Who wants to go on an airship ride in a California ghost town? Or travel via a historical tram to another world in Amsterdam? Or go to Doctor Who-themed costume ball? All that and more is happening in April. Whether your crew wants to participate in the 2nd annual Airship Games at the Steampunk Empire Symposium, or you just want to spend a nice afternoon in with some tea, cravats, and good company, we have a range of listings big and small from the steampunk community. Thanks always to Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our guest contributor, the prolific SF/F author Cat Rambo for helping me gather these from across the aether.
Please give a shout-out in the comments if your event had missed our radar. Want to see your May happening featured here? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15 (tax day!) with the deets.
All descriptions have been adapted from event websites or Facebook pages, unless stated otherwise.
The Airship Ambassador recommends
Steampunk Empire Symposium: April 26-28—Cincinnati, OH
The Crossroads of the Aether
The second annual Steampunk Empire Symposium will be held at the Atrium Hotel in Cincinnati, a city nicknamed the Queen City for its rich history with steamboats and the “Queens” of the river; a very appropriate place to host a weekend festival devoted to an age of steam that never was. Guests include Leanna Renee Hieber, John White, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Lady Clankington, Frenchy and the Punk, Bethalynne Bajema, the Apparition Abolishers, and The Vagabonds.
Seattle Steampunk University: April 6—Seattle, WA
Despite it’s lofty name, the aim of SU is really just to introduce people to the literary genre of steampunk and help them figure a few things out, like what to wear to Steamcon and how to make cool stuff. It’s pretty basic, but can be a lot of fun. We also run a store at the same time, so you can get some fun items to wear and meet some of the merchants that will be at Steamcon. This year we aren’t even charging tuition, so it’s the best opportunity to come and learn a little about our passion, steampunk.
Arcadian Clockwork: April 19-20—San Antonio, TX
A dark fantasy Steampunk experience!
Cat Rambo Recommends:
Sakura Steampunk Celebration: April 7—Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Why Cat recs this: “I don’t know a lot about this but am absolutely enchanted by the combination of cherry blossoms and steampunk.” More info: Join your fellow steampunks of Japan just in time for the cherry blossoms to bloom! More details can be found on their Facebook.
Air City Expedition: April 12—14—Nashua, NH
Why Cat recs this: “Small con with lots of dancing.” More info: Air City Expedition is a voyage to find a wondrous steampunk city in the sky that harbors an incredible secret! We must form a fraternity with one another to be successful and single-minded in our purpose to make this elusive discovery! Join them on Facebook too.
The Twisted World: Divine Decadence—April 26—28—Somerset, NJ
Why Cat recs this:“It’s steampunk for adults!” More info: The Twisted World: Divine Decadence is a multi-cultural, multi-genre 18+ year old event where this year we celebrate the Decadence of decades and world visions. One of the main headliners will be The White Elephant Burlesque Society, featured in at least 5 different shows including a VIP speakeasy and 1940s dance party! Many bands, performers, writers, artists and vendors will be there for your ultimate enjoyment.
Additional Events Around the World
OU Medieval Fair: April 5-7—Reaves Park, Norman, OK
Steampunk convention OctopodiCon is sponsoring the Water Paws Pet Comfort Station (just north of the Unicorn Stage in the middle of the Fair). Last year, we provided water, treats, poop bags, shade, a cooling station, and emergency vet care to 2000 dogs, a couple of cats, ferrets, and pet rats, a few snakes, and a parrot. Not to mention that medieval fairs have been known to have time-travelling steampunks crash through on occasion….so please stop on by!
The Gentlemanly Art of Preparing and Tying the Cravat: A Workshop: April 6—New York, NY
The cravat is, by definition, the original form of neck wear. It’s what ties and bow ties evolved from. The 19th century was a time of innovation, including new cravat knots. In this two hour class you will not only explore a brief history of the cravat but you will make your very own and learn to prepare the various knots, including the Gordian, Mathematical, and Oriental. Tickets for this class are $20.00. This covers all your material fees.
Drinkin’ for Science: A Tesla Museum Benefit: April 6—Piscataway, NJ
We begin with our hero Nikola Tesla, a super-genius whose intellect placed him between “great scientific mind” and “utter madness.” He held 700 patents at the time of his death, made groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of physics, robotics, steam turbine engineering, magnetism and THE DEATH RAY! One of the greatest scientific minds of his time…AND WE’RE GONNA ROAST HIM! This charity event is a fundraiser to restore the laboratory of the Tesla Science Center and help it on its way to becoming a science museum.
“Spring in Sepia” Concert: April 13—Everett, WA
Abney Park and Steam Powered Giraffe in concert Everett, WA
Steam Voyager—a Tram Traveller’s Adventure!: April 13—Amsterdam, The Netherlands
An exciting adventure—experience a ride as it was, in early 1900s! See Amsterdam from a different view point, as our ancestors saw it, on board of brand new invention—an electro-tram! Together with the museum of Electro-Trams in Amsterdam, we are offering you a truly unique experience—a ride in the old tram from early XX century!
Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, Jaggery, Unwoman & DJ TeslaRose: April 13—San Francisco, CA
It’s a Steampunk/Neo-cabaret /ton of fun that defies description. There ain’t no way you’re going to find something better to do on a Monday night, so mark your calendars now. The doors open at 8. Tickets are $12 and can be bought here.
The Time Lord’s Costume Ball for Fans of Doctor Who& a Time Lord’s Family Costume Party at Whimsic Alley: April 13—14—Los Angeles, CA
The 13th event is a Doctor Who-themed costume ball; complete with open bar, hors d’oeuvres, dancing, prizes, a photo booth and more. For Sunday the 14th’s event, you may grab the kids, get dressed up Doctor Who-style and enjoy an afternoon with games, prizes, the partaking of a light lunch and way too many sweets. Start working on your Doctor Who costumes now!
The Artist’s Promenade: April 20th—Salt Lake City, UT
Crafting is not only an important part of the Utah scene, but it is one of the most important staples of the Steampunk culture! Add some excellent performances to wrap up the evening and you have The Artisan’s Promenade. Coming April 20, 2013 and starting at 11:00 am and running until Midnight, this event will celebrate the crafting and creating of Utah’s Steampunk and Neo-Victorian social scene. Here the public can purchase some of your most prized trinkets throughout the day, then come 8:00 pm guests can join us for music and dancing as we wrap up the days work. Admission is free between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm.
“Steampunk: Nature & Machine” Exhibit at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum: April 25 through June 15—Norwalk, CT
Art called Steampunk that has influenced everything from product design to fashion to fine art will be on display at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum’s this spring. This design movement features a neo-vintage twist on 19th century industrialized looks and Victorian decorative motifs. Steampunk: Nature & Machine, will open on April 25th with a reception from 6:00-8:00 pm, and will run until June 15th. This is the first exhibit dedicated to Steampunk art in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
2nd Annual NYC 19th Century Extravaganza: April 26—28—New York City, NY
Welcome to the 2nd annual New York City 19th Century Extravaganza! The Extravaganza is a three-day, all-ages expo featuring historically-focused classes, hands-on experiences, and performances highlighting nineteenth-century life in New York City. The festival culminates in a full-day of Victorian-style picnicking, performances, and celebration on the lawn of Brooklyn’s Old Stone House and Washington Park! More information can be found on their website.
Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition : April 26—28—Santa Clara, CA
The time has come to explore new, uncharted lands, to seek your fortune and adventure in the vast expanses of our known and unknown universe… to trip the light fandango on the dusty red surface of Mars, join a safari in the swamps of Venus, hunt leviathan on Jupiter and race your aerial chariot around the wild rings of Saturn… the possibilities are limitless, as Nova Albion presents: Steampunks in Space!
We shall present the Foremost Authorities to enlighten and enrich you, provide Grand Entertainments for your amusement and edification, and fill our market stalls with Fine Purveyors of exotic artifacts, rich clothing and jewels, the newest ingenious gadgets, sturdy exploration gear and more.
Wild West Fest: April 27—Calico Ghost Town, Yermo, CA
Celebrate all things Steampunk in the streets of a real Ghost Town! O?n Saturday, April 27, take an early morning flight on AIRSHIPS (aka hot air balloons!) by members of the Southern California Balloon Association. They will fly high above the Calico Mountains and serve as a festive beginning to a memorable day. Join us as the “old meets the new” in an exciting day filled with gunfights, period music, quick draw exhibits, panels,fashions and more! The celebration goes all day with performances by Steampunk theater groups, displays of Steampunk art, clothing, literary readings and many vendors sharing their wares. The day ends with live music and dancing in the streets of the old town…just the way it used to be.
Queen Victoria’s Floating Garden of Secrets and Natural Wonders (showcase Performance): April 27—Boulder, CO
Swordfighting pirate lasses in petticoats. Sexy singing sirens. Music that’s gorgeous, silly and clever by turn. If you enjoy a rollicking spectacle, you’ll want to steam your airship over to Queen Victoria’s Floating Garden of Secrets and Natural Wonders, a steampunk operetta a la Gilbert & Sullivan by Mary Lin and Ben Sargent. We’re gearing up for our most extravagant spectacle ever. Presented by Luminous Thread Productions at the Dairy Center for the Arts.