DreamHack is a LAN party, a local area network gathering with demo competitions, gaming competitions and more. It's arranged twice annually at the Elmia exhibition centre in Jönköping, Sweden and also twice a year at Expolaris Congresscenter, Skellefteå, Sweden and holds the world record (as recognized by the Guinness Book of Records and Twin Galaxies) for the world's largest LAN party and computer festival.
In the year 2007 the founders of DreamHack received a diploma of honor from the municipality of Jönköping for being so important to business, education and society of the local community.
DreamHack began as a small gathering of schoolmates and friends in the basement of an elementary school in Malung in the early '90s. In 1994 it was moved to the school cafeteria and became one of the larger regional demoparties at the time. The 1994 gathering was also the first one to go by the name DreamHack.
In 1997 the event took place at Arena Kupolen in Borlänge and became the largest LAN party of Sweden and the third largest party in Scandinavia at the time. Furthermore, DreamHack 2001 and the upcoming events were held at the Elmia exhibition centre in Jönköping, where it has been since.
Starting the year 2002, DreamHack became a biannual event with DreamHack Summer, aiming for games, taking place in June and DreamHack Winter, slightly more specific for the demo scene, being held during the last weekend of November.
In 2007, the now fully featured corporation DreamHack AB also began arranging a third event during the late summer, in Skellefteå up the northern coast of Sweden. The Skellefteå event, though a lot smaller with a thousand seats, was sold out by a greater margin than DHW.
The world's largest computer festival
At DreamHack Winter 2010 a new world record was set. The record is now 12,754 computers and 13,608 visitors. The previous record was set at DreamHack Winter 2007 when there were 10,544 computers and 11,060 visitors.
Dreamhack Winter 2006 was officially announced by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest LAN party. As of October 15, 2006, ten thousand tickets had been prebooked according to the ticket system. At 18:33 local time on the first of December, a representative from Guinness appeared on stage to announce 7,752 attendants present and 7,788 computers connected to the network. As the summary was made after the party, the world record was set at 8,531 unique computers and 9,184 participants  during DHW'06. With temporary visitors, sponsors and crew included, the total attendance of DHW'06 was 10,638 people according to DreamHack AB.
The 2005 official 5th anniversary DreamHack Winter was attended by 7,538 people according to the organization.
DreamHack Winter 2004 had 5,272 attendees and 5,852 computers connected to the network. That year DreamHack made it to the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest LAN party.
All DreamHacks 1997-2003 by far kept the record for Sweden's largest LAN party, ranging from the seven hundred visitors of DH'97, via the two and a half thousand attendants at DH'00, to the many more to fill the first large hall at Elmia in the early 21st century.
DreamHack of today
The winter event now consists of three large arenas where every participant has their own seat at their computer (60 deep and 83 cm wide) while the summer events of Elmia utilize the original D hall and one of the other halls. DHAB has also developed DreamHack Expo, which is a small fair within and outside of the premises. The event offers demo and gaming competitions, displayed on huge screens, while the expo gives opportunities to view and try the latest technical advances, take part in seminars and lectures, go for miscellaneous competitions or try an outdoor activity like bungee jumping, lasertag and kart racing.
Attendees' ages range from elementary school to senior citizens, and ten percent are female. People arrive from all over the world, including the Americas and the United Arab Emirates to participate.
DreamHack is arranged with the help of a number of volunteers, set up in Crew Teams. They work in shifts to provide service for the visitors, like the support crew that have a help desk where the participants can address their technical problems. The total number of volunteers is in the vicinity of 450 at DreamHack Winter. The organization also relies on local police and guards from Securitas AB.
DreamHack Winter 2010 had a prize pool of 205 000 SEK ($35,000), of which 180 000 SEK ($30,000) was dedicated to the DreamHack Steelseries LAN Tournament in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Mouz.Naama won the Grand Final against Mouz.MaNa in the final game of the best of five. The Steelseries Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty LAN marks growing support for the new game as a tournament title.
- ^ "Youtube - World Record! - Dreamhack Winter 2010". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnzOR2I4biI.
- ^ a b "Largest Lan Party Guinness World Records". http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/Search/Details/Largest-LAN-party/110309.htm.
- ^ "Guinness World Records - News - KEEPING IN TOUCH". http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2008/01/080107.aspx.
- ^ "Dreamhack Winter 2010". http://www.dreamhack.se/dhw10/2010/11/18/2587/.
- ^ "StarCraft II << Dreamhack Winter 2010". http://www.dreamhack.se/dhw10/event-scheduele/e-sports/starcraft-ii/.
- ^ "YouPlayoff - StarCraft II - 2010 DreamHack SteelSeries Lan Tournament". http://www.youplayoff.com/playoff/397/2010+DreamHack+SteelSeries+Lan+Tournament.
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