May has always been a popular time of year for steampunk fests, this year being no exception. Conventions large and small abound: attend a steampunk con to help support women fighting cancer in West Virginia. Party like its 1899 at the Steampunk World’s fair in New Jersey. For the international folks, check out conventions and events in New Zealand, Germany, and France. As always, Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador brings the best that the aethernetz are touting; we’re also joined by guest contributor author and editor Sarah Hans.
Want to be featured here next month? Send the details over to [email protected] by May 15th and give a shout-out in the comments below.
All descriptions are taken from the event website or Facebook unless otherwise noted.
The Airship Ambassador Recommends:
May 2-4—Parkersburg, West Virginia
Vandalia-Con is a Steampunk/ Science Fiction Convention that raises funds to provide uninsured West Virginia women with screening, diagnostic and treatment services for Breast and Cervical Cancer. In her lifetime a woman has a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. That is why we are calling on all those who would be Heroes of Vandalia to join us for a fun-filled weekend that celebrates the rich history of West Virginia and our contribution to Steampunk, while using our love of this genre to create a brighter future for WV women. 100% of proceeds from Vandalia-Con will be donated to the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program & Bonnie’s Bus, state-wide programs that provide patient services for uninsured and underinsured WV women. Won’t you join us in this fight, and become a Hero of Vandalia!
May 3-4—Stade, Germany
Welcome to the third annual steampunk cultural festival AETHERCIRCUS! The venue is the fortress “Grauerort” near Stade, about an hour from Hamburg. There will be concerts of different music and performance groups from Europe and abroad, as well as workshops, exhibitions, and readings. A market, fire show, costumed performers round out the AETHERCIRCUS experience. The sandy beach of the Elbe, which is located right outside of the Grauerort’s front doors, will be available for use this weekend too.
Steampunk World’s Fair
May 16-18 — Piscataway, NJ
The Steampunk World’s Fair is not a convention—it’s a rambunctious and uncontainable Festival! With one of the largest lineups of performance, vending, and entertainment anywhere, it’s a little like a Renaissance Faire, but full of Steampunk treasures, other splendid things, a sense of humor, and scones—lots of scones.
Sarah Hans Recommends:
Cincinnati Steampunk Salon
May 3—Cincinnati, Ohio
Every month the genteel members of the League of Cincinnati Steampunks meet at a local historical pub for drinks and conversation. This month’s meeting on the third floor of Molly Malone’s will feature an extra-special electric violin performance by Emily King and a DJ spinning until 2:00 am. Even though the salon will be on the third floor, an elevator makes it accessible to all.
The Privateer’s Promenade
May 17—Columbus, Ohio
The Airship Archon, one of the world’s largest and oldest steampunk communities, invites you to enjoy an evening of ribaldry featuring the magical stylings of Magician and Comedian Erik Tait. The event also includes a performance by firedancer Lindsay Nova, burlesque by The Ooh La Las, and fortune-telling by Meag the Happy Medium. The venue, the incredible Ace of Cups, serves both delectable drinks and delicious food. Last year’s event was the talk of the Midwest, so don’t miss this year’s exciting lineup! The Promenade is an 18+ event.
Ye Olde Yellow Cabaret
May 24—Dayton, Ohio
The Airship Passepartout is a ship well-known around the Midwest for throwing truly memorable convention parties. With three live musical acts, dancers and burlesque performances, as well as ten vendors, Ye Olde Yellow Cabaret promises to be another unforgettable night. This event is BYOB and 21+ only.
Cog County Faire
May 30—Montello, Wisconsin
Hosted by the White Lake Beach Resort, the Cog County Faire is a weekend-long event for steampunks looking for a truly immersive experience. The weekend includes everything from boat tours to carnival games to late-night parties. The entire weekend costs only $35 per person for the event (room and board separate)!
Additional Events Around the World:
Art of Victorian Futurism
Now through May 18—Seoul, South Korea.
South Korea’s first exhibit about featuring over a dozen artists, including James Ng, Art Donovan, and more.
Steampunk Springfield: Re-Imagining an Industrial City
Now through Sept 28—Springfield Museum, Springfield, MA
Fantastical large-scale exhibits and happenings guest curated by Steampunk visionary Bruce Rosenbaum.
Gaslight Gathering 4
May 2-4 — San Diego, CA
Guests of Honor include the world-famous Professor Elemental, Cherie Priest, Ramona Szczerba, and Dan Benedict!
Victorian Steampunk Picnic: May edition
May 6—Parc Saint Pierre, Chemin de Halage, Amiens, France
Together last year nearly 140 participants, this year we hope to see you many more. See you May 4, 2014 from 11am to 17:30. More details on our Facebook page.
Steamfunk at Eagle-Con
May 8—9 — Los Angeles, CA
Eagle-Con is a 2-day event that brings together indie comics, superheroes, critical thinking, and an insider’s view of this highly creative industry. Nested on the campus of Cal State L.A., home of the “Golden Eagles,” Eagle-Con will explore issues of race, gender, orientation, identity, and representation in comic books while also celebrating the boundless imagination of artists and writers that turns “ordinary humans” into life-long devotees of the superhero/ine.
Fabulous steamfunkateer founder Balogun Ojetade, of the Chronicles of Harriet, will be coming to Southern California next month! Steamfunk is an increasingly popular style of art and writing and a rapidly-growing area of study that combines the existing world of “steampunk” with the history and context of the African and African-American cultures. This introduction to the world of steam funk is presented by two of the foremost leading authorities on the subject.
Balogun will be screening the new steamfunk movie “Rite of Passage”! (Thursday, May 8, 2014 (2:30—3:05p) 1st Floor | U-SU | Theatre) He will also be on a Steamfunk 101 panel discussion afterwards (Thursday, May 8, 2014 (4:30—4:20p) 3rd Floor | U-SU | Alhambra Room) Tickets can be bought here.
Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys at the Middle East
May 9—Boston, MA
Full Scene Ahead Presents: Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys, Planetoid, The Yer Moms, Dave Crespo’s After Party, The Daley Grimes.
Flint Steampunk Goblin Market & Mechanical Masquerade
May 10—Flint, Michigan
Madic Industries is bringing Flint Michigan it’s very first all-day steampunk event. The first part of the day will feature The Steampunk Goblin Market from 10am—5pm where vendors from all over will be showcasing their wares. Entry to the Goblin Market is free. While the vendors are breaking down if any of you don’t want to go looking for dinner, one will be provided for purchase at the space. There will be vegan options available.
Mechanical Masquerade will start at 8pm and last till 1am. Come dressed in your most impressive gear. It doesn’t matter if you are new to steampunk either. We’re sure you can find things to enhance your outfit at the Goblin Market, but rock that formal gown or prom dress if you have it. How often do you get to dress to the nines in this day and age? Exactly, so might as well make the most of it. There will be door prizes and awards for best dressed male and female and best dressed couple. There will be a cash bar and amazing entertainment for your viewing and dancing pleasure.
Steampunks explore the Art of Edward Gorey
May 10—Chicago, IL
Steampunks meet for “an in-depth look at this artist whose work was known for cautionary tales, dry wit, and characters costumed in the Edwardian style. Gorey’s legacy is shown through the hundreds of original drawings, works, and illustrations, and ephemera of popular culture included in the two exhibitions.”
Marquis of Vaudeville at Trees with Genitorturers
May 16—Dallas, TX
Marquis of Vaudeville is known the world over for their progressive, psychedelic, punk cabaret stylings, fusing timeworn elements of the old world with newfangled innovation, and due to the music’s mysterious, yet playful nature, they have befittingly dubbed the style “melodic mischief.”
Stonefield Wild West Steampunk Festival
May 23-25—Cassville, WI
Come be a part of our patron’s Steampunk Fashion Exhibition, participate in an old fashioned hootenany or pull up a chair and compete in the Tombstone poker tournament. We’ll have hatmaking, saloon singing, an inventor’s exhibition and more. There’s something for everyone, from books, to movies, to quilting bees. This is your chance to become a real part of the action. Walk the streets of Town, shop the dozens of shops and visit the Country Fair and Market. See blacksmithing, riding demonstrations and more.
May 23 -26—San Jose, CA
Planned events include the return of favorites from last year such as the dirigible races, hands-on workshops, Emperor Norton’s Ball, the steampunk film festival, the beloved tea room, and our concert, Aural Alchemy, featuring amazing acts to be announced soon. Other astounding events are also in the works and will be hailed across the aether in the immediate future, as will the evolving guest roster of remarkable writers, artists, and makers.
And don’t forget, your membership also gets you into our sister convention FanimeCon! So you get two remarkable events for the price of one and get twice the fun! So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right this way and welcome to Clockwork Alchemy!
Steampunk NZ Festival
May 30—June 2—Oamaru, New Zealand
The Steampunk NZ Festival happens every year on 1st weekend of June to celebrate all things steampunk. Oamaru is the Steampunk Capital of New Zealand and becoming the Mecca of the Steampunk World. Includes: literary readings Early Settlers Hall, Airship Crew Mess Dinner at Fleur’s Loan and Merc Restaurant, Airship racing and Music Madness, Steampunk Around the World and Steampunk Fashion Lecture by Neave R. Willoughby & Simone Monty at The Early Settlers Hall, The Pinnacle of weekend the Fashion Show Oamaru Club and the Gala Ball
2014 Steampunk NZ Festival: Ballroom Dance Class
May 31—Oamaru, New Zealand
This is a chance to get the feet in step with 2 of the best dance instructors in NZ. Madeline Alred and Mike Birnie have been professional dancers on the World Stage. They have developed a Steampunk Ballroom Dance. In this workshop you will be given the basics of several dances so that when the time comes at the Dinner show and Gala Ball you may confidently put your foot forward in time to the music. Places are strictly limited so first in best foot forward!
Steampunk World of Wonderland
May 31—Wonderland Amusement Park, Amarillo, Texas
Hosted by Amarillo Steampunk. Featured Guests: Airship Isabella, Mad Raven Productions, Carnival Epsilon, Coyote’s Fortune. Musical Guest Marquis of Vaudeville. More than 15 vendors from across the country including artisans of various styles offering clothing, armor, accessories, and much more.
Sarah Hans is an author, editor and educator. Her short stories have appeared in a dozen publications, and she is the editor of the multicultural anthology Steampunk World. She is also a member of the Airship Archon’s command staff and frequently travels to steampunk conventions around the midwest.