Friday, May 15th - Sunday, May 17th, 2015
Piscataway, NJ

2012 SPWF FAQ


Many of you have been busy chatting with us about the Steampunk World’s Fair, and several question have arisen! You might find the answer to your inquiry below.

While this FAQ is for 2012, it holds quite largely true for 2013, as well!  We’ll be updating it some more in October.

If you are vending with us, pop on over to our Vendors FAQ.

***BASIC INFORMATION***
1. When and where does SPWF take place?
2. What time do festivities begin and end each day?
3. If I can only come for one day, which day should it be?
4. I’m new to the steampunk scene; will I fit in?

***TICKETS***
5. How can I buy a ticket to the SPWF?
6. Are one-day tickets available? How much do they cost?
7. Are special events included in the weekend ticket price?
8. I have an extra ticket; can I get a refund or transfer it?

***ENVIRONMENT & ACCESSIBILITY***
9. What will the weather be like? What happens if it rains?
10. Where should I park, and how much does it cost?
11. Is your event handicapped accessible?
12. Are there ATMs around?

***CONVENTION CONDUCT***
13. Should I come in full steampunk dress?
14. Is there an age restriction?
15. Is photography allowed?
16. Can I bring my modified steampunk weapons into the hotel?
17. I want to invite some friends to my hotel room. What is the policy on parties?
18. Will there be drinking at this event?

***PERFORMANCES, EVENTS, AND VENDORS***

19. Who are this year’s performers and guests?
20. I am a big fan of [performer, artist, band]! Will you be getting them for SPWF?
21. I have an idea for an event, discussion, debate, workshop, or reading. Who should I talk to?
22. I’m so glad you got [performer, artist, band] to play at the SPWF! How can I make sure they’ll be back next year?
23. I’m vaguely distressed that my favorite act from last year didn’t return this year! I even bought a button like you suggested! What gives?
24. I want to be part of your Artist’s Alley/Vendor Hall; how can I get a table?
25. What sorts of vendors will be at the event?

***

1. When and where does SPWF take place?
The 2012 Steampunk World’s Fair runs from Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 20. It will take place at The Radisson and Embassy Suites of Piscataway, as well as in large outdoor spaces in-between.  Both hotels are ‘main’ hotels connected by a short parking lot and there will be plenty of programming no matter where you go!

For directions and information on hotel booking, check out the Location page.

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2. What time do festivities begin and end each day?
The events begin at 6:00 PM on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, programming will begin at 11:00 AM. Programming will go until the wee hours of the morning on Friday and Saturday nights (with an all-night dance party provided by COGHEAD). Programming runs through 6pm Sunday evening.

We are in the process of finalizing the last bits of the schedule, and we hope to have one ready for you soon. (Although please be aware that things are prone to change at the last minute.)

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3. If I can only come for one day, which day should it be?
SPWF is such an on-going party, we couldn’t say for sure! If you can, go for the entire weekend: if you pre-register the price will be well worth it.

But if you can only make it for one day, most event-goers will tell you to come out to Saturday. Events start earlier than Friday and run later than Sunday. There are several big events on Friday and Sunday, but many on Saturday as well!

If you plan to attend only to purchase from the vendors, you may wish to come out on Friday when the Merchants Bazaar is freshly open and everything is in stock; you may also be able to find last-minute deals on Sunday.

NOTE: SPWF does not sell one-day tickets online; they must be purchased on the day of the event in person.

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4. I’m new to the steampunk scene or a casual fan; will I fit in?
Of course! We pride ourselves on being one of the most friendly, welcoming Steampunk events anywhere.  Plus, as we often say, there’s no secret handshake, and anyone with an interest in steampunk will find something (hopefully many things!) that interest them. We also wish to extend a special welcome to our Gothic brethren.

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5. How can I buy a ticket to the SPWF?
Regular tickets, VIP tickets, and extras (including reservations to the Buffet Dinner & Absinthe Tasting as well as space in the playbill as well as the official SPWF tee-shirt) can be ordered in advance on this page.

Weekend tickets will also be available at the Fair, but be aware that there is a fair discount if you buy in advance!

Advance Ticket sales will end at 12am on May 12th.

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6. Are one-day tickets available? How much do they cost?
One day tickets are available at the door only.  Door tickets will be available for the following prices:

Weekend: $75
Friday: $35
Saturday: $45
Sunday: $30

Remember, you cannot reserve these tickets in advance, and supply may be limited! Saturday attendees in particular will want to arrive early.

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7. Are special events included in the weekend ticket price?
All of the Steampunk World’s Fair events are included in the Weekend Ticket Price with the exception of the catered events (such as the Absinthe Tasting, themed dinners, tea parties, etc), and the VIP Meet and Greet/Goblin Market. You may find other events or programming that are being presented by guests of SPWF that might include a small workshop fee, but the majority of SPWF-run events with the above exceptions are included in your pass!

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8. I have an extra ticket; can I get a refund or transfer it?
Ask in the SPWF Facebook Group; there may be people in need.  Otherwise, we do not refund advance tickets except in case of hardship.

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9. What will the weather be like? What happens if it rains?
Last year’s weather was in the mid-60s to low-70s range and generally agreeable, but as with any other location there’s always the potential for rain and other unpleasantness, so we ask that all of our attendees make sure to check updated weather reports and pack appropriately.

There will be plenty of events held outdoors at the SPWF, but have no fear! Should it rain, we’re prepared for that too.  So bring an umbrella just in case, and be ready for fun outside!

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10. Where should I park, and how much does it cost?
You should park at the hotel parking lots- it’s FREE! There will be shuttles running from the overflow hotels to the Fair; details will be posted closer to the event.

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11. Is your event handicapped-accessible?
Both hotels are handicapped-accessible and all events will have special seating for wheelchairs and those in need. However, attendees with limited mobility may find it difficult to travel between hotels.

It might be helpful to plan accordingly – such as planning to drive between hotels. Also, please don’t hesitate to let our staff know of any special accommodations that you might need. We’re more than happy to reserve seating and answer questions.

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12. Are there ATMs around?
There will be, but ATMs in hotels tend to run out often. They will be refilled, but we cannot guarantee when or how often. Be responsible and safe, but bring enough money to see you through the weekend so you can return home with lots of cool new items!

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13. Should I come in full steampunk dress?
Should you? That’s up to you, honestly. Do you HAVE to? The answer to that is a resounding NO! Just like not everyone who likes steampunk reads books with a steampunk setting, Steampunk is not just about the dress-up part (though many people enjoy it and have a great time putting together the “just right” outfit or prop!) If you’ve got it- flaunt it! If you want to come to the event in your regular daily wear, that’s awesome too!
But if you haven’t pulled together an outfit that you feel shows off your inner steampunk, you’ll never find a better time to get creative and try it out. Don’t worry about whether you’re “steampunk enough”, either. We’ve seen people pull off a perfect and visually recognizable steampunk look with jeans and a vest over a t-shirt. If you’re just starting out and have any questions or need some advice, message us!

Mostly though, remember to dress comfortably and prepare for heat or cold. And a lot of walking- so bring comfortable shoes!

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14. Is there an age restriction?
There is not! Steampunks and steampunk enthusiasts of all ages are welcome, from the youngest aviator-in-training to the oldest time-traveling genius! While a few  events may have age restrictions, particularly later in the evening, we aim to have fun that the whole family can enjoy. However, we are not running any tracks specifically aimed at kids. The event is likely something older children (10+) will enjoy, so please keep this in mind when planning your trip! Hopefully everyone will find enjoyment in our many musical acts, performers, discussions, games, movies, and more. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to message us.

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15. Is photography allowed?
In general, photography is permitted at the SPWF. However, we do ask that you show consideration to your fellow attendees and ask for permission before taking photos (and before uploading photos/video online).

Photography should not impede foot traffic, and attendees causing a traffic jam may be asked to relocate by security. We also ask that you don’t interfere in the duties of any official photographers working the Fair, especially during concerts.

Additionally, a properly-used flash help you take better photos, but an improperly-used flash will annoy bystanders and distract performers! In the case of fire-spinners, sword-swallowers, and others, this can be life-threateningly dangerous. Please turn off your flash during performances. Yes, especially you with the three giant strobes. Yeah, you. Don’t be that guy.

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16. Can I bring my modified steampunk weapons into the hotel?

While many people find various arms, realistic or completely otherworldly, to be an integral part of steampunk culture, we are bound both by honor and the laws of the great state of New Jersey to ensure a safe and legal environment for all in attendance. Please read our detailed weapons policy for all the specifics and fine print.

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17. I want to invite some friends to my hotel room. What is the policy on parties?
Considerate parties are, indeed, permissible in the Radisson. The Embassy Suites is a No Party hotel. Please be discreet and kind in your celebratory actions! Also do take note that all such parties are purely private events and in no way supported or facilitated by the SPWF.  You can also have parties at the overflow hotels, so long as you do not disturb other guests!

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18. Will there be drinking at this event?
As a most-ages event, drinking is permitted so long as you are legally allowed to drink in the United States and have proper identification. The Radisson even has a lovely bar and lounge! This is an all-ages event, so please drink responsibly and treat other guests with courtesy at all times. Also, there may be events that require drink tickets, such as any open bar events or absinthe tastings.

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19. Who are this year’s performers and guests?

You can browse the entire list here! More are being added by the day; check the website regularly for new announcements.

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20. I am a big fan of [performer, artist, band]! Will you be getting them for SPWF?
While we’re swiftly approaching this year’s Fair, if your favorite steampunk artist is not on the list of performers coming to SPWF 2012 we welcome to contact them to point them in our direction for future events. PLEASE DO NOT tell anyone that you are a representative of SPWF, unless you actually are! You may tell your favorite performer about the event and show them the Performer Page to let them know more about us!

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21. I have an idea for an event, discussion, debate, workshop, demonstration or reading. Who should I talk to?
Head on over to our Performers Application, which is open until April 21st. Any submissions after that date will not be accepted without extraordinary cause.

Discussions, debates, and workshops should be about 45-60 minutes long, including time for set-up and break-down. Times for events and readings from your original published work can vary. PLEASE no events longer than 60 minutes. For any event that needs to run longer, we encourage you to bring your audience out to the courtyard, lounge, or other unoccupied area of the hotel to continue! Many of our discussion hosts have done this in the past to great success.

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22. I’m so glad you got [performer, artist, band] to play at the SPWF! How can I make sure they’ll be back next year?

One of the best ways to see the bands you like at the SPWF is to let us know how much you enjoyed them! Another great method is to make sure bands you enjoyed have a great weekend at the Fair and attend their performances, as well as buy their music and merchandise. Even purchasing a $1 button can be a big show of support!

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23. I’m vaguely distressed that my favorite act from last year didn’t return this year! I even bought a button like you suggested! What gives?

While there are some performers we’d love to have every year, having a varied lineup from year to year helps the Fair grow and allows us to present you with as diverse a programming lineup as possible. Variety is the spice of life, after all! Or maybe we’re thinking of nutmeg. Either way.

In some cases we may have even wanted to invite a guest back, but they were unable to come due to scheduling conflicts. All this means is that there’s always something to look forward to next year!

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24. I want to be part of your Artist’s Alley; how can I get a table? and Do you have a Dealer’s Room?

Our Merchant’s Bazaar has already filled up for the 2012 Fair! Stay tuned for information on 2013′s Merchant’s Bazaar.

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25. What sorts of vendors will be at the event?

From jewelry and accessories to clothing, books, and art, dozens of vendors will be at our Merchant’s Bazaar selling anything you could desire. Check out the still-expanding list here.

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Please contact us if you have any questions that weren’t answered!

Image (c) 2009 Christopher Hayes