Out with the Old, in with the New
The Steampunk World’s Fair 2017 was a rousing success! We’d like to thank everyone who attended this year’s event. We’d love your feedback; please feel free to share it with us via our feedback form!
Next year’s event, Steampunk World’s Fair 2018, will be at the Radisson and Embassy Suites of Piscataway, New Jersey, May 4-6th, 2018. Hotel rooms are available at our popular overflow hotel and tickets are available now as well!
New and don’t know where to start?
No problem! First, we recommend reading about what the Steampunk World’s Fair is. Then, take a look at our Entertainment line-up and our Merchant roster to get an idea of the things you can expect to enjoy at our event. Our VIP & Add-on event listings are a good way to see all the extra, premium content we have to offer, too! Then, when you’re ready, take a look at our Buy Tickets page to join us at the next SPWF.
The Latest from our Curators
It’s The Steampunk Haunted House!
Why combine Steampunk and Halloween?
This is the heart of it: some people love Halloween because they get to put masks on. But some of us love Halloween because we finally get to take our masks off.
When we started doing Steampunk in the Catskills, and then Halloween in the Catskills, we found that the property already had a magnificent haunted house which was the product of years of work by master hunters and dedicated people of all stripes. But due to the resorts disastrous fire some years earlier, the house wasn’t operating at its full capacity, despite incredible staff and team behind it.
We saw opportunity because this is what Steampunk does. This is a piece of the magic that is Steampunk. This is a piece of the craft and skill and ability within Steampunk. Steampunk can take an idea in any form, and help infuse that idea with life and vitality and inspiration and blissfully incredible joy.
Steampunk is not escape from reality. Halloween is not escape from reality. Both of them are their own realities. They touch us, and effectiveness, and they make our lives more fascinating.
If you’re seeing this on September 10 or 11th, the Kickstarter is in its final hours. Wherever you are, you can back it and get in-person or long-dstance rewards! if you’re seeing this after, check out Kickstarter anyway, because the things you’re doing, thanks to be like you, are spectacular:
Are there reasons NOT to do Steampunk? Oh, HECK yes. Let me give you some.
First off, it’s ridiculous. An imaginary 19th century which never happened and which we explore in the 21st century? Why in the world would anyone want to do that?
Relatedly, it doesn’t seem to make sense, when you think about it. I mean, when people imagine they’re at a Renaissance Faire, at least there is some degree of hypothetical actual history involved. It’s taken something like 50 years for the modern Renaissance fair to evolve so deeply into something which doesn’t really involve the Renaissance. It took decades for Renaissance Faires to get to a point where they embody “some sort of point in history where people carried swords; something after the Dark Ages and before the Internal Combustion Engine. Heck, in my own lifetime, with the coming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I’ve seen Renaissance Faires be pretty excited to welcome Pirates of clearly 18th century backgrounds–ie, at LEAST a hundred years after the Renaissnance is acknowledge to have ended. That’s an impressive (and, to be clear, incredibly fun!) historical innacuracy – but at least it took a really long time.
Steampunk doesn’t have that excuse. How long has Steampunk as we know it been a thing? Eight years? Perhaps 10? I certainly know people who feel they and practicing it longer, but the very least, the Steampunk we see today has existed for less than a decade. It didn’t start out accurate and get weird. It started weird, and got more inaccurate from there.
And at least if this was something like punk rock or Goth or the hippie movement or even, as some claim, just a genre of science fiction literature, we don’t have anything like the hierarchy of those genres! For example, there may or may not be a top Steampunk band or two. But those are the main reason people discover Steampunk. Is there a topSteampunk author? I think there are many incredible steampunk authors, and some have sold more books than others, and some might have had more influence than others, but I don’t think ANY particular Steampunk author is the creator of the Steampunk we know–certainly K.W. Jeter, who coined the very term, has said repeatedly that he did NOT create the Steampunk we see today.
Famous steampunk makers? We certainly have some. We certainly love their creations. I think I could possibly narrow my own list of the top five Steampunk creators down to… I don’t know, perhaps 10 people, all of whom could lay reasonable claim to being in the top five. And most of them are actually too modest to say that. And some of the finest creations in Steampunk have absolutely not been made by people who identify as Steampunks–they’re just people who love playing with this culture.
Is Steampunk created by events? Would that mean that the people who run events run Steampunk? I’ll be honest. If you’re reading this, you are probably seeing this on my own website for my own event, or through social media that is related to an event company which bears my name. Do you think that I run Steampunk? I run the world’s largest Steampunk event. Am I in charge? Have you even heard of me? The answer to the first question is definitely no! The answer the second question is not definitely “no”…
…but I’m pretty sure that if you took all the people world who identify as Steampunk, and asked them if they know who runs any particular Steampunk events, most of they’d probably be able to answer only for the events they go to or for which they’ve seen advertising.
So why play with, create for, former lifestyle around, experiment with, or otherwise be a part of Steampunk?
For exactly and precisely each and every one of the reasons above!
Because Steampunk doesn’t have to make sense! Steampunk doesn’t have to have a leader! Steampunk doesn’t have to be any damn thing at all except a gorgeous 19th century canvas upon which we are throwing all manner of paint, and sketches, and words, and ideas. And what we get out of something which brings joy and fascination and beauty and community to a world which could choose to be humdrum and mundane and boring.
Let the world be boring? NEVER! We make the choice to be precisely the opposite. We are Steampunks! In fact, each and every one of us IS Steampunk itself. You, right now, are building steampunk just by thinking about it and contributing your presence to this culture, even if all you do is read a few articles and put a few thoughts out into the ether. In fact, people who do that “matter” just as much, in their own way, as people like me whose lifestyle and actual living depend on Steampunk. Because this isn’t a contest where somebody wins; this is a world-building to make a giant, deeply individual, deeply shared Universe we can call our own.
No masters. No slaves. No rules except the simplest one:
if you want to be a part of Steampunk, you can.
Before The Steampunk World’s Fair was Jeff Mach’s Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire – which has only just now returned. A large part of our identity as a rollicking Festival – rather than a convention – comes from that background. We thought we’d take a moment to reflect on where Wicked Faire came from, since it was partly the introduction of Steampunk at Wicked Faire which began the Steampunk Renaissance.
The Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire was a 3-day long indoor Renaissance Faire (the first of its kind!), organized by Jeff Mach Events, and held each February from 2006 to 2016.
Central to our identity, and crucial to our evolution, is the notion of an unbounded Renaissance Faire. If you can open the door to a particular world – why stop there? Leave the portal open for airship pirates, Time Lords, Wonderland, and Mr. Wednesday. The possibilities are truly endless. To put it simply, Wicked Faire was created for anyone who has that Puckish kind of Wanderlust. Some say that we are a window and an opening.
We are a celebration of those weird and wonderful things that are often neglected or hidden from our day to day. We express this through a plethora of music, dancing, and performance. Sometimes these are loosely connected by a theme, but more often we partner with artists who are dreamers, just like us. And because we are a convention, we also structure panels, meetups, and other opportunities to geek out.
Over time, our festival has fostered a strong community – bringing like-minded people together to amplify our magical atmosphere. Relationships are sparked, connections are strengthened – folks will testify to our culture of welcomeness. Dress up to the 9’s, or don’t. Since we are not united around any specific fandom or theme, most come with an open mind and leave having learned something new. Vendors, performers, fellow attendees, and staff are looking forward to meeting you, and learning from you. As one attendee explained, “Wicked Faire was the first place I felt like myself.”
We are also highly accepting – we are kinky-friendly, poly-friendly, LGBTQ friendly – just about everything friendly! We strive to create a diverse and welcoming atmosphere not just for ourselves, but also to be a role model for others.
We’re also a crowd. Our wide variety of entertainment also includes an adult / kink programming tract, because this represents another part of the human psyche that we may not always have the space to explore. In our humble opinion, sometimes being bound is the best kind of unbounded.
So what is Wicked Faire? Wicked Faire is a memorable experience because you make it so. Over 11 years, Wicked amassed an identity that’s unique to each person – which has been vexingly difficult for us to replicate – and we have accepted that in many ways, we need to let things be what they will be, and let the magic come to us.
Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!
The Steampunk World’s Fair is pleased to announce the return of Tobias McCurry!
Tobias McCurry is a costumer, prop maker and entertainer out of Seattle who is best known for his works on “Steampunk’d” as a maker.
Tobias specializes in genres from Steampunk to Post-Apocalyptic, creating immersive works involving costuming, prop weapons and more!
We are currently working out Tobias’ guest schedule for SPWF 2018 so be sure to check back for updates!
The Steampunk World’s Fair is pleased to announce the return of Steampunk Eddie!
Edward Thayer (known as) “Steampunk Eddie” and winner of GSN’s reality TV show “Steampunk’d” and took the title of “Top Steampunk Maker” in the country.
His art work has been sold internationally to well-known software companies such as “Cap Gemini“. Although Ed is famous for his “steampunk” influenced style, he has over 30 years experience in the custom automobile and motorcycle field as an airbrush artist and metal fabricator.
His most well known “steampunk” influenced masterpiece “A Matter of Time” can be seen in the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Museum in Hershey Pennsylvania until November 6th of 2016.
We are currently working on Steampunk Eddie’s guest schedule for SPWF 2018 so make sure you check back for updates!
Did you ever wonder what a “BJD” is? Do you know what a “BJD” is, but want to learn more? Do you have “BJD’s” and want to meet others who have them? Come to our panel and learn! Stay after the panel and enjoy meeting other owners and their BJD’s! That’s right! We’ll have a meet up after our panel!
What the heck is a “BJD”? and Beyond!
With Leah Weatherby
If you ever wanted to learn what a BJD is, why they are so popular, how to get one, or just see some in person, this is for you! We will educate you and follow the panel with a meet up where you can bring your own BJD’s or just meet other who own them!
Victorian Calling Cards and the Art of Calling on Someone
With MaryAnn Metz
The social etiquette of visiting is almost lost. The art of calling on someone was a great way to meet people, to get to know them, as well as politely reject someone without hurting their feelings. In current times, it is a great way for folks who feel shy or awkward to meet others, or just have fun meeting people.
Katherine McIntyre is a feisty Irish chick with a big attitude despite her short stature.
She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes—high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix.
Murder on the Airship Desire
What should’ve been a quick transport over the Atlantic turns bloody, and fast. Not that Bea expected differently with her strain of luck—after all, her crew’s notorious for attracting trouble. Problem is, they’ll need to clean this mess up before landing, and the dock in Britain is only hours away.
Join the pirate crew of the Airship Desire for a riveting murder mystery!