickets, or finding lups to sign later joiners in, as well as people wanting to talk to me about various projects they’re working on.
People are starting to get keen on starting the in game stuff using the pcs there, so Im now juggling all of the above, and trying to herd cats for an NPSI fleet. I’ll let someone else talk about that bit, as Sarge offers to take point as an FC, and Im trying to manage the room because its getting quite rowdy in there in addition to getting the raffle going.
Fleet starts, and Lups keeps an eye on that for me so I can mop up the last few raffle tickets for those who wanted to join.
The entire afternoon my phone is blowing up with pings and messages, to the point I have to ignore my phone because Im just too busy. This is quite amusing, because some of these messages were from AJ/Amiomia about various things we’re doing over the day.
NPSI ends up in a glorious ball of fire, and there are some ingame complaints about blue on blue action, though I am reliably informed that this was SRP’d.
I finally manage to get caught up on the raffle and we’re ready to start drawing the winners. I would like to mention at this point, that I estimated the amount raised at £330, however I’d forgotten that I was putting money in my pocket rather than using the mug, which meant there was some money I’d not taken into account. The final figure was £346, so Im just rounding this up to £350 that I’ll be transferring to Amiamio tomorrow after visiting the bank.
Lots of laughs were had at the latter stages of the raffle as we get to the grand prizes of… NCdot, INIT and Goonswarm g-strings. I can’t remember who won which, but none of them were from the alliance that they won
The party starts to heat up, drinks are starting to flow despite a few people leaving at this point. I’d estimate us being down to about 30-40 people at this point. Im finally able to start working on enjoying myself rather than herding cats, and I get the chance to have some really cool conversations with various people. Im not going to do shoutouts to everyone I spoke to because I can’t remember half of your names, but those I do recall are because we’re planning some other events together in some capacity (for example I said I’d be happy to do some stuff with Magical Geek, and Cursed Lion.
People gradually start leaving again, and I end up drinking with the Ushra Khan lot. You guys are awesome. Every 10-15 mins drinks just kept appearing out of nowhere, and shots were going down at a rapid pace.
I do a bit more mingling at this point and notice that the general public are starting to attend. Quite a few people were approaching me to ask what was happening, and this ended up in a 20-30 min conversation about what Eve Online is, so I wouldn’;t be surprised if there’s a few new players from Manchester in the coming days haha.
Someone comes to me and advises that the main bar upstairs is now broadcasting Eve Content (which at the time was FUN Inc’s twitch stream, as this was what was being hosted via Amimia/AJ. I had to go take pictures because that just sounded far too cool to be true. I end up talking to the management on the venue to thank them for their hospitality and even going to the length of promoting Eve Online.
They say they’ve never seen anything like this before, and were amazed at the community and would love to have us back. They were so cool to work with, I would definitely love to get involved with another event there some time!
More beer/shots are had, and I end up leaving around 1.30-2am.
Part 3: Tactical Withdrawal
Today was a bit less eventful in most regards, with having coffee with TJ/CJ/Lov before heading home on the train. I should also add at this point is the train we’d booked had been cancelled. (Dont you love the british transport network)
As a result, we were allowed to get on a different train, but that required changing at York to make the rest of the journey. From Manchester to York it was packed. At one stop I actually managed to fall out of the train when the doors opened, because someone had accidently caused a domino effect by bumping people. Luckily no one was injured, other than my pride haha. York to Newcastle was mostly the same, though we managed to get seats eventually as people got off at later stops.
The Venue, Lups/Ryuchi for arranging this, Amiomia and AJ for all the hard work on the twitch stream. The attendees, I was amazed at how much money had been raised. Amiomia has a project on going where she wants to raise funds to finance someone to go to fanfest next year, who would not normally be able to afford to attend. I love the idea and want to support it to make this happen, which is why I arranged the raffle.
British Transport - They might need to fuel their jump bridges a bit better!
My choices in accommodation!
All in all, this was a fantastic event, and one of my plans is to arrange events over the course of 2024. If you’re interested in doing something, hit me up and I’ll see what we can do to support/promote it!
Thats all from me, but as I said earlier, I’d love to hear about everyone elses experiences on this event.
Another edit: Finally found the KB link for the NPSI fleet