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4th German Xena Camp in Winterberg, September 01.-03., 2000.

The annual fan event organized by the German Xena Fanclub (DXF) is traditionally called "Camp", although up to now, there has never been any real "camping" involved. This year, however, the camp did do justice to its name. Taking place in Winterberg from Sept. 01 - 03. it turned out a camp alright, complete with a large tent (put up to accommodate the 200 fans from all over Germany and neighbouring countries like Switzerland), mud puddles, freezing cold and pouring rain - everything you'd expect from camping.

 

But let's start at the beginning: The day before the camp when a group of indefatigable fans arrived to help putting up the large marquee, where most events were to take place and to lovingly decorate the place. That Herculean (or Xenaean?) task completed, everyone waited impatiently for the next day and the arrival of the large majority of fans. First, however, rain arrived - and lots of rain, too... When most participants had checked in, the official programm kicked off with a music video (one of many fan-made music videos presented during the weekend) and a spontaneous singing and dancing performance by the organizing team, the "DXF - Camp - Song" (put together the previous night, complete with choreography, to the music of Village People's "YMCA"). Well, it may not have been highly professional, but it certainly was very entertaining and it warmed up the freezing fans... The day concluded with video screenings of the first episodes of Season Five (which hasn't aired on German TV, yet) and the - already traditional - fanfiction reading (organized and held by authors and readers of German fanfiction) around a warm campfire for a captivated audience.

The next day brought more rain and more events, most of which were organized by the fans themselves. The sword-play workshop took place in a persistent drizzle - but, hey, it's raining in New Zealand all the time and Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor can deal with it, too! So could the fans, some of which kept on practicing their moves for hours... The Aerobie-Workshop (the Aerobie is a little round flying thing, with great similarities to a chakram. The original chakram, that is.) mostly fell victim to the weather, as did the scheduled Chakramee match (Chakramee being the Xenite version of "Ultimate Frisbee"). A pity, since the first ever German Xenite Chakramee team, the "Red Hot Chili Amazons" had raised to the occasion and arrived with their own self-designed sports shirts. It would have been great to see the team in action and on the playing ground... if its any comfort: they looked fabulous in those red T-Shirts.

 

Later that afternoon, Taranis, a band which plays "melodious metal" (think of Draco ... only not quite that heavy metally...) gave a live performance. They included their own rendition of "We can work it out" with a group of fans joining the band on stage to sing with them and it definitely wasn't very cold in the tent during their performance.

With little time for a break, the fans hastened to get their share of the large cold buffet and then settled for a comfortable place to listen to the telephone interview with Alex Tydings. Tydings patiently and good-humouredly answered questions about her role as Aphrodite ("She's very blonde and that outfit is ridiculous"), the development of the character ("They've managed to give her a soul, and a heart, and a sense of humour"), about the relationship between Aphrodite and Gabrielle ("She and Gabrielle will develop a real love for each other, which I was very, very pleased with.") and about one fifth season episode in particular ("Oh yeah, the most hated episode, ever!"). (A full transcript of the interview can be read here.)

After the interview, the crowd filed into the tent again, for a musical cabaret performance called "NutbreadFANtasies, or: Hell is let loose in Tartarus" put together by "The Hordettes" who took their audience on a muscial journey through fandom, covering topics from fanfiction to ratings, the fifth season blues and BGSB nostalgia...
After that it was videos again, with a screening of "Lyre, Lyre" rocking the house. And, needless to say, fanfiction readings well into the night.

Sunday morning saw the Xena trivia quiz and a T-Shirt contest. While deciding on the winner of the trivia quiz was relatively simple (provided they knew the answer to questions like "What was the name of Ulysses' dog?", "What was the name of the king who was a cousin of one of Xena's look-a-likes?"), determining who came up with the most original self-designed T-Shirt proved to be rather difficult since the contestants had covered so many different styles and subjects from teams like the "Red Hot Chili Amazons" and the "Kiwi Kommando" to contestants whose T-Shirts were a romantic tribute to Melissa Good fanfiction, reminiscences to the Blair Witch Project ("The Xena Project") - everything from foto montages to self-designed drawings and comics.

The day was concluded by more video screenings (the Season Five final trilogy) and the camp finally ended with the obligatory group photograph (can you say: traditional?) and even more group hugs.
With the official programme being over, most fans departed on Sunday but a large number stayed for another day, joining the team of volunteers who helped to dismantle the tent on Monday morning.

What else? Talks and discussions, long into the night, little sleep, much laughter, spontaneous Amazon-style percussion sessions lasting for hours on end, costumes, and yet more discussions... everything that makes a meeting of Xena fans special and assures that most participants at the end of an exciting weekend promised each other to return next year, because: "It's fun to stay at the D - X - F - Camp!"


related links:

Alexandra Tydings Interview (english only)
Official Photo Gallery DXF Camp 4
Lyrics of the Cabaret Program (German only)
Fanreports (german) on www.symbiont.de


  webmaster: pageman@autolycus.de,
  dxf-kontakt: dxf@autolycus.de letztes update: 10.09.00