2445 The Scum Festival Enters the Mainstream

For 60 years the *Scum Festival* has been a regular meeting of unregistered space vehicles, of outsiders, harborless vessels, and tugboats with habitat barges. Most people living on these vehicles do not have a residence permit for any space city or station. Many are stateless. Station administrations regard them as criminals or scum. In fact, many of the vehicles are not even allowed to dock at the major stations, let alone at Mars elevator access points. Meeting in empty space is the only way for them to exchange things like spare parts, autofabs, fab resources, and readymade everyday items.

The Scum Festival began as a trade meeting of five barges with tugged habitat containers. Every 25 months during the Mars/Jupiter conjunction the vessels met to trade hardware and food and to talk without light lag. At that time, they talked primarily about existential needs and strategies of how to deal with common problems. Very early on, they also had social and cultural events in addition to business meetings.

The 13th meeting, which at that time was not yet called a "festival", was attended by the meme-slam legend Krex Kabamba. The performance was staged as an underground event, but Kabamba had invited a media team that generated a lot of attention in the inner system. They achieved an integrated ph-value of 15 (that is Percentage Hours market share), which means that the program got an average attention span of one hour from 15 percent of the target group. That was huge, enough to attract 2,000 fans with their own vehicles at the next meeting. From then on visitor numbers and show acts increased steadily. At the 18th festival, a decommissioned troop transporter was rented as the event location. Starting with the 21st Scum Festival the event took place every Mars year, about 23 Earth months.

Today the Scum Festival is a mainstream event. Hundreds of mobile units meet and link up. They are joined by visitors arriving by commercial travel. The number of visitors exceeds the number of scum vessel crews by far. The organizers rent the docks of Sdinhavn, a Norwegian space habitat, as a venue. System-wide known artists perform live and in person. There are many music concerts, media presentations, art projects and interactive competitions.

In addition to passive media: music, film, virtual and augmented reality, sensory links, meme-slams, and walkthroughs, there are multiple formats with audience participation like interactive media, avatar theater, crowd directing, and asymmetric adventures. New stars are born at every Scum Festival. But the un-canned, live mode of the event also makes hyped stars fall when their performance disappoints.

The ISCC, the Inner System Creative Competition, is regularly held at the Scum Festival. Also starting with ScumXXV, the presentation of the MFP Slink Awards (Marktorf Filmkraft Produkktion Sensory Link Award) takes place parallel to the festival. The crème of the Solar system's media stars is in attendance. So, for security reasons the MFP Slink Awards are celebrated at the Sdinhavn Congress Center.

Many news agencies report from the festival. The broadcasting rights are free. Professional and semi-professional slinkers stream around the clock. Millions take part in quasi real time and quasi live. But Slink is not Scum, as they say. A slink stream cannot replace the personal experience. That is why 38,000 visitors still gather at Sdinhavn every Mars year. Admission is limited to 38,000 and the organizers do not want the numbers to grow any further.

The event is financed by catering, merchandising, and performance rights. Visitors must pay for life support and security insurance themselves. Both are included in the accommodation costs at quality hotels. Life/sec packages are available for the other 25,000 who camp in troop carriers for two weeks.

The tickets are also free of charge. One half of the tickets are raffled off and the other half is distributed through CRAP, a leading creative workers' reputation network. People pay horrendous prices on the black market.