Summer steampunk is underway for July. Dance the night away at full costume balls in Cornwell, England or Brisbane, Australia. Discover the Lost Circus or a secret speakeasy in New York City. Learn how to fight like Sherlock Holmes for a weekend, or race through the streets of Vallejo, CA, on your DIY ride to win the Obtainium Cup. All of these events, conventions and more are happening this month, gathered with help from Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and guest contributor Jean Martin, editor-in-chief, writer and photographer for Science Fiction/San Francisco.
Missed seeing your event here? Give a shout-out below. Looking to see yours here next month? E-mail the details to [email protected] by July 15th.
All descriptions are taken from the event’s website or Facebook page, unless stated otherwise.
The Airship Ambassador recommends:
Portland GEAR Con
July 4-6—Portland, OR
GEAR Con celebrates the whole of anachro-bohemian creativity, including literature, fine art, cinema, fashion, music, performing arts, artisan craftsmanship, scholarship, & spheres that defy categorization.
Dutch European SteamPunk Convention
July 25-27—Meppel, Drenthe, Netherlands
This convention will be held with the participation of The Lindenhorst, FantasiaFest and The Steampunk Objective. The second Dutch European SteamPunk Convention has already become an annual event. For those who are coming over the whole weekend it is possible to build up and set up camp on Thursday. All Steamers are very welcome, whether you’re from the Netherlands or come from an airship faraway. Make sure to take along all your gizmo’s, gadgets and inventions including your own tent (in style ofcourse, to blend in with our enormous campsite available to you, the people who come in appropiate gear.)
July 17-20—Detroit, MI
Get ready for fun in all flavors of science fiction and fantasy geekdom, coming to Detroit July 17-20, 2014. Come meet authors, artists, scientists, makers, musicians, costumers, gamers, and other creative folk and fellow fans. Explore the Art Show and Dealers Room, check out the program, spot a new indie film at the Film Festival, hit the parties and dance scene, watch the Masquerade costume contest and awards ceremonies, or just hang out with friends in the Renaissance Center Marriott‘s huge atrium and lobby. Watch out for flying robots!
Jean Martin Recommends:
Westercon 67/CONduit 24/FantasyCon
July 3-6—Salt Lake City, Utah
Why: Westercon is the West Coast Science Fantasy Conference held yearly in the Western half of North America. It is a general interest science fiction/fantasy convention where Steampunk is part of the programming. In fact, the logo of this year’s Westercon, whose theme is Trailblazers to the Future, has a very Steampunk look to it. Also, one of the guests, Hugo-award winning fanzine editor Chris Garcia, co-publishes a Steampunk fanzine called “Exhibit Hall.” Additionally, Steampunk costumers are welcome to attend in their finery to roam the halls and even compete in the masquerade competition.
This year, Westercon is taking the place of CONduit, Salt Lake City’s annual science fiction and fantasy convention. Also, memberships to Westercon 67 can be used across the street at FantasyCon, which is happening on July 3–5. Celebrities from “Xena,” “Lost Girl,” “Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit,” “Doctor Who” and “Star Trek” will be in attendance as well as cosplayer guests who do Steampunk.
July 19—Petaluma, CA
Why: The San Francisco Steampunks are going on a trip to the fifth year of this arts-based, community festival in Sonoma County. The location is at the appropriately named Steamer Landing Park near the Petaluma River. So Steampunk is definitely welcome at this event! Visitors are encouraged to come in “Old West meets Victorian Carnival” attire.
All day long there will be music provided on five stages featuring Steampunk favorites El Radio Fantastique and 5 Cent Coffee. The Grand Art Boat Flotilla will have prizes awarded for artistic and engineering brilliance as well as for the lap race around the slough. There will be local artists and vendors displaying their crafts as well as food vendors from the area.
July 27—Vallejo, CA
Why: The Obtainium Cup is a human-powered sculptural vehicles rally and festival on Mare Island in Vallejo. The race will start at the Coal Shed Art Gallery and will wind its way to the end of the street and past the Navy yards while avoiding obstacles and waylays. The racers will face challenges such as zombies, flying monkeys, mad hatters and robots. There will be a party afterwards with food, drink and music at the Coal Shed. The Sacramento Steampunk Society will be helping out with this grand Steampunk adventure. Steampunks are invited to participate or just watch.
Additional Events Around the World:
Now through August 10
The Antipodean Steampunk Show
Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne, Australia.
If today’s technology had been introduced in the 19th century, what would the world look like? The Antipodean Steampunk Show attempts to answer this question in a fascinating mash-up of past, future, and fantasy, which opens on the 30th June 2014 at Tasma Terrace.
Rapidly changing technology and the modern obsession with continual consumption have led to an endless process of upgrade, improvement, and replacement. Today’s production lines are inevitably tomorrow’s landfill. The Steampunk movement rails against this mentality by using elaborate craftsmanship to transform mass produced—and easily discarded—contemporary products into unique objects of desire.
Steam Garden #7: Pirates of Persia
July 5—Tokyo, Japan
The Tokyo Inventors Society arrive in the Persian Gulf. The captain wants to give a legendary Shisha flavor, and the philosopher is looking for an ancient Talisman.
But there are rumors of armed Pirates rampaging to recover a lost treasure. The TIS airship is taken hostage! The crew must find and face the Pirates of Persia…
July 5—St Austell, Cornwall, England, UK
An evening of “refined” steampunk antics. With Miss Von Trapp, Gurdybird, Honey Unplugged, ballroom dancing lesson courtesy of Lisa Ann McNally of Cornwall Dance School, close hand magic from Beyond The-Rainbow, and more!
Maker Fair 2014
July 5-6—Hannover Congress Centrum, Hannover, Germany.
Maker Fair is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Fair is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.
NYC Steampunk Weekend
July 11-13—New York, NY
Three events in NYC this weekend featuring music, dancing, performance, and MORE!
Friday: Absinthe Heroes
A one-man steampunk musical by Jeff Mach; music by Psyche Corporation, musical adaptation by Robare James Pruyn-Bush. A satirical tale of an airship race, mad science, and a chocolatier gone bad. Jeff Mach is the producer of The Steampunk World’s Fair, an annual festival in NJ with an attendance of 6,000 people.
Drom, 85 Ave A, 7-9pm, $10 adv / $15 door
Saturday: The Lost Circus 5th Anniversary
The Circus is said to have started in ancient Egypt when the court entertainers of an immortal Pharaoh escaped their slavery under a midnight moon. They have traveled the globe for centuries, gathering talent from every great empire as the empire itself begins to crumble: Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, London, Berlin…and now they have made it across the sea.
Discover a circus long lost, with music from times gone by or times that never were. The circus unfolds to live bands and in between: acrobatics, aerial, juggling and more, all in a 19th century church with soaring ceilings, stained glass windows and wraparound balcony.
Sat, July 12, 9pm-4am, Irondale Center, 85 S Oxford St, Fort Greene, BK
$20 until 7.5 / $25 after / $10 after 1am, 21+ (25+ suggested)
Sunday: Steampunk Secret Speakeasy
The Museum of Interesting Things, 19th Century Society & Steampunk NYC MeetUp take over a Soho loft for a special party. Drinks, music [original vinyl records] & beautiful visuals [16mm short films]. Demos and playtime with steampunk antiques. We will bring items from our vast collection of photography / film / 3D / animation items.
The Loft at Prince Street, 177 Prince St bet Thompson & Sullivan, 6th Floor penthouse; 6pm-late, $10 to support the Museum.
July 12-13—New York, NY
Learn to fight like Sherlock Holmes! A talented amateur boxer, singlestick player, and of course, master of the mysterious art of ’baritsu’ that saved his life, Sherlock Holmes’ fighting styles were entirely typical of a 19th-century gentleman’s education (and that of a handful of progressive ladies!) Bartitsu (Conan Doyle missed a ’t’) was all the rage in 1899 London, but only recently has this lost martial art been rediscovered. Learn the “gentlemanly art of self-defense” at workshops taught by Professor Mark Donnelly, a world-renowned expert on historical combat. No previous background necessary. More info here.
Eli August & the Abandoned Buildings Music Shoot and Show
July 13, 8 PM—Jalopy Theater and School of Music, Brooklyn, NY
We’re making a video and we want YOU to be a part of it! We’re holding a special show at Brooklyn’s Jalopy Theater. Help us pack that joint! After the video shoot, there will be a musical showcase featuring Matt DeBlass, the Waysties and Painless Parker. Show starts at 8pm, $10 suggested donation.
A Garden of Wonders—Alice in Wonderland Smithsonian Garden Party
July 18—Washington DC
Alice would feel right at home at this madcap party that transforms the Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Garden into a landscape of delights. As sunset slips into night, the magical setting comes alive with music by DJ Alkimist, outdoor games (moonlight croquet, anyone?), craft activities, and plenty of surprises.
Find your style inspiration in period garden-party attire or your favorite Alice in Wonderland character. You might not meet a white rabbit, but you can sip specialty cocktails designed by Arlington’s Tortoise & Hare as you wander through the lantern-decked grounds. And speaking of wonders, meet Todd McGrain, whose fantastic large-scale bird sculptures now anchor the corners of the Haupt Garden’s ornately planted lawn.
Make sure your pocket watch is wound: You don’t want to be late for this one-of-a-kind adventure.
Steampunk Charity Ball
July 19—Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
The Steampunk Ghostbusters cordially invite you to an evening of style, scene, song and (quite naturally) steam.
The Cloudland’s Heritage Room will host a charity event in the style of Victorian Balls gone by—join in the dancing, marvel at the sideshow performances, participate in the charity auction, get your photo with the Ghostbusters themselves, or just attend and be wondrous amongst the company of the splendidly attired.
Please note, the splendidly attired will also include you, treasured attendees, as it is a steampunk outing at its heart and it wouldn’t be the same without everyone participating to their fullest!
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.
Jean Martin is editor-in-chief, writer and photographer for Science Fiction/San Francisco, which covers all areas of fandom in the Bay Area and beyond. She is also the SF Costume Design Examiner for Examiner.com. Jean is a frequent moderator and panelist at pop culture, science fiction/fantasy and Steampunk conventions. She is also involved in costuming, dancing, singing and acting, and has won awards for costuming and as part of masquerade teams. She is one of the Bay Area English Regency Society and Period Events and Entertainments Re-creation Society organizers. She is a member of the Steam Federation-Bay Area Steampunk Association and the San Francisco Steampunks.