Looking to get more into steampunk for 2012? You’re just in time for my annual steampunk conventions listing. Last year, we had 25 steampunk and steam-relevant conventions advertised. This year, the number has expanded to 32, including several ones outside of the United States. But, of course, new conventions are popping up all the time, so if I had missed yours, please drop a comment (and email me about featuring it for my monthly steampunk events roundup).
Her Royal Majesty’s Steampunk Symposium – Jan 13 16, Long Beach, CA.
This first-year convention is taking place on the cruise-ship-turned-hotel, the Queen Mary. Featured guests include John Magnificent, Unwoman, Veronique Chevalier, 6 String Samurai (the band), and the creative team behind the steampunk webseries Mantecoza.
Clockwork Con – Jan 20 -22, Austin, TX
According to its website: “Clockwork Con is a 3-day Steampunk convention located in Austin, Texas. In addition to a variety of panels on all things Steampunk, live crafting demonstrations, and a variety of unique vendors, this event will also feature two nights of performances and musical acts to satisfy both your eyes and ears.” Featuring guest musicians Steam Powered Giraffe, Marquis de Vaudeville, Bones Jangle, and guests Airship Isabella, O.M.Grey, Emperor of the Red Fork Empire, and Mr Saturday & Sixpence.
TempleCon – Feb 3-5, Warwick, RI
Now in its 7th year, this retrofuturistic gaming convention will have a “post-apocalypse” theme this year, “From the clean lines of the iconic vault suits of Raygun Gothic inspired Fallout, to the studded leather-and-steel chic look of Mad Max and other assorted post-nuclear fiction, we want to see you here looking like you just survived the end of the world, whatever that world may be.” Featured guests include the band Psyche Corporation, performers The Wandering Legion of the Thomas Tew, game developer Jason Soles, and author CJ Henderson.
Anachrocon – Feb 24-26, Atlanta, GA
This alternate history convention is small but always packed full of worthy guests and performers. This year boasts 16 musical guests (including The Extraordinary Contraptions, Eli August, Dr. Q, Frenchy and the Punk, Carnival Epsilon, The Vauxhall Garden Variety Players), author O.M. Grey, maker Thomas Willeford of Brute Force Leather, and artist Mark Helwig.
AnomalyCon – March 23-25, Denver, CO
Florida Steampunk Exhibition East April 13 15 – Daytona Beach, FL
Just announced, this will be Florida’s first steampunk convention. More details to come on the Florida Steampunk Society’s Facebook page.
Victoria Steam Expo III – April 21-22, Victoria, B.C.
Steampunk Empire Symposium – April 27-29, Cincinnati, Ohio
From the founders of the popular steampunk social networking site The Steampunk Empire, comes the real-life “crossroads of the aether.” Featured guests include Leanna Rene Heiber, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Myke Amend, Lex Machina, Frenchy & the Punk, and This Way to Egress.
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.
AetherFest – May 4-6 , San Antonio, Texas
From its website: “ÆtherFest is Texasoldest three-day steampunk “unconventional people’s convention” and festival!. Its full of all the panels, workshops, musical events, performers, vendors and wonderful people from the Steampunk community you expect to find at any such convention in an exceedingly historic and immersive hotel environment with an intimate and casual atmosphere for all to enjoy.”
Gaslight Gathering II – May 11-13, San Diego, CA
Southern California’s First Steampunk and Victorian convention is planning for a “journey to the center of the Earth.” Guests are to be announced soon, but it looks like it’s going to be an interesting con, featuring maker workshops, teas, and a Victorian swimsuit competition (oh my )
International Steampunk City – May 12-13, Waltham, MA
From its website: “Citizens and visitors to the beautiful and historic city of Waltham, Massachusettsmay attend a festival like no other. InternationalSteampunkCity, presented by the Charles RiverMuseumof Industry & Innovation, is a sort of Ringling Brothers meets the Industrial Revolution event that encompasses the entire downtown.”
Waltz On The Wye Steampunk Festival – May 18-20, Chepstow, Wales
Waltz on the Wye is Wales’ first Steampunk and Neo-Victorian Festival, based in the beautiful Medieval town of Chepstow, which is located on the River Wye on the England/Wales border.
Steampunk World’s Fair -May 18-20, Piscataway, NJ
Now in its 3rd year, the Steampunk World’s Fair is back under the management of one of its original founders, Jeff Mach. From its website: “At The Steampunk World’s Fair you’ll find more performers and shows than ANYWHERE in the Steampunk nation—all in a friendly, welcoming festival atmosphere!”
World Steam Expo – May 25-28, Deerborn, MI
From its website: “The Premier Steampunk event of the Midwest. 120 years in the making, we’re striving to bring forth an event the likes the world has yet to witness, from special guests, unique programming, concerts, contests & more.”
Clockwork Alchemy – May 25-28, San Jose, CA From its website:
“FanimeCon, in partnership with the Steam Federation, is proud to announce Clockwork Alchemy. This new venue for Steampunk will be held concurrently with FanimeCon during Memorial Day weekend.”
Steampunk Industrial Revolution – June 8-10, Nashua, NH
Steampunk Industrial Revolution aims to bring together fans of steampunk from throughout New England in camaraderie. From maker to literary scholar, cosplayer to cabaret band, there is a place for everyone. Brought to you by The Wandering Legion of the Thomas Tew and staff from the well-known New England event Another Anime Convention. The theme for this con’s second year will be “Year of the Dragon.”
ConTemporal June 21 – 24 – Raleigh, NC
North Carolina’s first ever steampunk convention. From its website: “ConTemporal is a new experiential SF/Steampunk convention being held in June 2012 at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel. Our first year finds the temporally-challenged port city inadvertently stabilized in the Golden Age of Piracy. Come find out what happens when Steampunk meets Renaissance.”
San Diego Comic Con– July 12-15, San Diego, CA
Comic-Con International: San Diego (Comic-Con), the largest convention of its kind in the world, is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
Miscellarium 2012 -Aug 11-12, Seaburn Centre, Sunderland, UK
From its website: “Miscellarium is the first of it’s kind, a wonderful two-day celebration of all things creative and wonderful. A variety of themes will be present for all to enjoy over the weekend including steampunk, science-fiction, goth, RPG, gaming, innovations and inventions.”
Portland GEAR Con – Aug 17-19 , Portland, OR
From its website: “Portland’s Gaslight Explorers, Adventurers, & Romantics Convention is a celebration of steampunk and neo-Victoriana in the Pacific Northwest, taking place over three days in Portland, Oregon.”
The Alternative History Track at Dragon*Con – Aug 31 – Sept 3, Atlanta, GA
From its website: “Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!” The Alternative History Track is the premiere place where steampunks and retrofuturists of all sort gather.
Asylum – Sept 6-9, Lincoln, England, UK
Europe’s long-running steampunk convention is back for its 4th year. From its website: “One of the biggest steampunk events in the World it benefits from the backdrop of the beautiful and historic City of Lincoln, which has welcomed us since 2009.”
ESC – European Steampunk Convention -Sept 29-30, throughout Europe
The most ambitious steampunk convention of 2012, easily enough: they propose to get as many steampunk-themed pub moots, concerts, meetings, LARPs and whatever else the scene has to offer in each participating country. Then they’ll connect them all via the ætherweb and turn them into one major event spreading across Europe.
ESC – European Steampunk Convention – Luxembourg – Sept 29-30, Luxembourg
Not many details yet, but they do have a trailer up about this in the above link.
Upstate Steampunk Extravaganza And Meet-Up – Sept 30 – Oct 2, Anderson, SC
From its website: “Join us for a weekend of Steam. There will be academic panels for those of a scholarly nature and classes for those that are more fun oriented. There will be vendors, a drum circle, and the Upstate Steampunk Ball. There will be costume contests and the crowning of Mr. and Ms. Upstate Steampunk. Break out your best goggles, your spats, your hooped skirts, and your sense of humor and prepare to party like it’s 1899.”
Four Winds/The Wild, Wild West Steampunk Fest – Oct 13-14, Troup, TX
Associated with the Four Winds Renaissance Fair. From its website: “C’mon and join our ho-down partner. There’s a heapin’ helpin’ of family fun waitin’ for ya at the Wild Wild West Festival. You are cordially invited to the Steampunk Festival. You should attend if your tastes run toward Victorian era niceties, or steam powered gadgets.“
OctopodiCon 2012 – Oct 5 – 7, Oklahoma City, OK
This steampunk convention is named after the eight subsections the con is divided in, making sure that whether you’re a maker, writer, artist, costumer, or a fan you’ll be able to find everything you’d want. Featured guests include Professor Elemental, Dr. Grymm, Peter Pixie, Tom Smith, and Ay-leen the Peacemaker.
Steamcon IV : Victorian Monsters – Oct 26-28, 2012 Seattle, WA
The US’s oldest continuously-running steampunk convention has an intriguing theme for 2012: “Join us as we explore all the classic monsters born in he Victorian Era in true steampunk style.”
Emerald City Steampunk Expo November (dates TBA), Wichita, Kansas
Kansas’s premiere steampunk convention returns for its second year.
III Convencion Steampunk y Retrofuturista November (dates TBA), Barcelona, Spain
Spain’s steampunk convention returns for a second year.
Teslacon III : “A Trip to the Moon” – Nov 30 – Dec 2, Madison, WI
TeslaCon II took steampunks around the world and for 2012 they are breaking the stratosphere and reaching for the stars. The US’s first self-declared “all-immersive convention” returns for Year Three.
Ay-leen the Peacemaker is packing her bags already. 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.