Welcome to Jeff Mach’s Steampunk World’s Fair!

Jeff Mach‘s Steampunk World’s Fair is the world’s largest Steampunk event!  Everyone is welcome, from the veteran Steampunker to the simply curious.  Come an join us for a weekend of merriment, we’d love to meet you!

Welcome to Jeff Mach’s Steampunk World’s Fair – the largest Steampunk event in the world! We proudly welcome everyone to come and join us for a weekend of merriment and whimsy. Read on to find out more about the fair and everything it has to offer.

Advance tickets are now on sale for the Steampunk World’s Fair, May 4-6, 2018!

Purchase Tickets!

Thanks everyone for joining us for the Steampunk World’s Fair 2017, The Fires of Inspiration! We’re already hard at work getting everything ready for Steampunk World’s Fair 2018, Steampunk Joy. Keep coming back in the coming months to see all of the great content you’ve come to expect, with a generous helping of brand new attractions!

What, exactly, is The Steampunk World’s Fair?  We’re glad you asked!  We’ve gone into a bit of detail for you on our About Page – take a gander!

Curious about Steampunk?  Jeff Mach, the man behind SPWF, has quite a lot to say about the subject!  Take a look at his blog, Jeff Mach Speaks: Musings on Steampunk

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

Why would Steampunks make a Faerie festival?

Hephaestus.

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 going on and consists of a zillion trillion billion possibilities, and could become any one of them if a trained mind rigid with quantum certainty was inserted into the crack and twisted; that, if you really had to make someone’s hat explode, all you needed to do was twist into that universe where a large number of hat molecules all decide at the same time to bounce off in different directions.

Younger witches, on the other hand, talk about it all the time and believe it involves crystals, mystic forces, and dancing about without yer drawers on.

Everyone may be right, all at the same time. That’s the thing about quantum.”
― Terry Pratchett, “Lords and Ladies”

What is it that we love about Steampunk?  You can take it anywhere you want; you can have a Steampunk House or you can just show up in a t-shirt, and what’s even better is that those two people are perfectly likely to step up to the bar at one of our events and share a beer.  It’s not a competition; it’s building a world, and you can go big or go small.  Nobody can tell you that your Steampunk is right or wrong; nobody owns Steampunk.

And this is the secret:  Nobody owns magic, either.  Nobody owns Fairyland.  We can do with it what we want, we can make it what we want.

I’d say that we’re only limited by our imagination, but that’s not true; we are far more limitless than any individual imagination.  Steampunk’s death has been predicted time and time again, and it’s never died, and that’s not because it has some message more enduring than Disco or pet rocks or Napster.  It’s because nobody can say, “That’s not Steampunk; stop it!”  People all over the world create more Steampunk things every day, and it just makes the Steampunk universe bigger.

We wanted to play with another world that big.  And we honestly wanted one that had even fewer rules, so that if we wanted to, we could ABSOLUTELY wear our Steampunk gear – or our pirate stuff, our Gothic garb, our geek attire, our khakis.

That was the birth of Glimmerdark.  If you’ve enjoyed The Steampunk World’s Fair or other Jeff Mach Events, come to Jeff Mach’s Glimmerdark.  We’ll bring the magic.  You bring the steam-cannons.

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

SPWF tickets make great holiday gifts!

Are you searching for a Steampunk holiday gift? If so, might we humbly suggest that Steampunk World’s Fair tickets are pretty darn splendid?

There’s more! We’ll help your gift stand out! Just buy your tickets, and then print out one of these designs by Egregore – The Art and Design of Aristotle Pramagioulis. You’ll be able to give your friends and loved ones a really, really amazing  card to accompany your tickets. Just get your tickets at www.steampunkworldsfair.com/tickets, then print out the image of your choice, and voila! You’ve got a holiday gift fit for royalty!

Click on the images to view a larger, full-size version.

holiday-2014-fsm holiday-2014-jewish

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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, but doesn’t exist.

For those who must hide essential parts of their lives from those who we were told would always love us, no matter what: May you recognize that blood is genetics, not an unconditional bond, and if parts of you are secret, you are not to blame.

And for everyone about to sit around a table with kin who are sometimes far worse than strangers, may you know this:

Your birth family is what you were given, for good or ill. But we, your chosen family, we love you and care about you for who and what you really are. If Thanksgiving is hard, then I hope you can remember that your real family is always with you. Be strong because we, all those of us who do not quite fit, need every jot of strength we can find today. And be comforted in the knowledge that we, in turn, know you are there for us. And we will get through this together.

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

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 in place?

There was a time in my life when I only ran two events a year, instead of the seven or either I run now.  My events tend to start on Fridays, and I always wondered about the odd magic in the air on Thursday night, even when nothing was happening.

The truth is, the night before a convention is a very special time. For one thing, it’s difficult to fully mask the sound of the power tools and the ionic phase shift generators, even behind the subtly-loudened lobby music and that suspicious clatter from the supposedly-empty kitchen. It takes the hotel crew hours of backbacking labor to bend, twist, and chop down the walls, and partitions which protect the hotel from reality. It’s necessary to unwarp-time, to let dimensional existence finally breathe out and release the other elsewhen dimensions, and then it can take hours to generate enough Tribbles to sop up the ether water from the bits of the Eighth Sea which manage to seep through.

And hell, that’s nothing compared to what they have to do to put all the barriers back and pretend that the “normal” world is actually reality on Sunday evening. Pretending the world is normal is a terrible, awful, miserable job, and I’m glad I, for one, don’t have to do it.

~Jeff Mach
Jeff Mach Events

The Great Steampunk Talent Search

WELCOME TO
THE GREAT STEAMPUNK TALENT SEARCH:
THE AUTHOR EDITION!

TALENTSEARCH

The Steampunk World’s Fair, the world’s largest Steampunk festival, has helped some of the best-known performers in Steampunk get discovered. Now we’d like to share the Steampunk joy and expand its horizons. For 2018, we are seeking the greatest undiscovered Steampunk AUTHOR in the world!

THE DEAL:

We’re looking for any sort of Steampunk author: poet, short stories, blogger, novelist, song writer, etc. We’ll transport the winner to the show, provide hotel accommodations for Friday and Saturday nights of the Fair and access to the Con Suite (a room which serves light, non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks throughout the event), be given top billing, right up with our show’s headliners–and there is also a prize of one thousand dollars. The winner will be featured on the Guest of Honor panel, have one scheduled signing session, and two scheduled reading sessions. Further presentation and panel opportunities will also be likely and negotiated with the winner when they are chosen.

The cut-off date is February 1st.  The sooner you apply, the more time we have to read your application carefully!

There will be one winner. The winner will be notified via email on February 17, 2018. The announcement will be made to social media once the winner has been confirmed.


THE RULES:

You MUST complete BOTH steps to be eligible to win:

  1. Submit a programming application. Be sure to choose the “Great Steampunk Talent Search” option when you answer the application question “Is there a specific section of programming you’re interested in applying for?”
  2. Send us a sample of your writing. It can be previously published or not, but it should give us a clear idea of who you are and what you do. It should be at least 5 pages long but no more than 25 pages. A sample chapter is acceptable, as long as it’s not longer than 25 pages. Send the writing sample to [email protected] with subject: SPWF 2018 Talent Search

Please be sure to share this page if you know someone who should enter this talent search!

How To Get Your Band Or Group Booked For Our Steampunk Festival

Photo by the inimitable Babs Who Takes Pictures

Photo of Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band by the inimitable Babs Who Takes Pictures.

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me “How do we get accepted to The Steampunk World’s Fair”, I’d also have a lot of people also asking me, “Hey, where did you get all those dollars from?”

For us, the only way to get in is to go through the application process; we get hundreds of applications, from all over the world, and if we didn’t use a strict application process, we’d lose track.  There are just too many people applying for us to keep track of that information in email chains or phone conversations.  That’s why it still comes down to the application.  Here are some tips that work with us, and a bit of our point of view.  I hope you find this helpful!

  1. Help us hear your best – and most appropriate –  music or performance.  It’s amazing to me how often someone’s application will say “You can just search for me on Youtube”.  Well, yes, and if we were looking at ten applications, that might make sense; we’d want to take time to go through your work, see what might seem to best represent you, play and measure those videos…but we don’t.  Please, please help us help you – direct us to the aspects of your work you would MOST like us to see, the parts you feel will best help a stranger understand your work quickly and appreciate its value, AND… Do make sure that we see why you’re a good fit for a Steampunk event.  Is your work clearly Steampunk?  Is it in some similar realm of imagination?  What makes you right for this show, and this show right for you?
  2. Have good social media.  When I was young, venues would ask, “Do you have a following?”, and they had to pretty much trust you if you said, “I sure do!”  (Of course, if you said you did, and then had a small turnout, you weren’t likely to be invited back.)  Social media is not the ONLY way we judge performers – lots of great performers just plain hate social media and/or aren’t good at it – but it’s definitely going to be some indicator of your ability to bring in an audience.  So if you can, it’s worth time making some of your social media presence as strong as you can.
  3. Make sure we’re a good fit for compensation on both sides.  Realistically, the goal is for every performer to be happy with compensation, and for the event to be equally happy.  We don’t expect each group to pay for itself in terms of sheer attendance – and, in fact, that’s rather rare, for us.  We’re a festival; people go for the combination of shows, not any one show, and people who DO attend just to see one performer are actually NOT our optimal guests.  Because our event is a great deal if you want to see a lot of Steampunk.  It’s not a great deal if you want to see just one hour worth of programming during the weekend.
  4. You don’t need to “look Steampunk”, but if you don’t, you need to give other reasons why you’ll fit well.  Billy Idol, in his song “100 Punks”, said, “If you don’t have the look, you’ll never be one”.  That is NOT true!  But we ARE looking for people who’ll connect with a Steampunk audience, and that audience often looks to see affirmation of their own look and style in yours.  If you don’t offer that direct connection, be sure you offer other kinds of connection.
  5. If you’re accepted – promote your appearance!  It’s part of our job to support your appearance by letting people know about you.  It’s part of your job to support our show by letting people know about it.  If you’re part of our event, know that we WILL tell the world about you!  Please do return the favor – that interaction is really important to having a longterm relationship with us.

~Jeff Mach

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Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks).  He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.

On eating properly at events

The Steampunk World's Fair - "Wonders Untold"

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, lean protein, and vitamins. Seriously, if you’re not running around hard enough that your body might collapse unless you fill it with rocket fuel, then you should give consideration to the possibility that you’re doing it wrong.

Here for an opposing view, we have: French fries.

Hi there. We’re French Fries. We’re crispy. We’re the carbohydrates your brain is craving. Seriously, we’re not sure why zombies hypothetically go after brain matter, whereas your head has millions of years of evolution directed towards the belief that carbo-loading maximizes longterm fitness and reproductive potential. Sure, your brain had no idea that we’d be delivering said theoretical fitness in the form of deep-fried salted slabs of calories emptier than a tinker’s wallet after a night in a Faerie cocktail lounge. It doesn’t matter. We’re French Fries, and whatever your ideas of appropriate nutrition might be, we’re getting up in your face and not leaving until you’ve feasted upon our deliciously crunchy, short-lived tuber bodies.

The Fool and The Fairy: A Pre-Holiday Thought For Steampunks, Faeries, and Other Eccentrics

quote - spwf - going gets weird - hst - jeff mach - bigstock

“The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.”
John Stuart Mill

This holiday season, give your family the gift they most need: Be the strange, eccentric family member whose peculiar antics make everything else happening at dinner seem pretty normal in comparison.

This is the time to be unusual and proud of it!  Remember, you need to provide a bad example for the next generation.  You want people to go home saying to your cousins, “Now, eat all your broccoli, or you’re turn out warped, like your Aunt Peaseblossom.”

We got into Steampunk – and Faeries, and magic, and all manner of fandom and peculiar worlds – because we can see that there’s more to life than what we see in our everyday experience.  Take that thought with you.

The holidays can be rough, and we’ll be writing about that some more in the next few days.

Remember: There’s always magic in the holiday season, but that’s because magic is real and you carry it about in your hip pocket.  Which can be terribly peculiar if you don’t have a hip pocket.

And now, some holiday poetry for you:

The Fool said to the Fairy,
“I’m sure you don’t exist!”
The Fairy said, “In that case
You’re off my Christmas list!”

Enjoy your weekend!

~Jeff Mach

Jeff Mach Events