October has always been a big month for steampunk events (must be the “dressing-up” appeal). From conventions to lectures to picnics to Halloween balls, we have a list of noteworthy events, assembled with the help from Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and Mr. Jordan Bodewell of Sepiachord.com and VictorianAdventureEnthusiast.com.
Want to see your event here? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org before October 15th to get your event name-dropped for next month.
Descriptions are taken from the event’s website or Facebook unless stated otherwise.
The Airship Ambassador recommends:
October 11-13—Alingsas, Sweden
We want to create a meeting place for all of Sweden’s steampunk enthusiasts and everyone who is just curious or interested in the genre. There will be costume shows, exibitions, live bands, workshops, film showings, live action role-play, a market and much more
The convention also coincides with the events Lights in Alingsås och Alingsås Kulturnatta (“Alingsås Cultural Night”) which, this year, is steampunk-themed in honour of the convention. This means that the full programme of Kulturnatta will be open to all participants in the convention, and the visitors of Kulturnatta will be able to visit the steampunk convention during parts of the Saturday!
Teslacon IV—The Congress of Steam
October 31st–November 3rd—Madison, WI
The host, Lord Bobbins, says: “Beginning on October 31st, we shall travel by Romanian airways to Olso, Norway. Or, as I like to say, we go Rome-ways to Norways. Who doesn’t love Norway? On Thursday, we will partake of spooky, Victorian flavor all afternoon, leading us to a lively Halloween suaré in the evening. Friday, we shall land in Olso (barring any mid-air Zeppelin accidents or the odd gust of wind that might take us off-course and find us settled in Russia or—even worse—Belgium!) and the Congress shall commence! We shall seek to better understand our world and to find new ways to make it more interesting and inventive for all of us to better participate in the future of Steampunk.”
2013 Multiple Sclerosis Fantasy Ball
October 26th—Michael’s Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, MD
Grab your goggles and gloves, your mask and wings, your best evening wear, or any other disguise, and make plans to attend the event of the season!
Jordan Bodewell recommends:
October 12th—Wellington, New Zealand
I strongly believe that for steampunk to have a future it has to be on the local and personal level. You don’t need a big event, or famous names. You need a love of steampunk and a little drive to do something where you live. I’ll never make it to New Zealand, I’ll never meet the folks behind this event… but, I wish them all the luck with their one day, reasonably priced home-town event. Cheers!
The Mahogany Masquerade: A Night of Steamfunk and Film
October 25th—Atlanta, GA
How does this *not* sound like a wonderful time?: “Steamfunk, Dieselfunk and Rococoa costumes for an unforgettable night of cosplay, short films, engaging chats with other Steamfunkateers and, of course, partying into the wee hours of the night.” If I lived on that side of the country there’s no way you could keep me from being there!
October 25th–27th—Bellevue, WA
Steamcon returns for its fifth uninterrupted year of bringing steampunk goodness to the Seattle area (and the world at large). This time it mines both the exotic (with its theme of “Around the World”) and the traditional (seminal steampunks Abney Park return to headline the event’s concert).
Additional Events Around the World:
Dead Man’s Carnival
October 4th—Milwaukee, MI
Proudly hosted at The Historic Miramar Theater on Milwaukee’s Eastside just south of the major intersection of Oakland and Locust. While from the outside it may appear to be like any other building, I assure you it is not. For many it is a portal into another world. A place where the impossible is able to exist, if only for a moment at a time. A window opens for just one night that looks on to one of the last strongholds of the legacy of the Golden Era of Early American Vaudeville, Circus, and Burlesque.
Safari to Boscobel
October 5th—Cold Spring, NY
Join us Saturday Oct. 5 as we head to the historic Boscobel mansion in Cold Spring along the Hudson River and explore the picturesque village of Cold Spring itself.Those going by train will meet under the clocks at Grand Central Terminal. We will then catch the 9:43 Hudson Line train to Cold Spring. Cost of the tickets is $13.25 one way. It is a short walk to the village from the train station where we can take a trolley to Boscobel.
For those bringing picnic lunches there will be at least one vehicle to assist in transport. The historic village of Cold Spring has restaurants and lots of antique shops. For those arriving by car, there is free parking at the train station, or at Boscobel. There is 2-hour parking on Main Street.
International Steampunk City at Speedwell II: A Steampunk Benefit
October 11th—Morristown, NJ
Steampunk is a whimsical genre based around the Age of Steam. Steam City is a little like a Renaissance Faire, only focused on a 19th-century world of mad science and madcap adventure. All are welcome!! Come dressed any way you’d like—and you don’t need to know anything special or be part of any group or organization. Come out, bring your family, have some fun, meet nice people, and support a fantastic cause! The event benefits its location: Historic Speedwell—birthplace of the telegraph!
Occult Beliefs in the 19th Century: A Panel Discussion
October 19th—Tompkins Square Library, New York, NY
The 19th century was a time of extraordinary scientific and technical advancements, but it also was witness to a new found interest in the occult.With this special panel discussion the society will be hosting three experts on occult beliefs and superstitions of the nineteenth century. From the common to the arcane, join us as we delve into the realms of spirit photography, presidential hauntings, and even the lost continent of Atlantis.
Haunted Hautery: A Neo-Victorian Fashion Event October 24th, 7-11 PM—New York, NY at the Fat Black Pussy Cat
Hosted by The Set, a fashion networking party for those interested in steampunk! The event runs from 7pm until 11pm. Featuring Katherine Gleason, author of Anatomy of Steampunk. Free before 9 PM; $5 after.
Gears and Beers
October 26th—Cincinnati, OH
Join Cincinnati Museum Center for Gears & Beers, our first ever Bavarian Steampunk Microbrew event! This Oktoberfest season, you are invited to enjoy a steampunk-inspired evening on the Public Landing of the Cincinnati History Museum, complete with live entertainment and a costume and gadget parade. But wait, there’s more! What could possibly make this better? How about having a microbrew in hand? Spend the evening discussing and partaking in different beers with local microbrew artisans.
Gothic Horrors at Aunt Martha’s Tea-Rooms: Chepstow & Area Steampunk Society Meet-up
October 26th—Drybrook, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
An evening of spooky tales and four course meal at Aunt Martha’s. £15 per head, 50% deposit required at time of booking. If veggie is required, just tell them on the booking form. Booking form is in the files section of the group page. Zoe and I will definitely be going, a damn fine excuse to wear my mourning ensemble and drag the Ben Nye out the cupboard.
Retro-Futuristic Worlds of Steam and Diesel Funk
October 26th—Atlanta, Georgia at the Auburn Avenue Research Library
Continue the cosplay fun and excitement from the Mahogany Masquerade the night before and join authors Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade, contributing editors of the “Steamfunk” anthology and creators of the Steamfunk feature film, “Rite of Passage” and famed Steampunk maker and cosplayer, Mark Curtis, for a discussion on Steamfunk and Dieselfunk and the long ignored stories of the Black experience during the Victorian Era and the Great World Wars told through retrofuturistic Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Steampunk Picnic in Prospect Park
October 26th—Brooklyn, NY
Come and spend a relaxed, casual afternoon in the company of local steampunks!Bring a blanket, food (enough to share would be great, but is neither expected nor required), and your favorite piece of steampunk or Victorian literature, poetry, art, musical instruments, or personal projects to read aloud/show off. Steampunk attire encouraged, but not required.
White Mischief presents The Births, Marriages & Deaths Ball
October 26th—Scala in London, England, United Kingdom
A spine-tinglingly spooky multi-room bash featuring live music, cabaret, circus, storytelling interactive theatre including SHOTGUN WEDDINGS, YOUR DEATH CERTIFICATE and more. Part of the London Steampunk Halloween Weekend, with Victoriana: The Art of Revival and The London Steampunk Market.
The New Venetian Halloween Carnival: With Special Guest Jean-Christophe Valtat – October 31 at 7:00pm – New York, NY
Free event at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street). Break out your best petticoat and your most festive cravat, dust off your dirigible piloting trophies and crack open a tin of your favorite mustache wax: Melville House is throwing a steampunk-themed Halloween party at Housing Works Bookstore this year. Join authors, musicians, and every single pair of old-timey goggles this city can muster for a take on steampunk that’ll have the ghost of Verne grinning.
The costume contest will be judged by Katherine Gleason, author of Anatomy of Steampunk: The Fashion of Victorian Futurism.
Jordan (Mr.) Bodewell is editor/curator of Sepiachord.com and VictorianAdventureEnthusiast.com. He’s been DJing since the 80s (yikes!), has put on music events in the Midwest and the Seattle area, and has lectured on the pop culture and assorted musical genres (punk, ska, rockabilly, steampunk) at Universities and conventions. In his free time he watches antique episodes of Doctor Who, attempts to write role-playing games and explores the weird(er) parts of the Pacific Northwest.