A celebration for all the 50p contributors, and all things iPod!
The Scoop on the event
It'd be fair to say that I'd spent quite a bit of time planning this - evenings, weekends, and two days off immediately before the weekend to get everything ready time, meant that (I think!) I just about pulled if off.
I drove up to town in the afternoon (still shell shocked from the incredible 4-5 scoreline from the Tottenham/Arsenal game), with Phil (#104) in my car, and got to the venue where Robin (#28) also met us and all three of us set everything up.
Everything got laid out, stuck up, plugged in, playing and ready to go by exactly 6pm when the first person turned up!
Rumours started coming in of touts standing outside Goodge St. tube station saying "Buying or selling iParty tickets .. buying or selling .. anyone? Tickets for iParty .. get 'em here". etc... Ok, so no - they didn't, I'm just kidding.
What I'm not kidding about though is the fact that I'd spent the last couple of weekends at home making a Giant iPod from a wooden frame with a paper mache covering, and then painted in white and silver, to make a 4-foot tall model of an iPod!
It looked damn good, and made sure that lot of people had their photo taken with it. Here's one of me and my mum (#23) quite early on!
If I'd of had the time, I would have made some large-scale white ear buds as well. Then take it with me on the train to work in the morning and see what response I get from other commuters!
As people arrived, made sure that everyone got their 50p-shaped badge with your number on so that everyone knew who you were.
If you were only there to make up the numbers, then you could have a badge which did indeed say - "I'm only here to make up the numbers!".
There was also a "I'm not going to wear a stupid badge" badge, (quite popular), along with "I would have contributed if I'd of known Geoff sooner", and other similar variations.
Even though I knew that 500 people were not coming, I made a badge for every single number so still have the remainder left over at home! So if you're one of those 500 reading this now, and you want your badge - just let me know, and i'll post it to you.
Contributors Megan (#328) and Lizzie (#329) turned up, and had (rather wonderfully of them) spent the afternoon making up iPod shaped sponge cakes (iCakes?) which went down very well with everyone and rapidly got eaten!
iContributed T-shirts were handed out to those that had pre-ordered them, and some were bought on the night.
I've still got a small number of them left, so if you want one then drop me an email and I can send you one in the post.
(Only white coloured ones left now, the black ones proved very popular! - they make excellent night-shirt for the ladeez!)
Just before everyone got too pissed (and believe me - at the end there were some people that were really pissed!) I dished out some prizes to people that had made the effort to travel some distance to come along.
And they were too: The infamous George (#172) who came all the way down from Warrington for the weekend just to be here, to Nicola (#444) (with her rather erm... distinctive turquoise coloured spikey hair!) a poor student who came from Cardiff, and to Beryl (#72) who came down from Doncaster - and they all got iContributed mugs that I'd made up, alongside iContributed mousemats, one of which went to Ben (#336) who'd come down from Rugeley (in Staffordshire) just for the party.
The eyeCleaning area proved popular with 'pod owners - where kitchen roll and Brasso were available to dab onto your iPod and scrub vigorously to clean all the scratches off of it.
Lizzie, Megan and George get stuck in getting their 'pods nice and clean again in the picture here.
You can also see in the background the display posters that we'd stuck up - the entire story of '50 pence' from the webpages printed out and stuck up in case you missed any of it, along with some of the best envelopes that I'd got sent my 50p's in, and some spoof 'Future iPods' designs that I'd lifted from the ipodlounge.com gallery pages.
We also 'premiered' the 'iN Da Pod - The Movie' on the big screen projector, and it's also now available to download here to play on your PC.
I figure that if anyone ever says to me in the future "What's all this about you and your iPod?", then instead of me having to explain the whole story I can just point them in the direction of the video and all will be revealed!
We also got all the iPod owners present to pose for the obligatory 'group photo' with their iPods in front of the big iPod!
From left to right, here's Phil (#104), Lizzie (#329), Janet (#63), Ben (#336), George (#172), Helen (#206), myself, and then Zoe (#98) and Nicola (#444) down on the floor!
It was only a few days before the party that the idea of the iColour competition got suggested to me and I decided to go for it.
I printed out loads of empty outlined iPod shapes on pieces of paper, and provided coloured pens and crayons for people to colour them in with the design ideas.
To be honest, I wasn't sure how well it would be receive, and I got loads of them handed into me - many more than I'd expected - and so rather then announce a winner on the night, I've taken them away, I'm choosing my favourite ones, am scanning them all in and will publish them all on the webpage here.
You can then email me and vote for what one(s) you think are best, and I'll then announced a winner that way!
One thing though -at the end of the night when I came to tidy up, I could only find about 3 crayons! What the hell happened to rest of them! Did people steal them and take them home ?!
There were of course people that had then turned up that I had never met before! And I meant to get a photo of all of them with me holding my iPod, but of course I completely forget - but a special thanks to Graham (#11), Marina (#367) and Alix (#413) who made the effort to come when I wasn't completely sure that they would! It was good to see you.
And aside from all that it was a regular party - people drank, talked, drank some more, talked some more, got a bit drunk and lots of good stories have since come out, my favourites being a gay guy who thought that my non-gay friend was still "Quite fit actually", a lesbian proposition from one girl to another which she turned down (tsk!) and best of all - I got an email the next day from someone who's asked "Who is number xxx because I quite fancy her", and so a bit of iMatchmaking is now taking place!
Sadly, it ended all too soon and I had to clear up and pack down (see my rant about the miserable fcuking manager below) and I realised that I was taking home one person in my car than I'd brought up - so Neil said that he'd take it back to his hotel for the night and look after it.
And so he and Ben did indeed carry it down the road to the heckles of "Couldn't you get a smaller iPod mate?", and "How long does that take to charge up then?", before stopping by a letterbox and considered writing my address on it and seeing if the Royal Mail would post it back to me.
In the end though, they left it with the concierge of the hotel (the very posh Millennium Mayfair Hotel in Grosvenor Square), and on Monday morning on my way into work, I had to go in and collect it from the day concierge who knew nothing about it, cue a conversation which started off as:
"Hello, I'm here to collect my giant 4-foot long iPod"
"I beg your pardon sir?"
"A giant iPod. 4 foot high. You've got it stored in your backroom apparently"
And after doing this a couple of times, one his colleagues overheard and did know what I was talking about and and handed it over.
I then walked back to the tube station with it under my arm right past the Frank Roosevelt memorial, which is there because it's right by the US Embassy, and I suddenly realised I was get very funny looks off of the armed security guards who were standing outside ...
50 pence : iN Da Pod
The contributors are listed here in groups of 25 to make the pages easier to manage and read through. Click on aby button to jump to that group.
Statistics - We collected a whole bunhc of stats and figures abuot the 50p's collected, here they all are ...
iN Da Pod : The Movie - A video we made about the whole thing
50 pence (iN Da Pod) - Hear Geoff 'rap' in this rather silly 50 cent cover/spoof we made
Gold Coin Contributors - Some people went out of their way to help me get more 50's than just their own
The Tunes Chosen - My favourite music out of all the tunes chosen by the contributors
The iParty - After it was complete, I held an iParty an invited as many contributors along as possible.
The iColour Competion - At the iParty, we had the fun iColour competition - getting people to design their own iPods
What I did with the 50p's - As when I bought the iPod I actually used my debit card