What is Steampunk music?

We work with more Steampunk musicians than almost anyone else in the world. But that doesn’t give us the right to tell everyone else what is or isn’t Steampunk music. It DOES, however, give us a bit of perspective.

Rather than trying to figure out who is and isn’t allowed to come and play with us, how about this –

If it’s music that creates, promotes, or inspires Steampunk, then it can damn well be called Steampunk music.

Does it matter if you dress Steampunk? If you have Steampunk lyrics? If you call yourself Steampunk? If you play Steampunk events? Sure! Any of those things adds meaning to Steampunk music.

But at the end of the day:

If what you play makes the Steampunk world a better place, it’s good enough for me.

-Jeff Mach

What Is Steampunk To You?

Photo of Mansara by Babs Who Takes Pictures

Photo of Mansara at SPWF 2015 by Babs Who Takes Pictures

Listen, my friend. If you take something that’s got something to do with the 19th century, or thereabouts, and do something with it, I’m going to be comfortable calling it Steampunk.

Obviously, using a big, broad definition can give people an excuse to do cookie-cutter same-as-everybody-else stuff. I’ll totally admit that. You can buy a few plastic gears at a hardware store, throw ’em at a hat, and call it Steampunk.

But it also means that we have a massive wealth of styles, ideas, locales, concepts, and geography to play with. We’re not limited to Europe. We’re not limited to H.G. Wells. We’re not limited to EARTH. We’ve got Tesla to Curie to Jack the Ripper to Lovelace to Challenger to Elizabeth Howlett.

If we let Steampunk be defined big and far and wide, we’ll get imitation, we’ll get some mass-produced stuff, we’ll get some people who just don’t put any thought or effort into it, and yeah, that’s a shame. But we’ll also OPEN STEAMPUNK UP to the entire planet and let anyone creative, whimsical, and strange come play in our playground. Steampunk will either be mind-batteringly boring or world-challengingly enthralling BASED ON WHAT WE DO WITH IT! It’s up to US!

So tell me, mate. For you, what IS Steampunk?

~ Jeff Mach

Hate Is Not A Steampunk Value

steampunk is welcoming

Steampunk is fairly new, especially in its current incarnation.  While K.W. Jeter invented the term in 1987, and some people have been doing Steampunk things for a long time, the Steampunk world we know – the profusion of art, culture, music, conversation, literature, and delights we now enjoy – has taken off within, at most, the last eight or ten years (edited to be a bit more accurate).

Steampunk is still NEW.  That means that everyone has a voice.  We get to DECIDE what Steampunk will be.  And those of us who are doing Steampunk have made it clear:

We want to try to embrace everyone who wants to participate in our strange and wonderful world!  We want to enjoy everyone’s imaginary Steampunk universes!  We welcome people of every race, creed, gender, background, and orientation.  We want you to be a part of it!

The actual era included sexism, racism, and homophobia.  The imaginary 19th century would like to remind you to keep those things out of the 21st century, please.  Hate is not a Steampunk value!

-Jeff Mach

Seven Things You Learn Running Steampunk Events

1. Steampunks are some of the friendliest, most welcoming people ever.

2. The Universe runs on tea. Sugar and cream are optional, but just barely.

3. Steampunks come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages!

4. Scones are a vegetable.

5. Sherlock Holmes would totally have been besties with Oscar Wilde.

6. There are more top hats in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

7. The imagination truly has no limits. Personal creativity is limitless. Give people a place to express themselves, and they will delight you.

~Jeff Mach


Photos © 2010 – 2016 Babette Daniels Photography Click here to see more and purchase images.

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Is SPWF too far away? Want to come to our next event? It’s an unconventional party thrown by Faeries for all the weird, wonderful people of the world! Glimmerdark.com.