Jeff Mach Speaks: Musings on Steampunk

…and then someone spraypainted Steampunk black

Have you heard that saying, “Steampunk is what happens when Goths discover brown”?  I never quite knew how to take it. Is it a commentary on the two movements being similar?  Is it saying there isn’t much range in either one?  Is it just poking fun at stereotypes? But I’ve finally come to a decision: […]

Continue Reading

“Coyote Learns Wisdom” – a bit of Mythpunk

I wrote a lot of pieces in preparation for Glimmerdark: The Misfit Faerie Festival.  A lot of them ventured into Mythpunk, that odd genre which takes the same approach to imagination as Steampunk, but uses it for all things (hypothetically) mythological, legendary, and Magick.  I wanted to share this one with you. Coyote heard that […]

Continue Reading

“We will never be beautiful” –

I went through a rough time in my life, which was bad for my life, but great for my songwriting.  And I was working on my Faerie cycle for Glimmerdark, the Misfit Faerie Festival, and thought that thing we all know: no-one is the villain of his own story.  But in fantasy worlds, most of […]

Continue Reading

“What is Steampunk?” – a crowdsourced version

Blue-haired Steampunk women.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had asked me, “What is Steampunk?”, I’d have enough money that I’d be writing this blog from some sort of beach somewhere much, much warmer than New Jersey.  I have plenty of my own thoughts, but I figured I’d try asking The Steampunk World’s Fair Facebook […]

Continue Reading

2016 isn’t stealing your childhood

quote - rip david bowie

So when I was 24, someone suggested to me that I was bipolar, and I thought that was ridiculous. I just thought he was trying to get out of treating me. But he was also responding to the chaotic nature of my life.  ~Carrie Fisher As you get older, the questions come down to about […]

Continue Reading

2017 had better start running now

Two girls dressed in the style of steampunk with arms.

2016 set records for heat, electoral disparity, deaths of beloved icons and, of course, the all-time galactic record for Most Super Incredibly Crappy Collection Of 365 Days Stacked In A Row. Ah, but 2017. You will own 2017. We have seen how ugly our politics can get; now we have a chance, an understanding, and […]

Continue Reading

5 Reasons Being Steampunk Is Better Than Being Normal

People often ask me why it is that I love being a Steampunk.  They then learn the true meaning of regret, as I spend the next four hours talking about it.  But I’ve narrowed this down to 5 reasons, and I thought I’d offer them to you now. 5.  You get to wear the best […]

Continue Reading

A Steampunk Nursery Rhyme (With Squid)

mythological kraken tentacles with the sea and sky

What kind of kid Has a giant squid To take to bed at night? No teddy bear Is lying there When they turn out the lights. I’d be a-feared Of such a weird Companion to squeeze Huge eye of green, Arms No legs, no nose, no ears! But my best friend My time with, when […]

Continue Reading

A Steampunk recipe for Gin and Tonic

“Tonic is the luckiest thing on Earth, for when it spends its time as close as possible to gin, people say it is doing a good deed.  When I spend my time as close as possible to gin, they have the audacity to close the bar on me.” ~W.C. Fields Now, I’m no chef, but […]

Continue Reading

A Steampunk ventures into the Gothic world

After four years of development and extensive research from over 8 million VF members since inception, the darker side of North American culture is on exhibit for the first time this March 17-19, 2017. New York, New York (January 23, 2017) – Vampirefreaks (VF) and Jeff Mach Events are proud to announce the first annual […]

Continue Reading

A Terrible Confession regarding Tea

Young woman posing as magnificent card queen from wonderland at mystic tea-party

“America’s new tea lovers are the people who have forced the tea trade to wake up. Elsewhere, tea has meant a certain way, a certain tradition, for centuries, but this is America! The American tea lover is heir to all the world’s tea drinking traditions, from Japanese tea ceremonies to Russian samovars to English scones […]

Continue Reading

A Valentine for my Steampunk love

A Steampunk clockwork heart concept with a heart shape made of cogs and gears

Valentine’s Day!  A day which will forever be dear to restaurants and people who sell holiday cards.  That being said, there’s something to be said for Love, True Love, and so I thought I would speak to you, for just a moment, of my deep and abiding Steampunk Love. When I sailed my Airship to […]

Continue Reading

Are you “Steampunk Enough”?

Portrait of a beautiful steampunk woman over grunge background.

Are you Steampunk enough? Are you geeky enough? Are you good enough? Yes. You are. And I don’t mean that in the sense of unthinking compliment. I don’t mean it as cheering. I mean it as simple truth. In almost every space where you might question whether or not you’re “enough”, the question defines you. […]

Continue Reading

Before I Kill You (An Arch-Villainelle)


Before I Kill You (An Arch-Villainelle) by David Sklar The villainelle is one of the most complex and mesmerizing forms of poetry; it’s one of the hardest to write, and it arguably reached its speak right before the Steampunk era.  We love this piece by David Sklar; it speaks deeply to our cold, cold hearts. […]

Continue Reading

Come to the Dark Side Of The Con; we have cookies and absinthe

quote - darkside - villain villain - jeff mach - bigstock

You could spend St. Patrick’s Day Weekend drinking in a bar full of frat boys… or you could– JOIN US! Come walk through a Dark haven and meet a veritifable feast of creators, developers, designers, and curators of Dark, Gothic, Strange, and Unusual Art, Fashion, Items and Treasures of every sort, Kink & Alternative tools […]

Continue Reading

Death of a Candyman; remembering Gene Wilder’s passing

Gene Wilder’s death is just under five months back, and I still find myself thinking about him. In my heart of hearts, I was sure my first Steampunk event was going to look just like that giant room in the original Willy Wonka movie, the vast landscape where everything is made of candy. But in […]

Continue Reading

Does your loved one have The Steampunk?

Portrait of a steampunk man with a mechanical devices. Fantasy.

Does your loved one have The Steampunk? Are they suddenly significantly taller, due to the addition of a top-hat with a clock nailed to it? Do they possess goggles which, for no particular reason, never seem to be found on their eyes? Do they suddenly insist on drinking tea?  Oh, sure, I’ve heard that normal […]

Continue Reading

For Those New to Steampunk

Photo Credit: Babs Who Takes Pictures

Honest. There Is No Secret Steampunk Handshake! It has been several years since the mainstream’s acknowledgment of Steampunk—that ever-expanding and historically creative subculture of literature, music, fashion, science, intellectual gatherings, and beyond.  Steampunk: We know it when we see and hear it.  It appears distinct and new, yet with a comforting sense of familiarity to […]

Continue Reading

Four horrible Steampunk disasters.

I’m going to embark on a taboo subject.  But I don’t care.  It’s time to bring this up.  I don’t say any of this to be mean.  I am resolutely, definitively positive in my love of Steampunk.  But sometimes, things are just messed up. 4.  The Second Steampunk World’s Fair gets no permits.  As you […]

Continue Reading

Go to conventions or Zombies will eat you!

Zombies attack!

“OMG YOU GUYS it has come to my attention that SOMEONE on the internet is saying that my fictional 19th century zombies are NOT SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND. Naturally, I am crushed. To think, IF ONLY I’d consulted with a zombologist or two before sitting down to write, I could’ve avoided ALL THIS EMBARRASSMENT.” ― Cherie Priest […]

Continue Reading

Gothpunk: Peace, love, and darkness

I’ll never forget my oddest encounter with the Goth scene.  It was the late 1990s.  Mr. Aurelio Voltaire‘s “legal” name was a secret.  I was trying to make it as a singer-songwriter, and I’d hired Voltaire to perform at one of my events. Not long thereafter, I was asked to perform at “Gothstock” – “Peace, […]

Continue Reading

How A Steampunk Might Make Tea

Young woman posing as magnificent card queen from wonderland at mystic tea-party

“After a fairly shaky start to the day, Arthur’s mind was beginning to reassemble itself from the shell-shocked fragments the previous day had left him with. He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. The way […]

Continue Reading

How do you run a good event?

Steampunk woman with goggles.

As someone who’s been in the event business for twenty years, I often get asked, “How do you run a good event?” I have six rules – and I’ll share them with you. 1. Die. Die every time you realize you’ve made a mistake you could have prevented. Die every time someone is sad and […]

Continue Reading

How To Be As Annoying As A Gryffindor

The Hogwarts express!

This magical moment is brought to you by Glimmerdark Fairy Festival, which reminds you: Wands are for waving, not for eating!  Usually! How To Be As Annoying As A Gryffindor 1. Be academically slapdash, yet clearly be several teachers’ favorite student. Ravenclaws seethe. 2. Go about things in an inefficient, pig-headed, holier-than-thou moralistic fashion, yet […]

Continue Reading

How To Be As Annoying As A Gryffindor

Sketch Cute Lion With Crown In Vintage Style

“Lee Jordan was finding it difficult not to take sides. ‘So — after that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating —’ ‘Jordan!’ growled Professor McGonagall. ‘I mean after that open and revolting foul —’ ‘Jordan, I’m warning you —’ ‘All right, all right. Flint nearly kills the Gryffindor Seeker, which could happen to anyone, I’m […]

Continue Reading

How to enjoy the perfect afternoon tea

Conceptual illustration with ghost serving tea on a table

Steampunks love tea, but more than tea, we love the idea of tea-time, an oasis during which we might sip stimulating boiled plant-leaves and eat things that are like cookies but fancier, and like cake but smaller, and like toast but called something cooler, such as “scones”.  It is my goal to show you how […]

Continue Reading

How To Get Ready For A Convention Or Festival

Steampunk World's Fair attendees

As a person who runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, I am an expert in con preparation. In fact, I can sum up how to plan for a convention in less than a dozen words: Give up. Give up NOW. Show up in nothing but Aquaman underwear and a tie and beg the front desk for […]

Continue Reading

How to make a great Steampunk costume

Young girl wearing Steampunk goggles

There’s a lot of discussion about whether or not Steampunk dress is “costume”, and I have a firm opinion, which is: I don’t care.  If someone wants to dress in a Steampunk manner for fun, for fashion, as a lifestyle choice, as an identity, or because it makes them feel good, I say: “Go for […]

Continue Reading

How To Tell Your Steampunk Event Has Gone Horribly Awry

Now, as a promoter and builder of Steampunk (and Faerie, and Gothic) events, the absolute last thing I want is for something to go horribly awry.  But it DOES happen.  I wanted to give you a serious, thoughtful guide to what to do when Problems Occur.  However, I decided to give you this bunch of […]

Continue Reading

How to understand your Slytherin friends

 Sure, we’re a Steampunk blog, but sometimes, we can’t help but venture into other worlds of the imagination.  Worry not; tomorrow, we’ll be back to talking about Gears, Tea, and the Kraken.  Possibly all at the same time. Besides, everyone knows the Moriarty is totally Slytherin.  And that’s about as Steampunk as you can get. […]

Continue Reading

I have a Steampunk, clockwork heart


“And if I were to open you up – would you see anything less remarkable? Less intricately dazzling, in its squelching, spongy way? Lungs and heart and spleen, and all the rest – ticking away, as it were? Yet you walk down the boulevard, and pass any number of such wonderful devices, all ticking away […]

Continue Reading

I may have just gone on a Steampunk shopping spree

eam-punk portrait of the girl with the mechanisms on a dark background

There’s something about knowing that I’m getting items which are unique, whose genre barely even existed a decade ago.  There’s something to being able to do my holiday and personal shopping for things which won’t appear in a normal store or mall. I’m doing a lot of holiday shopping this coming weekend at the Warmer […]

Continue Reading

I resolve nothing

Myself, and my companion Holly.  I'm the one with the beard.

It’s just the time when peoples’ New Year’s Resolutions are starting to die terrible, sometimes hilarious deaths.  Looking back, I found what I’d resolved for 2016, almost exactly a year ago.  And I wanted to share it with you. (Some of this is very personal to me.  I hope you don’t mind my sharing.  I’ll […]

Continue Reading

If Thanksgiving is hard for you, you are not alone

Don't let Thanksgiving break you down

I am a misfit born of misfits. And I don’t speak for all misfits…but I offer this Thanksgiving blessing to all who need it – To those whose families love but do not respect them: May you be able to return that love, but may your loving heart stop seeking an acceptance that is deserved, […]

Continue Reading

If you’re going to our Unconventional Faerie Festival…


Puck says: If you’re attending Glimmerdark, our Faerie Festival, do listen! You see, by November 15th, we’re going to require that everyone who’s in the Hyatt Regency either be a paid attendee, a volunteer, a vendor, a performer, or an attendee who emails [email protected] asking for special dispensation to buy tickets at a later date. […]

Continue Reading

It’s very hard to kill a werewolf.

cemetery-395953_1280 - wolf - spooky

Do you happen to know a song called “Werewolves of London”?  It’s by a fellow named Warren Zevon, now deceased.  There are two things I think about, when Warren comes to mind: For a number of reasons, he’s my favorite recording artist (and his musical performances were some of the best I’ve seen.  That’s saying […]

Continue Reading

More thoughts: Making great Steampunk, Goth, or Fairy Events

Photo of Holly Brewer from HUMANWINE; photo taken by Babs Who Takes Pictures

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” -Neil Gaiman So I run events for a living. But I don’t call myself an event organizer; I call myself a Playground Builder. And here’s why: My younger brother is developmentally disabled. He’s 35 now, but his mental age is somewhere […]

Continue Reading

My six rules for running events

With Glimmerdark coming up, I’ve gotten more people asking me this question: “How do you run a good event?” It’s an excellent question; running events is hard, and whether you run them or attend them, you might enjoy a bit of a glimpse at how it’s all made, at least for me.  Speaking for myself, when […]

Continue Reading

My Steampunk is without regrets

Steampunk! Dancing! Mythology!

My Steampunk could be easier to see in a bunch of pictures, or a Facebook post.  Facebook’s algorithm really will pick up on goggles and grab, because that’s what Facebook wants – gorgeous, magnificent, strange Steampunk stuff.  Not some event promoter in a t-shirt. My Steampunk could be simpler. My songs could all be about […]

Continue Reading

Nikola Tesla and the True History Of The World

SERBIA - CIRCA 2006: Nikola Tesla on 100 Dinara 2006 Banknote from Serbia. Best known as the Father of Physics

As Nikola Tesla said: A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in […]

Continue Reading

No, really, what is Steampunk?

Steampunk Vader by Bjorn Hurri

Steampunk is the fever-dream of an international collaboration of ordinary people who are determined to do something beyond the ordinary. Steampunk takes some aspect or concept of the Victorian time period and, from there, lets you go anywhere.  Steampunk Star Wars oughtn’t make any sense at all, and yet here’s Bjorn Hurri’s brilliant Steampunk R2D2. […]

Continue Reading

On Ballpits At Events

Yes, this is from our ballpit.

There are a lot of deeply important things to reclaim. There are words, names, and ideas which have been taken from us and used against us. There are freedoms to reclaim. There are great causes to reclaim. Mine is not one. But though my cause is really damn silly, it’s also as icy serious as […]

Continue Reading

On chasing dreams

“Did you know that there is a million bucks hidden in the house next door?” “But there is no house next door.” “No? Then let’s go build one!” -Groucho Marx There is a lie of omission which has messed up the lives of many a creator and entrepreneur, and it’s a very popular lie. It […]

Continue Reading

On eating properly at events

The Steampunk World's Fair - "Wonders Untold"

As people who run a lot of different events, we’ve acquired some valuable knowledge over the past 20 years. Today, we’d like to give you TERRIBLE advice on an important subject: Proper Nutrition While At Shows As many of you know, I’ve long been a proponent of healthy eating at events. I suggest vegetables, fruits, […]

Continue Reading

On having food delivered to events

Funny young chef with a pot in kitchen

It almost always supports the venue, and thus the event, if you’re able to order food from an event; many events have food or drink minimums that they must meet as a part of their contracts; and it makes all kinds of cultures, from Steampunk to Geekery to Goth, look good to hotels when those […]

Continue Reading

On Steampunk Holiday: The origins of Cogsday

Beautiful woman in vintage style dress and hat holding dynamite on dark studio background

It’s challenging to create worthwhile new programming ideas, and I can safely tell you that the amount of time we spent on trying to figure out how to develop a new VIP event was approximately 237 years.  If you see Hermione, tell her I’ll get her Time-Turner back to her right after 2020. I knew […]

Continue Reading

Practical Office Steampunk

Sure, there ARE some jobs where you can show up in just your underwear and your top hat.  I have one of those jobs, possibly because I work for myself AND I work from home.  But most of the time, you need to leave your Steampunk side at the door.  But there’s still hope!  Let […]

Continue Reading

Recommendations on how to party at a Steampunk festival


“Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.” ~Oscar Wilde We originally wrote this for our Faerie Festival, Glimmerdark, but truly, it applies to just about every Steampunk event we’ve ever attended.  So ask […]

Continue Reading

Several Random Pieces From A Steampunk Brain

“Gear and gauge and grinding rage And researches forbidden You built my mind, but now you find I won’t do as I’m bidden.” “Glitter is not a condiment.” – “It’s alive!” shouted Dr. Antikythera. Adastra and Chastity looked at each other. “That’s never a good thing to hear coming from a kitchen.” “I found […]

Continue Reading

Should events take sides in consent/harassment issues?

What kind of Steampunk world do we want?

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” -Dante Alighieri Note: This is very much not directed at any particular group or organization. And I know – trust me, I know – a thousand counter-arguments to what I’m saying. I know them because we’ve debated […]

Continue Reading

Some Of Our More Ridiculous Tweets

You’re certainly welcome to follow us on Twitter, but if you don’t, or if you simply have better things to do than sit around watching our Twitter feed all day (I grant you, I cannot imagine a single better thing a human being could do than sit around and watch our Twitter feed all day, […]

Continue Reading

Some thoughts on running Steampunk and other events

Comic Astronaut Hero

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.” -Neil Gaiman So I run events for a living. But I don’t call myself an event organizer; I call myself a Playground Builder. And here’s why: My younger brother is developmentally disabled. He’s 35 now, but his mental age is somewhere […]

Continue Reading

Sometimes Steampunk events die

Blond Woman In Steampunk Clothes Is Pulling A Retro Train.

Friends, with the death of beloved Steampunk festival Steampunk Unlimited, I’m reminded of a sad fact: Steampunk’s strength is the fact that it comes from the people, that anyone can make Steampunk, that all of us can help create what Steampunk is and can be. And Steampunk’s weakness is that if you devote a business […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk and the responsibility of whimsy


The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it. ~Dr. Hunter S. Thompson People from all sides of the political spectrum have, as late, asked us to take ourselves a little more seriously.  And these are what Dr. Thompson would call Serious Times. But to some […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk Festival Versus Steampunk Convention


What’s the difference between a festival and a convention? Well, we’d actually like to quote an interview that one of our founders did with I actually had this discussion, over at BrassGoggles, about the difference between a “Festival” (as we are) and a “Convention.” Obviously, we have a lot of convention elements, and Steampunk […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk Irresolutions

“I never make New Year’s resolutions; with my time machine, I can simply make a new year!” ~Steampunk It’s my philosophy that anyone can have New Year’s Resolutions.  That’s just boring ol’ reality.  Steampunks should never be held to a standard as small as that.  Never underestimate the human spirit, the human will, or the […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk is exactly as accepting as we want it to be

The Steampunk World's Fair at New York City Pride - with Jordana Rollerhoops

I’m going to tell you a thing that isn’t a secret: If Steampunk were going to be just for the cool kids, it would’ve been. They tried it. We didn’t let it happen. We made Steampunk something for the misfits, the nerds, the geeks, the weirdos.  And we made it a place for all the […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk Is For Everyone

Redhead woman posing with weapons in a storage space.

I’ve weathered many conventions, from the anime days at Otakon to the comic book scene at Wizard World, and out of all of them, I’ve found something unique at steampunk conventions. One of the themes throughout most conventions of a geeky nature is the love for cosplay or dressing up. After all, who doesn’t want […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk is not a genre. It’s a culture.

There’s a Victorian Science Fiction author who claims that Steampunk is Victorian Science Fiction.  This is unsurprising.  I know a maker of cool Steampunk stuff who claims that Steampunk is about making cool stuff.  I know someone who says that Steampunk is just a great excuse to wear top hats. As far as I’m concerned, […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk Tips For The New And Curious

DSC_4605 - smaller

We get a lot of new people at The Steampunk World’s Fair, and we like it.  Rennies, Goths, geeks, convention-goers, historians and anyone who loves imaginative worlds – they all come to us for their first Steampunk experience, and we’re honored. How do you do Steampunk “right”?  What are the rules? Secret: There aren’t any! […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk, Chocolate, and Willy Wonka

sweet steam roustabout

I’ve spoken to so, so many Steampunks, and many of us share a common theme: the original “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory” was one of our first visual or emotional experiences to Steampunk. A factory of peculiar, semi-real, semi-fantastic, unpredictable wonders, led by a top-hatted, cane-bearing person in a purple Victorian suit?  If that’s not […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk, Fairyland, and making Reality

“If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.” ― Carl Sagan As we get ready for Glimmerdark, our misfit Faerie festival, I reflect back on what got us […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk, Zombies, Goth, Weirdness, and Reality

Zombie hand coming out of his grave

I used to stay up all night playing ‘Resident Evil 2,’ and it wouldn’t stop until the sun came up.. Then I’d walk outside at dawn’s first light, looking at the empty streets of London, and it was like life imitating art.. It felt like I’d stepped into an actual zombie apocalypse.. ~Edgar Wright We […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk: A tale of ceaseless wonder!

Steampunk Darth Vader

“Tale of Wonder!”  If you like Steampunk music, you might enjoy this!  This is the opening song to what was, at the time, perhaps the world’s first Rock Opera (It’s either that, or Paul Shaper’s Dolls of New Albion, which is available for free listening at that link there.)  You can hear a brilliant version […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk: Constant reinvention

Jake von Slatt, Steampunk creator

Steampunk died about three years ago. Died deader than a gear-powered doornail, ended surely as the last page of a steamy Gothic novel. Steampunk died, and– That didn’t stop it even for a minute. Steampunk’s died more than a few times in the seven years I’ve been involved with it. And it never takes. We […]

Continue Reading

Steampunk: What to Wear


So there are lots of descriptions of Steampunk out there, and lots of people trying to describe it in various ways. We’re going to say this: For us, Steampunk is “a bunch of stuff people do that’s vaguely inspired inspired by mad science in a world that bears some sort of resemblance to the Victorian […]

Continue Reading

Supervillain? Of course I’m not a supervillain.

Supervillain?  Moi?  Why, no, of course not! How ridiculous!  I am a scientist!  I know nothing of this “supervillainry” of which you speak. Hrm? The phlogiston-cannon pointed directly at the centre of the Earth? Well, yes, I suppose that could blow up the planet, but who would possibly do such a thing?  What sort of […]

Continue Reading

Support your local Steampunk benefit event

brass ring dance floor

As I get ready for The Brass Ring Academy & Cabaret in Connecticut this coming weekend, I find myself reflecting on one of the more splendid and unexpected aspects of Steampunk: That it’s become a haven for museums and historic landmarks. Who would look at some sort of museum, library, monument, or Victorian building and […]

Continue Reading

The 4.2 best things about Steampunk!

Today is my birthday! I’m 42! I was going to write about the 42 best things about Steampunk, but I realized that would take a long time.  So I’ll go with 4.2 things, instead. #4:  Tea.  Tea is the finest of drinks.  Or possibly that’s absinthe.  Or maybe I mean whiskey.  At any rate, what […]

Continue Reading

The gift of the shredded heart

Though I originally wrote this about heartbreak, I also have a lot of friends in the event world – vendors, promoters, planners – who are having a hard time right now, and some of them are seeing their dreams not work out.  I’ve been there.  This is what got me through.  Share it if it […]

Continue Reading

The Night Before A Convention Or Festival

The night before a convention is a specia, magical time.

“I would hate to be taken seriously. Serious people are always so grim and uptight that they make me want to dance naked on the lawn playing a flute.” ― Robert Anton Wilson Have you ever been to an event the night before it starts, the night before registration’s set up, the night before everything […]

Continue Reading

The peculiar art of busking

Busking is an ancient and honorable profession.  If you’d like a good historic view, have a look at this origin story, collated by the Montreal Buskers.  But in its simplest definition, busking is the challenging art of performing for tips. Like many semi-professional performance situations, this can range from the spectacular to the terrible.  In […]

Continue Reading

The Steampunk Golem

Jeff Mach

What makes Steampunk tick?  Who creates Steampunk? It’s not about who is the most glamorous, or has the best outfits (though the best outfits are spectacular!)  It’s not about any one individual.  It’s about all the people who put work into making dreams come true for the rest of us! Not the Builder, full of […]

Continue Reading

Three great Steampunk moments in mainstream music

Billy Idol dancing with himself.

I have loved music since I was thirteen, perhaps much younger.  And I grew up in that weird time when MTV was getting started. Strange fact: MTV, like Steampunk, brought weirdness to the rest of the world partway through accident and partway through force of will. When the financial forces behind MTV created the now-iconic […]

Continue Reading

Three Questionable Steampunk Christmas Music Videos

eternal-frontier steampunk christmas -768x396

Whether you fall on the “Happy Holidays” or the “Bah, Humbug” side of things, we thought you might enjoy a taste of great Steampunk music videos about the holiday season. The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are Brits who put the “punk” in Steampunk, and their ode to Scrooge is no exception. […]

Continue Reading

Tips on attending your first Steampunk events

Photos © 2010 - 2016 Babette Daniels Photography Purchase your copy of this image at

Steampunk is unlike any other genre in that no single voice or authority gets to make the rules.  That gives you tremendous freedom.  There was a brief time when some Steampunks thought you had to be fancy and standoffish.  That was years ago, and those people pretty much all stopped hanging out with us.  Now, […]

Continue Reading

To Tea, Because Please, God, No More Whiskey For Now.

If you’re like me, this past New Year’s Eve might have helped you fully redefine your understanding of the concept of “too much too drink”.  I’d be busily pouring whiskey into the sink right now, except every single bottle is empty. I don’t remember much about what I did for New Year’s Eve, except that […]

Continue Reading

To tell the truth, I’ve never felt I fit in anywhere

“Steampunk isn’t about fitting in.  Steampunk is about refitting – the Universe, the past, your clothes, your idea of how to have fun, your ability to make stories, everything.” ― Jeff Mach, The Steampunk World’s Fair “But you don’t have to fit in to be okay. Believe me! I am the not-fitting-in world expert. I […]

Continue Reading

To tell the truth, I’ve never felt I fit in anywhere

3D render of a surreal science fiction scene with spaceship

“No one belongs when they are new to this world. All children are Changelings.” ― Catherynne M. Valente You know, I wish I was a changeling.  Even if I didn’t wholly understand what that meant.  I wish that I’d had some idea that I came from some other place–not a better place, just a place […]

Continue Reading

Trick Your Friends Into Being Steampunks For Halloween


Sure, we think you should convince your friends to become Steampunk because of the limitless creativity and joy of the music, clothing, performers, art, literature, culture, and general magnificence of Steampunk itself! But if that fails…we recommend cheating. “Hey, do you know what would be fun for Halloween?” you can say, innocently. “Steampunk! Steampunk’s this […]

Continue Reading

We are the Makers; we are the Implementors

It’s time you were told: We are not of this world. We are the Implementors. We are the ones who paint the trees in Autumnal shades.  We are the ones who chant down the Sun and breathe light into the Moon.  We are the ones who make the lowly roads end in other Universes. We […]

Continue Reading

We’re not a Convention, we’re a Festival!

The Steampunk World's Fair - "Wonders Untold"

We’re not a Steampunk Convention, we’re a rambunctious and irrepressible Steampunk Festival! What’s the difference between a festival and a convention? Well, we’d actually like to quote an interview that one of our founders did with I actually had this discussion, over at BrassGoggles, about the difference between a “Festival” (as we are) and […]

Continue Reading

What do Faeries drink?

quote - gdk - leaving fairyland - whiskey - jeff mach - bigstock

This is a guest post from the Steampunk/Faerie crossover world of Glimmerdark. It comes to you courtesy of Padraig Bolton and the one and only Puck (who is NOT at all pleased that Wikipedia describes him as “mythological”.) So!  Steampunks drink tea and absinthe!  What do Faeries drink?  Her’es what Puck and Pat said: a) […]

Continue Reading

What does it take to run geek/nerd/steampunk conventions at hotels?

Winter landscape with old hotel at night

When people say, “What does it take to run weekend-long Steampunk, Fairy, or Goth events,” I generally say: A hotel that actually WANTS your weird friends to hang out in it. This is more unusual than you’d expect..  If you’ve not booked a hotel before, your feeling might be, “Well, it’s business; you’re bringing them money; […]

Continue Reading

What I want for my birthday

In just over a week, I become 42, that most important of all ages of geeks,  at least those who, like me, were influenced by Douglas Adams. Here’s I want for my birthday: A gritty Cyberpunk reality.  I was promised that, by now, computers would be overtly trying to take over the world, and large […]

Continue Reading

What is Goth, then?

spirit of Halloween in a cemetary at night

Today’s the last day to get $20 off of Dark Side Of The Con with promo code “vampirefreaks”, and so I thought I’d do something Gothic.  You might have seen my recent entry wherein I crowdsourced the question “What is Steampunk?” I thought, given how quickly  is coming up, I might try the same thing with […]

Continue Reading

What Makes A Great Evil Villain’s Lair?

What makes a great evil villain's lair?

As we work hard on Dark Side Of The Con, the same question keeps coming to us: What makes a good Evil Lair into a truly great Evil Lair? There are times when you just need to retreat from the troubles and difficulties of the day-to-day world, particularly when those troubles have pitchforks, torches, holy […]

Continue Reading

What the Hell is Steampunk?


A guide for the curious, the interested, the unsure; the perplexed, the inquisitive, the somewhat lost; and perhaps even the displeased, the annoyed, and the generally put-out. This is a really simple, and a really short, post.  Honestly, we can sum it up in three points: (more…)

Continue Reading

Why do this whole “Steampunk” thing?

What does Steampunk mean to you? Why do it? I can tell you: very few of us do Steampunk because we think it will make us more popular in the “regular” world, or even in geek fandom.  It’s not that geeks don’t like or respect Steampunk; it’s that, no matter how we’ve grown, we’re still […]

Continue Reading

Why goggles, anyway?

Steampunk performer wearing goggles

Of all the symbols Steampunk could have – why goggles?  Of all the things needed to complete a Steampunk outfit, why do goggles top the list?  They’re not even functional items for us.  They’re not boots that help us walk through Renfaire mud; they’re not flasks for convention enjoyment.  They’re not cosplay of Steampunk’s big […]

Continue Reading

Why Jeff Mach Events Won’t Be Doing A Star Wars Event

I’d love to do a Star Wars event. But I can’t. Because I can’t get enough ballpit balls to fill a Death Star. And if you can’t fill a Death Star with ballpit balls, what’s the point, right? Because yes.  Every event I run has a ballpit.  It’s a symbol that we took from this […]

Continue Reading

Why Steampunk and not cyberpunk?


Inspiration is in the air all around us! Or maybe that’s smog. I can’t tell the difference. ~The Alternative Cyberpunk Future Back in the 90s, I genuinely thought that Cyberpunk was going to rule the science fiction world and, indeed, the entire world of imaginary creation.  There was certainly much more Cyberpunk being written than […]

Continue Reading

Why would Steampunks make a Faerie festival?


When we created Glimmerdark, we were thinking about this: “What is magic? Then there is the witches’ explanation, which comes in two forms, depending on the age of the witch. Older witches hardly put words to it at all, but may suspect in their hearts that the universe really doesn’t know what the hell is […]

Continue Reading

You do Steampunk. Why are you doing a Fairy event?

Beautiful and Caucasian fairy holds a cigar

There are the lovely faeries We are none of those We are the misfit faeries In our strange and motley clothes Some faeries fly in springtime Their wings gauzy and deft We’ve torn off our wings Only the stubs are left “Hey, now, you misfit Faeries (On Fairyland a blight) Why wear you not your […]

Continue Reading

You Might Be A Dark Victorian If

What’s a Dark Victorian? It’s someone who likes their Victoriana a little on the shadowy side. Let’s be real: Goth and Steampunk have shared fashions since the beginning. If you’re a Steampunk who’s into the more haunting side of life, or a Goth fascinated by the 19th century, real or imaginary… you just might be […]

Continue Reading