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

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 my heart of hearts, all the best places in the world looked like that.

It was that scene, that, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which first introduced me to the cornerstone of my life: the idea that there is a more fabulous, more wonderful world out there than the one we see every day, that there is more to existence, that there could be places where everything is candy.

It’s how and why I started doing events: I wanted to make an experience that would be like being in The Chocolate Factory all weekend long. With, perhaps, a slightly lesser chance of being murdered by Oompa-Loompas.

It’s part of why I started writing. It’s why I joined the SCA, the gamer’s clubs, pretty much anything I could find that had roots in both everyday reality and some otherworldly, better dreams.

You can say a lot about Roald Dahl’s work, and I’m a huge fan, but Gene Wilder made that part work, created that role as we know it. If you look up his notes and interviews, he was very specific on how Willy Wonka had to have something up his sleeve; he might have been a hero, but you couldn’t exactly trust what he was doing, because if you were ever trying to pin him down, make him act just like everyone else, make what he was doing ordinary, he would overturn things around you and cause glorious merry chaos.

Gene Wilder did so many brilliant things, but for myself, in his memory, I’m going to hold onto that one image – the moment he steps into a room where everything is sweet, everything can be enjoyed, everything is magical. And I’m going to keep looking to find those moments, and keep looking to create those moments, and keep looking to be around other people who want to be a part of those worlds of endless possibility.

Also, I’m going to cry a lot, and eat a huge dang chocolate bar.

~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 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 I’m trying to say is, I’m pretty thirsty.  Has anyone got some coffee?

#3. Top hats.  Top hats are the very best!  Bear in mind that “Top Hat” is cockney slang for “Chat”, which is French for “cat”, and that cats wearing top hats are adorable.  I therefore rest my case.

#2. Gin.  Gin goes with anything.  Bad day?  Gin.  Good day?  Gin.  Tea?  Gin.  Gin?  Add more gin.

#1.  Goggles.  Sure, people laugh at as now, saying that our goggles aren’t actually used for Steampunk purposes, but wait until the Zombie Snow Horde descends and we need to protect our eyes as we pilot our Steam-Powered Snowmobiles.  They’ll be laughing out of the other side of their heads, I can tell you that!

#.2: Also, while we’re talking about it, I’m going to say that Doctor Who is great.  There’s been some debate about whether or not Doctor Who is Steampunk.  I’m going to say it’s at least 20% Steampunk, if not more – ergo, it’s #.2!

~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 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 helps you; these are just a few of my own thoughts.

Have you had your heart, not simply broken, but systematically torn out and stomped until all that was left of it was a tiny smear?

Good! Now you have Power.

You have the power to re-make your heart.

You have the power to re-make your heart, and you don’t have to choose to make it out of rage and fear.

Make it out of the things that would repay those who did this to you in the cruelest coin of all:

Remake your heart with joy.
Remake your heart with strength.
Remake your heart with force.
Remake your heart into an imdomitable, unending factory for creating a better life, a sweeter world, a better home for your mind, soul, and needs.

Remake your heart and become something stronger, better than anyone ever imagined.

And when you see that little smudge of red still pooled on the floor, just smile. That was the old you. That was the sad you. That was the you who was afraid.

You don’t need that you any more. You have a greater self to be.

~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.

Is Steampunk real?

magic, performance, circus, show and advertisement concept - magician holding something on palm of his handIs steampunk “real”?

Well, why not ask if anything is real?  I’m no philosopher but I know naive reality when I see it.  For those who don’t know–and for those of you who do, of course–I’m going to give her dramatic oversimplification:

Naive reality is simply a conception that something exists if we can see it, feel it, experience it with our senses.  And naive reality works really well in lots of contexts and in lots of ways; it’s hard to build a car without it knowing how to manipulate physical objects and do various forms of engineering.  Heck, it’s hard to get on with the business of daily life without naive reality; you can know that a wall isn’t a solid thing but a convocation of a ton of atoms; but that won’t let you walk through the wall.  At the same time it’s pretty easy to poke holes in naive reality.  For one thing we’re pretty familiar with the Sci-Fi trope which says:

What  if what you’re experiencing is being fed into you?  What is if’t just a virtual reality?  (I don’t like the way “The Matrix” tackled the problem, but it’s certainly a clear example of that concept)  And now, with modern technology, we are starting to recognize the ability to have virtual reality worlds which are perhaps indistinguishable from what we generally think of as reality.  If we don’t have picture-perfect VR now, it’s only a matter of time.  And  sure, if you take off your virtual reality gear that virtual reality World ceases to exist.  But I’ll tell you: if I take off the simple reality of my glasses, you cease to exist.  Everything ceases to exist except the whole bunch of blobs of color, really.  My reality’s governed pretty heavily by vision-correcting glasses, which have only been around for a tiny fraction of human history.

And modern reality asks us to take into account things that I don’t believe I can verify with my direct senses–like the materials which make up stars, for example.  Hell, as far as I’m concerned, smartphones are magic.   I can figure out that 2+2=4 4 by picking up some rocks and counting, but I’m told that pretty much all modern engineering relies on significantly more complicated formulae that I simply don’t understand.  Should I deny internal combustion because I can’t experience it firsthand ?  For all I know, my mechanic is just puttering about with spells and incantations and sacrificing a grapefruit to make my engine work.

I can’t disprove that reality, so how could I disprove Steampunk?

I don’t think any of us are suggesting that this weird pseudo-Victorian thing is how the 19th century actually worked.   I don’t think any of us are suggesting that our toy steampunk weapons are actual weapons we can use here and now.  (Which is good, because I’m pretty sure that, if they were real, I’d have accidentally vamporized something important by now.

But Steampunk does have major effects on human beings.  Steampunk ignites a passion in the heart and that is only partly a metaphor.  Steampunk is an excitement, a joy, a source of creativity, a source of wonder.  Tthese things are not just pretty words; these are actual mental states, these are actual things which happen in your brain.  These are utterly actual effects on your neurochemistry and your neurochemistry is deeply real.

Consider the medicine people take to change alter and control their mental chemistry, the food we eat, our exercise, the mindsets and attitudes of those around us.  All of these things are real.  The things that change our minds figuratively also change our minds literally, and when our minds change in a literal way, our body changes.

So now here we have Steampunk, this clearly imaginary, clearly clearly whimsical genre.  It’s a game, a philosophy, a form of self-expression and I tell you:

It changes our lives.  It changes our minds.  It changes our perceptions.

In other words, it’s ridiculous and untrue.  But it’s also very, very real.

~Jeff Mach
www.patreon.com/jeffmach
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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.  

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.

1. Slytherin House, of course, loves serpents. It is hilarious for you to throw your pet grass snake at us during Care of Magical Creatures. With our finely-developed sense of humor, we will respond by playfully filling your bed with black mambas.

2. Sure, many of us are Death Eaters. But that mostly just means that we’d be glad to have lunch with Death, the enchanting character from the Terry Pratchett Discworld books.

3. We have, of course, ended our use of the hateful and inappropriate slur “Mudblood”. Now, if we think you have some sort of mud inside of you, we will simply turn you to clay, so that the term becomes descriptive, not pejorative.

4. Don’t ask why we have a picture of Hot Silver Fox Severus Snape pinned up in our locker. It’s for, um, inspiration because of his heroism and a grateful remembrance. Yeah, that’s what it is.

5. Of course you can have have the password to escape. Just be aware that it’ll be in Parseltongue.

~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.