August 3, 2009 – London, United Kingdom – The first INSERT COIN 2009 two-day event dedicated to a public celebration of all thing to do with amusement, proved a winning combination for the crowds that packed the Northampton Saints exhibition venue during the 18th and 19th this month – with competition and world record attempts.
The first-of-its-kind event was overwhelmed by visitors from all over the United Kingdom, as well as from Europe, and as far a field as Canada. All keen to play their part in enjoying the latest video amusement, reliving classic titles and showing their skills in a number of specially organized tournaments.
The IC'09 show placed over 200 amusement machines on free-play for the enjoyment of those attending, the majority of which had booked early online to attend, cuing hours before the doors opened.
Offering an all round event, along with the game action special events were organized, the Ready-Up.net sponsors organized a ‘Cosplay Clash’ competition for those wearing their favorite costumes – the show floor a mix of players and famous characters with Tetra (Natasha) as The Angel in Crimson Armour from: Ninety Nine Nights winning the main prize.
Other winners included a certificate from the adjudicators from the Guinness World Records too "Dancefreak” Kris Pearman who achieved an amazing highest score set on ‘Stealth’ mode on ‘Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2’. Stealth mode is effectively ‘blindfold mode’ insofar as there are no cues on screen as in normal play.
IC’09 including a dancing stage arcade game arena where the best players took part in competition, first place going to Ricky Brown, the event overseen by DDR:UK.
Another well attended session during the show was the tournament competition on the arcade version of 'Street Fighter IV' – for the first time in the UK eight amusement versions of the game were operated in a network tournament offering a nail-biting competition which went down to the wire seeing ‘Shimma’ crowed the ‘IC’09 Champion’.
Other small scale tournaments played throughout the event, organized by the hard efforts of the Shmups team and their support.
Taking pride of place, another UK first saw two vast rows of Japanese sit-down arcade cabinets, (popularly known as ‘candy cabinets’); specially imported to house the widest selection of current and classic video amusement titles ever seen in one venue, also exhibited MAME cabinets and pinball games.
Along side the latest next-generation cabinet designs with brand new games receiving their first UK showing. Hoards of new and old players relived their gaming fantasies, a number of parents introducing their children to games from their youth; while the background music to the event was supplied by the skills of Radio Sega, taking text requests.
Continuing the party atmosphere of the event a number of raffles draws, to win exclusive collector edition amusement cabinets took place during the two days – with Joe Young winning one of the highly sort after ‘Astro City’ candy cabinets, a Cyberlead Cabinet going to Robert Blackman, and Daniel Williams winning a rare ‘Capcom Minicute’ cabinet.
IC'09 proving the strong audience internationally for amusement both as a past-time and a hobby – with collector of various interests show examples from their collections as well as stall selling complete systems and replacement parts from companies such as Aztec Coin Equipment, SegaShed, Surface Tension, Twisted Box and Candy Cabs. The latest in amusement themed apparel was also available to buy from KaroshiDrop and Retro GT.
Organizers of the event were exhausted but extremely pleased by the first event of its kind in the UK – co-founder Alan O’Grady stated, "Those skeptics were sorely proven wrong regarding the viability of an event of this kind. We have surpassed our conservative attendance estimates, and have already been approached by this year’s exhibitors eager to support next year’s plans."
Alan added, "We want to thank the hard effort and great support from our staff and all those that made IC'09 a great success, in some cases working late into the night to ensure all the machines were working on the day."
The plans for INSERT COIN 2010 have yet to be revealed, but expect a doubling of the floor-space and machine attendance, at a new exhibition venue – the organizer will be looking forward to greater support from the conventional amusement trade now that the brand has proven itself with such a large and excited sector of the market, marking a new era in public-play events.
Additional images from this years’ event can be found here (copies of, and additional event details available on request):
- IC2009 Event Details (* www.insertcoin-09.com )
Date: 18th to the 19th July 2009
Time: 10am to 8pm on both days
Ticket Price: £10 (Junior Single), £15 (Adult Single), £23 (Adult Weekend ticket)
Location: Northampton Saints, Franklin's Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton, NN5 5BG