Spring is coming and along with Easter bunnies, tax deadlines, and International Children’s Book Day, the steampunk convention season is in full swing, with new and seasoned cons happening throughout the U.S. and around the world this April. My fellow newshound Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador is onboard as well as this month’s guest contributor Glenn Freund of the League of S.T.E.A.M. & the Jr. League W.A.T.C.H. to give the inside scoop on several of these events.
And, as always, if we didn’t catch your steampunk shindig, please give a shout-out in the comments. Have something epic in May? Be sure to email me at attic.hermit [at] gmail [dot] com with your event info by April 15th to be sure I’ll include it in our next round-up.
Onwards & upwards!
About our guest contributor: Glenn Freund is a biologist and artist who is part of LoS Productions. He is one of the founding members of the Jr. League W.A.T.C.H. a community building organization which is a spoof of the Jr. Park Rangers and the Neighborhood watch, bringing in the tongue and cheek nature of the League of S.T.E.A.M.. He can be found on twitter: @DrGlennClock and W.A.T.C.H. @jrleaguewatch.
Also, the League of S.T.E.A.M. is putting out season 2 of the multi-award winning webseries, including special guests Grant Imahara (Mythbusters), Lisa Foiles (All That), Doug Jones (Hell Boy, Pan’s Labrynth), Robin Thorson (The Guild), Brian Kesinger (Winnie the Pooh), Oscar Oden (The Hot Chick), as well as Emmy Award winning Rich Fogel in this season. So stay tuned.
Glenn and the Airship Ambassador recommend:
S.T.E.A.M.fest April 14-15 – Avondale Estates, GA
Why Glenn recommends this: “Now I have a special place in my heart for this event, since myself, and a lot of my friends are in, around or showing their art at S.T.E.AM.fest. This looks like an event that should be amazing, focusing not on just a few people within the steampunk community, but it looks like it is going to be able to showcase a wide cross section, ranging from theater to film and everything in between. Be prepared so meet some amazing artists there, I can imagine this is going to be a very inspirational event to go to, and if you can make I would. I would give a list of people to look out for at the event, but there website has so many talented people, just go and be amazed.”
Florida Steampunk Exhibition East – April 13-15 – Daytona Beach, FL
Why Glenn recommends this: “This is simply an amazing line up, if you have not had a chance to see Airship Isabella in person, they are a real visual treat, and don’t let there rough and tumble appearance fool you, they are some of the nicest people you can met. Also a chance to meet the sassy O.M. Grey, don’t miss out. One top of that you have Abney Park, the awesome (and funny) The Cog is Dead, and Ladies dancing with the Cupcake Burlesque. Not listed but showing up will also be Penny Dreadful Productions there with Remnant.”
Steampunk Empire Symposium – April 27-29 – Cincinnati, OH
Why Glenn recommends this: “Don’t be fooled by the modest website, this looks like a fun event. The people who have brought you the Steampunk Empire, the MyFaceTwit for the steampunk community, are putting on this event. The guest line up is good, and I would definitely try to make it to some of the panels, but if you can’t because you are too busy winning mustache contests or having nerf battles, or doing other events on the schedule, I wouldn’t blame you. This is a con that looks like it is aiming for you to have a fun, and it doesn’t look like the con is taking itself too seriously. Make sure to stop by and say hello to Ay-Leen the Peacemaker, and also keep an eye out for Steampunk Boba Fett. Overall it looks like it is going to be a great first year con.”
More Conventions & Events:
Steampunk: The Beginning Running April 7 May 10, Opening reception | April 7, 5 – 8 p.m. – Begovich Gallery at California State University, Fullerton.
Curated by Mike McGee. From the website: “Although many works now considered seminal to the genre were published in the 1960s and 1970s, the term steampunk originated in the late 1980s from K.W. Jeter, a recent graduate of CSU Fullerton. Jeter was trying to find a general term for works produced by Tim Powers, James Blaylock, and himself all of which took place in a 19th-century, usually Victorian, setting and imitated conventions of such actual Victorian speculative fiction as H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine. Grand Central Art Center is producing a publication of the original Steampunk works: The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, Homunculus by James Blaylock, and Morlock Night by K.W. Jeter, and asking CSUF illustrators to produce images for the book. The images will also be used to enhance a Steampunk installation in the Project Room which will promote the genre and the book.”
Steampunk Stomp 2012 Spring Benefit at the Powerhouse April 14 – Durango, CO
From the website: “Get ready for the biggest party since the Powerhouse opened in 1892 and tore open the space-time continuum to reveal 2092. That’s right, a Steampunk extravaganza featuring retro-futurist dress-up and other arcana. Expect: Victorian hats, hearty edibles suitable for time travelers, gamma-protective googles, laughing-gas rayguns, a guy in a Fez, truth serum influence contraptions, and that signature standby to make it all okay the Tesla Tonic.”
Manticore Society Presents: CicLAvia – April 15 – Los Angeles, CA
“Runs on Sunday, April 15th starting at 10AM at the next Los Angeles CicLAvia. CicLAvia makes the streets safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike. There are activities along the route. Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the CicLAvia. This event is an incredible opportunity to ride your bikes through empty LA streets and I think we should celebrate in style. Come in your dapper Steampunk best and meet the group at 10:30am in front of Scoops on Heliotrope Ave just north of Melrose and we will take a jaunty ride along the route. Facebook event will be coming soon. Organized by the amazing Dina Kampmeyer, so please check the Manticore Society page for updates is organizing the event.”
White Mischief’s Royal Jubilee Gala at London & Western Home Counties Steampunk Society – April 21 – Scala @ King’s Cross, 275 Pentonville Road, UK
From their website: “Featuring musical guests Sunday Driver and Perhaps Contraption, Steampunk powerhouse Tankus The Henge, Vaudeville & cabaret including aerial & acrobalance, Interactive experiences & storytelling, authentic Victorian photography from Professor J Winters, a Victorian & Steampunk curios market, and DJs The Earl of Ealing plays 78s on a horn gramophone plus vintage jazz, rock’n’roll, party tunes and electro-swing.”
Victoria Steam Expo III – April 20-22 – Victoria, B.C. Canada
Featuring special guests Ann and Jeff Vandermeer, Kaja Foglio of Girl Genius, Abney park’s Kristina Erickson and Captain Robert Brown, and steampunk artist Ian Finch -Field.
Nineteenth Century Society presents the 19th Century Extravaganza! – April 27 – 29 – New York, NY
The first of its kind a three-day event to explore and celebrate Victorian history, arts & crafts, steampunk dalliances & much more, in collaboration with local museums, artists, musicians and craftsmen from the Big Apple. From the website: “Presented by the New York Nineteenth Century Society, the Extravaganza aims to be an immersive educational experience. A hand-picked group of renowned historians and passionate artists will share their love of nineteenth-century New York, encompassing everything from the culinary arts, fashion, and photography to 19th-century baseball games, Steampunk musicians, and the early origins of our famous transportation system. All free or affordably-priced events during the three-day weekend are open to the public, either by RSVP or on a first-come, first-served basis. Please join us in exploring the past of our great metropolis.”
Aethercircus April 28 29 – Stade, Germany
Germany’s first steampunk convention promises a “carnival atmosphere of the old mixed with the charm of the historic” and is inspired by world of Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes and the Golden Compass.
Ay-leen the Peacemaker is excited that she’ll be able to go to a couple of these events. When not on the road as a convention speaker, she is studying steampunk performance at NYU and is the founding editor of the multicultural steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana. You can also follow her on Twitter.