Dreamhack in Sweden: The World’s Largest Digital Event

Dreamhack in Sweden: The World’s Largest Digital Event

Discover the digital world created by Dreamhack with Adrianne George Lind who takes us inside the world’s largest digital festival with games, competitions, and exhibitions.

All photos courtesy of Dreamhack unless otherwise stated

What began with a group of friends in Malung, Sweden in the 1990s became Dreamhack in 1994.

Today, it is the world’s largest digital event composed of a festival, gaming competitions, digital art competitions, live concerts, and exposition. It holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Local Area Network (LAN) gathering in the world during its Winter 2013 event, held between 28 November and 1 December in Sweden, hosting 22,810 people.

Thousands of gamers bring their own screens and consoles to play games day and night. Over a 72-hour period, Dreamhack goes nonstop.

A sleeping area is provided for those who want to bring sleeping bags and skip the hotel. But not just restricted to computer games, there is room for board games, dodge ball, retro gamers, spectators and participants in the world’s largest digital festival.

Dreamhack is held twice a year in Jönköping, Sweden, as well as other countries in Europe and North America and attracts kids, their parents, women and seniors.

The summer festival held in June 2019 attracted 310,000 attendees from around the world of which 70% were under 30.  The average age was between 16 and 17 years old, and 80% were male. Attendees ages range from tweens to senior citizens, and kids under the age of 18 need written parental permission to attend if not with an adult.

This year saw the first-ever Senior World Cup CS:GO between four national teams and drew a large audience of spectators of mostly kids, teenagers, and millennials.  And as from its beginning in the ’90s, all of Dreamhack’s festivals are alcohol and drug-free.

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Photo from Lenovo Legion

A huge draw for tweens and younger was the Pokémon Regional Championships. Other attractions included FIFA 2019, Mobile Gaming, Indie Zone, CS:GO, Dreamhack Has Talent, Cosplay Championships, Case Mod Master Class and Case Mod Championships.

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Today, Dreamhack is the premiere event for showcasing all things related to gaming: chairs, games, hardware, gadgets as well as hosting giveaways, tournaments, costumer play (Cosplay), professional gamers, gaming teachers and product launches.

Creative people are invited to be judged by the audience for their gaming related artwork including photographs. The summer edition included the Art Zone, Business Zone, Student Zone, Community Zone, DYI Zone, Freeplay Zone, Open Air and Film screenings. There was prize money of $100,00 alone for CS:GO.

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Music and gaming go together as evidenced by a frenzied opening ceremony and nine live concerts by Wasted Penguinz, Malua, Dirtyphonics, Netsky, Droeloe, Pegboard Nerds, DJ Altego, Treyy G, and Sub Zero Project.

The next Dreamhack is Winter 2019: A World of Gamers. A Community of Friends, that starts with the Local Area Network (LAN) Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) on November 28, 2019, through December 1, 2019. 

The festival opens November 29, 2019, through December 1, 2019, in Elmia, Jönköping, Sweden. For the 25th anniversary, the local area network will run for 80 hours.

Parents will be able to accompany their children; gamers can rent PCs and screens and participant packages range from basic to VIP. Learn more from their website.

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Have you ever been to Dreamhack? Are you planning on going?

If so, leave a comment below.

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Author: Adrianne George Lind

Adrianne George runs Stockholm Expat where she blogs about Stockholm through the eyes of an outsider who see things with fresh eyes. Adrianne embraces expat life and is mindfully introspective and grateful at the same time. She is the founder of JobsinStockholm.com and expat groups on Facebook and Linkedin, and is the blogger behind the multi-award winning Black Women in Europe.

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