Steampunk conventions are rolling in like wildfire this June. Take a trip to Scandinavia to attend festivals in Iceland or Sweden, or head further south for convivials in the UK or Italy. Stateside, party during a retro-futuristic club night in Los Angeles, check out the newest steampunk artworks in Colorado, or attend your nearest local event in Washington, Michigan, or North Carolina.
With the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our guest contributor steampunk DJ and director of The Artifice Club, Doctor Q, check out some of the most exciting happenings to kick off the summer.
Want to be featured here next month? Send the details over to [email protected] by June 15th or 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:
Steampunk: History of the Future exhibit at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, June 6 – Sept 6, Pueblo, Colorado, USA.
An invitational exhibition of some of the most prominent steampunk artists from around the world, including Eric Freitas, Nemo Gould, Andrew Chase, Francesca Forzoni, and more. Get lost in the innovation and remarkable imaginations of these denizen artists of steampunk.
Steampunk Fest Roma – The Capital Steam Fair, June 6 – 8, Rome, Italy.
Entertainment, guests, fashion shows and cosplay outfits, Market, meetings with authors and win great prizes including a trip to London for two.
Steampunk Doncaster, June 21 – 22, Doncaster, United Kingdom
Steampunk Doncaster Tiffin in the Park is Doncaster’s very own steampunk festival held over two days in June. Featuring steampunk vendors, a film festival, fashion show, gaming rooms, and much more.
Swecon 2014 Steampunk Festival, June 27 – 29, Gavle, Sweden
“It is our goal to to make this festival a special, perhaps unique, opportunity to combine technology, history, DIY and handicraft culture, and fantasy’s possibilities to stretch the borders of what we are accustomed to. But first and foremost, we want it to be a meeting place for our shared passions and for such interests that might not overlap, but that can serve as a sounding board for each other.” Featuring guests Cory Doctorow, Steampunk Emma Goldman, Mike Perschon, and Chris Wooding.
Steampunk Festival – Iceland, June 27 – 29, Vesturbyggð Westfjords, Iceland
“All the southern part of the west fjords called Vesturbyggð will turn into the principality of Bildalia for the whole weekend. There are going to be all sorts of incredible happenings. Steampunk movies at the cinema in Patreksfjordur, exhibitions, concerts, street-theatre, gothic Monster-ball at the Sea monster museum and tours around this beautiful territory. The coronation of the king and queen of Bildalia and the Barn-ball where the participants will have the opportunity to dance with princes and princesses, barons, counts, heroins and heroes of the Bildalian elite.”
Doctor Q Recommends:
The Brass Screw Crew Confederacy, June 6 – 8, Port Townsend, Washington
Why Doctor Q Recommends This: The Brass Screw Confederacy is a takeover of a small town in the Pacific Northwest, in which steampunks descend into the town and hold a series of lectures, competitions, and gatherings. Join the Brass Screw folks as they ‘octopi’ Port Townsend (their words, not mine, but brilliant). While not a Con, per se, they have feature guests of honor, such as Diana Vick and Phil Foglio, a vendor bazaar, fashion contest and even a series of events at the local pubs and bars. Ticketing comes in all manner of forms, so there is bound to be something that meets your budget, and be sure not to miss Saturday night’s Steampunk Hootenanny!
SteamTopia, June 12 – 14, Dearborn/Detroit, Michigan
Why Doctor Q Recommends This: Full disclosure: I’m a guest at this show, so I may be a bit biased. However, for those who are unfamiliar with this scene, it all began with World Steam Expo. Then came Up in the Aether, and now SteamTopia. Regardless of name, the hallmark of this show is the people. Featuring makers, costumers, literary guests, and musicians galore—it is a wonderful experience of Steampunk in the Midwest. You are sure to have a remarkable time as the organizers of this event endeavor to create a SteamTopia full of wonder and delight. And trust me, when you get three Steampunk DJs together in one place…. it’s magic.
ConTemporal, June 27 – 29, Raleigh, North Carolina
Why Doctor Q Recommends This: I promise I’m not just suggesting shows I’ll be at. But you must understand, this Convention made such an impression that I have been singing it’s praises since it began two years ago. ConTemporal is an “experiential” convention. There’s a plot and story that run throughout each year for those that want to participate, and each and every aspect of the show is focused on engaging the participants. Be it through panels and workshops from such guests as Dave Lee or Aleta Pardalis, or through touring the speakeasy, you’re sure to have a great time exposed to the best Southern Steampunk has to offer.
Additional Events Around the World
Steam Dream Expo, June 20 – 22, The Olde World Village, Augusta, MI
“In the year of 2014, on the days of June 20 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., June 21 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and June 22 noon – 6 p.m., the Steam Dream Expo will be returning to The Olde World Village. There will be live entertainment, great shopping and so much more. Be sure not to miss it, this year looks to be a vast expansion from last year. General admission is only $10 and children 12 and under are free! General admission tickets are currently available at www.oldeworldvillage.com under the store tab, and if you’re purchasing early, there is currently a presale special! Presale online discount general admission tickets will only be available until May 20th.”
Steampunk Los Angeles, June 21, Los Angeles, CA
“An all ages event featuring over 50 Artists, plus Vendors, Food, Gadgets, and Live Body Painting. Featuring the musical talent of Steam Powered Giraffe, Sammy and the Addiction, Noah and the Megafauna, The Bluelight Trio, and MTBA.”
Ay-leen the Peacemaker (or in other speculative lights, Diana M. Pho) works at Tor Books, runs the multicultural steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana, pens academic things, and tweets. Oh wait, she has a tumblr too.
Doctor Q is the executive director for The Artifice Club, a steampunk and vintage arts non-profit. In addition, he is also a DJ, panelist, MC, and director of the Alternate History Track at the largest fan-run convention in the world, Dragon Con. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or if you’re musically inclined, on SoundCloud.