A Trip to DreamHack: Summer 2016

Published on October 28th, 2016

Pack4DreamHack is one of those events that leaves you longing for more. After every edition we hear our Packers say they just can’t wait for the next installment of our bus tour. The biggest factor in that opinion is of course the fact that DreamHack is such an amazing event, but it’s also partially due to how our event Pack4DreamHack is set up. In my eyes, the phrase “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” fits perfectly  with what we do. Sure, DreamHack is the reason why we do this, but it’s an experience you share with about 9000 other gamers. The truly unique aspect is the bus trip, the experience you get to share with just over eighty gamers. Spending almost sixteen hours with each other on a packed bus brings us all closer together and gives us the opportunity to make some new friends even before the main event starts.

Some Packers among us absolutely DREAD the long and harrowing bustrip. I understand them, but I always looked forward towards this part of the event. Sure, there isn’t much room and sleeping is awful, but we were all in the same boat (bus), so we couldn’t complain. The trip is a vital part of an event like Pack4DreamHack, which our regular Packers can all share their unique experiences of. So after we learned our sponsor decided not to continue with the project, we as well as our Packers were all wondering how the event would pick up after this. We decided that we’d skip the summer edition of the trip to look for proper solutions. That didn’t mean there wasn’t a Benelux delegation present at DreamHack.

Last Summer my colleague Stefan and I decided we’d visit DreamHack by ourselves, and so did a lot of our regular Packers. We still had our own row dedicated to Packers, which was comprised of the Belgians from 666-gaming and the regular Packers originating from Limburg (oh, and also Bob). Even though Pack4DreamHack was partially present, for me it felt off.

Now we all had our own way of getting to Sweden. Most of them went by car, but Stefan and I decided we’d go by plane. You’d think going by plane is much more relaxing and easier than our regular bus trip. In a way it was, but our difficulty setting was turned up because of Stefan’s disability to properly ride a motorcycle. He managed to crush his ankle, basically limiting his movement, and by the time Dreamhack Summer arrived he was still partially recovering. So we arrived at the airport with Stefan’s foot in a custom cast and he himself in a wheelchair. The good folks over at the airport were so kind to give us priority boarding and offered us help to cross Schiphol (which is way too big). This especially came in handy when we checked in and then had to be transported to literally the other side of the airport.

Airports require you to be present at least one and a half hours prior to boarding your plane, which can get boring very fast especially if you’re prohibited from racing with Stefan’s wheelchair. The fact that Schiphol is such a huge airport doesn’t really help so there’s always some reason you’re waiting longer than expected. Our plane took off about 20 minutes late, at about 10 o’clock in the evening. For me, it was my first time travelling by plane so I can check that one off my bucketlist. We arrived close to midnight at airport Stockholm, which meant we still had to get to Jönköping. For this occasion Stefan had rented a car for us to travel there, which happened to be the smallest car in the entire parking lot. This car was so small, it didn’t even have enough space for his Pelicase in the trunk, which is challenging when you have to fit 3 bags, laptops, crutches, a wheelchair and two persons in that tiny car.


Everyone who has been with us to DreamHack before can tell you the trip can be quite taxing, especially when you can’t properly sleep on the bus meaning you arrive completely broken in the early morning at DreamHack and then still have an entire day ahead of you. Stefan and I decided we wanted to be rested and fit when we arrived, so we booked a “nice” motel in the middle of Stockholm. When travelling in a foreign country, don’t blindly trust your GPS. Before arriving at the proper location, our GPS first sent us to an abandoned factory/hipster training ground at the other side of town with unfortunately the same streetname as our motel was on (thanks, Sweden).

The trip from Stockholm to Jönköping is a four hour drive, which is considered a short trip by Swedish standards. For us it’s the equivalent of crossing our entire country. An added bonus for us was that we found out our tiny miniature car happened to be a convertible, which meant driving across the country with our roof up and us singing along with Adele at the top of our lungs. Sweden might seem like a majestic country with fjords and mountains and elks grazing along the road, but in fact it’s not much different from our country. Sure, you see mountainsides and giant rocks, but when that’s all you see it quickly starts to bore you, just like our many farms and cows. The most exciting part of the trip comes when you see the giant lake of Vättern dawning before you, changing the scenery and signaling the end of your journey, for DreamHack is near.

DreamHack itself was much like the other editions of it, featuring three days of uninterrupted gaming (for those who can keep up), professional eSports, massive crowds of gamers and stellar acts of Swedish and international performers (last year featured our very own Headhunterz!). The changing factor of last summer was our Dutch row, which was only partially filled with people who travelled there by themselves. Even though we all knew each other well, it felt different from other times, maybe because we didn’t all share the same experience of getting there. The trip is a huge part of Pack4DreamHack, the part what makes this event unique. DreamHack is a gigantic event, but the problem is its location. It’s not every day you just get to go to Sweden, and even if you do it takes a lot of arrangements that need to be taken care of. From a gamer’s point of view, DreamHack is an event you have to experience at least once in your life, to admire the sheer scale of the event and the customs of Sweden. Pack4DreamHack takes me to an event which I normally wouldn’t even have known of without this amazing trip.


Personally, I prefer to take the bus to DreamHack over travelling by plane. Sure, you arrive broken and crooked, but it saves you from so much hassle and extra effort. It might be more relaxing and comforting to fly, but it’s not the only part. You have to: go to the airport, wait for boarding, two hours flight to Stockholm, leave the airport and go to the rental station for your car, depending on when you arrive, book a motel and then it’s still a four hours drive to Jönköping. Now do that twice and you got your “easy” trip to DreamHack. In total we managed to save about 6 hours in travel time. Now, when you go by bus, it’s just a matter of stacking your stuff in the trailer of our bus and choosing a seat. The rest is all done by our trusty busdriver Barry. Sure, you have to get off the bus twice to board the ferry, but all in all I find the bustrip to be a lot less trouble than travelling by plane, and it has the added benefit of meeting almost 80 other enthusiastic fellow gamers. Not to mention the bustrip being a lot cheaper than what I described above.

Last Summer was a sad time for most of our Packers, because it meant they couldn’t go to one of their favorite international gaming events. Those that did all had their own DreamHack and travel experiences, but they too would’ve rather shared the same experience with our Pack4DreamHack tourbus. Now that we’ve regrouped ourselves we’re ready to continue what we all know and love and prepare ourselves for the winter edition of Pack4DreamHack 2016. This edition is different, because we need YOU (our Packers), to make it happen. It would be a sad time when we can’t take our regular and new Packers to the promised land of DreamHack. I can’t wait for this coming winter and I’m sure our regulars feel the same way and are all excited to once again get back on the road. I hope to see you all at our pickup points, old and new faces alike.

Let’s get together and make Pack4DreamHack great again!


Be Social! Share with your friends!