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

Some thoughts on running Steampunk and other events

“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 in the 2-4ish range. (I can tell you: My brother was a 30-year-old My Little Pony fan way before it was cool.)

And Louis loves the things kids love. Trick or treating. Toy stores. Playgrounds. It was the playgrounds which taught me the best lesson, and I’d like to share it with you.

Louis is a kid. That’s how he acts, that’s how he sees himself. He’s not big for his age – something arrested his physical growth as well as his mental acuity – but he’s easily twice the size of the people he perceives as his “age”. And he really doesn’t speak as well as someone who is three or four; he’s got unusual verbal tics and mannerisms.

This is the thing:

The worst playground in the world is the one where kids turn away from him, won’t respond when he talks to him, or, hardest of all, laugh.

The best playground in the world is the one where a person, usually so small in comparison that they need to reach way way up to do it, takes him by the hand and leads him over to come and play.

In other words, the playground matters very little..,.compared to the players.

I don’t build physical playgrounds; I build events. And if you want to try to have a great event, I believe you should try to have events which encourage wonderful people. And don’t be afraid of seeming corny or silly – sure “wonderful people” sounds more like a description for a kid’s show than a kink event. I don’t care; the phrasing works. Praise kindness and model it in your own actions. Value respect. Fight for safety even when it’s very hard to know how to make a space “safe”. Discourage hateful people. Turn down their money; urge them to take their business elsewhere.

Let me give you, then, my big secret, the formula, the recipe for a great event:

1. Attract amazing people and try to treat them well.
2. That’s it.

~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 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 happens whenever anyone says, “Follow your dreams!” and doesn’t add “…repeatedly, because the first several attempts are very likely to fail”.

It’s absolutely true that most people with dreams need encouragement – lots of encouragement. It’s scary and difficult to try to break out of where you are, and do something new, especially if it’s something that few people, or no people, have ever done before. And you should absolutely support your local dreamer, but–

But frequently, a large part of that support comes in a “certificate of attendance”-style – “Hey, that’s great, you have dreams! Definitely follow them! Go for it!” Because that’s what we get told – “Tell people to follow their dreams”. Because we love that tale – we love the story of the person who has the courage and vision to dream big, and who tries to make those dreams real, and who finally succeeds against all odds.

Do you actually know anyone who’s had that experience? I don’t. Having the skills, and the knowledge, and the infrastructure to create something successful your first time – is rare. And most of the time, some of it is something not easily distinguishable from luck – the right idea at the wrong time seldom succeeds. And sure, there’s something in knowing when the time for something is right. But there’s also the good fortune of being around at a moment when your idea can find acceptance.

How do you assure that your dream will come true, then, if you don’t have tons and tons of experience, knowledge, and resources?

You don’t.. At least, not to start.. Not the first iteration of that dream.

What you can do is be ready. Not “ready to fail” – don’t defeat yourself before you start. But “ready for what happens”. If what you have is success, fantastic! If what you have isn’t success – then, tell me, what will you do to succeed next time?

~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.

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, they’re all completely right.

Because in my eyes, Steampunk is an entire culture.  And a large piece of that culture is the knowledge that the more we allow our culture to be diverse in its members, its creativity, even its definition, the bigger and better a Steampunk Universe we’ll have.

We don’t often talk about Steampunk being a culture because, frankly, we don’t want to sound too posh, and when you speak overmuch of something being a culture or a movement or a nation, it sounds like (a) you’re giving yourself airs, and (b) that’s going to be a lot of work.  Do you get kicked out of Steampunk culture if you don’t drink the right tea?  Does the Steampunk Movement have to run a candidate for President?  If Steampunk is a nation, do we have to pay taxes to someone?

No, of course not.  Robert Anton Wilson said, “Reality is whatever you can get away with”.  Well, Steampunk is “Whatever you can get away with”.  Want to show up at Steampunk events in an unironic, completely un-Steampunk’d Darth Vader suit?  I guarantee that what happens next will not be about Darth Vader, Star Wars, or the Victorian era; what happens next will be about you.  Interact kindly and with humor and affection towards those around you?  You’ll be accepted.  Play the character brilliantly and impress us?  You’ll be accepted, as long as you’re not using your character to be a jerk.  Be obnoxious, rude, or mean?  You’ll find yourself friendless, alone, and sad, and if you’re sufficiently obnoxious, you’ll find yourself in violation of the Harassment Policy every Steampunk event should have, and you’ll be out.

Steampunk is not a thing or a categorization, because it’s not about the things or the categorizations; those are useful, but they don’t define us.  Steampunk is about the people who participate in Steampunk, in whatever way they want to do that.  And that makes us a people, a nation, a world – a culture.

~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.

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 hats.  Bowlers!  Top hats!  This hat here!  Steampunks wear the bets hats!  I mean, this isn’t an invariant rule.  If, for example, you’re a medieval jester, you can wear the best hats ever, but you also have a lifespan of approximately three years.  Less, if they find out about you and the Queen.

4.  You can eat all the crumpets you want.  Actually, I can’t eat all the crumpets I want, as having that many crumpets in one place would likely be so heavy that the entire tavern would break through the crust of our planet and I’d end up battling dinosaurs in the Center of the Earth.  But you can eat a LOT of crumpts.

3.  David Bowie was clearly a Steampunk.  Come on.  Have you ever seen that man rock a cravat?  Sure, Steampunks may be weird, but we’re in such lovely company!

2.  Since Steampunk is an invented, imaginary world, it is necessary for you to stuff your imagination as much as possible by reading ALL the books, watching ALL the movies, and consuming ALL the imaginative media you can find.  Just tell your friends what I tell my husband: I’m sorry, darling, I’d love to wash the dishes, but reading H.G. Wells books is essential to the safekeeping of my vital creative processes.

1. There is no such thing as “normal”. I hate to tell you this, but there is no such thing as normal. It just doesn’t exist.  Everyone is, inside themselves, deeply peculiar.  There’s no such thing as normal people; there are just people who are afraid that others will laugh at them or be mean to them if they act outside of what they think they’re “supposed” to do.  If you’re friends with them, be kind, and take them to some weird, welcoming place where they can be happy.

~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.

 

What’s a nice Steampunk like you doing with a Faerie Festival?

“I believe in Faeries, or, at least, I make sure to drink my whiskey before they can.”

-Oscar Wilde

We love magic, but we don’t want to be stuck in Fairyland.

We love science fiction, but we don’t just want to talk about it; we want to get immersed in it–and not just through a game or LARP.

We love being geeks, but we hate being limited by the format of a comic con.

Enter Glimmerdark!  We created a hotel-wide playground where you can interact with hundreds of other creative, imaginative people in any way you’d like.  Wear your most elaborate gear or garb or costume, or wear slacks and a t-shirt  Be a character, be yourself, be your inner space alien.

It’s a new era, and Faeries are a very motley crew indeed.  Some speak and act just as they did when Shakespeare was writing about them.  Some of them are just as modern as you or I.  One particularly quirky bunch of Fae decided to rent a hotel in New Jersey and throw a big party.

Some of them love all manner of strange worlds, just as we do.

Some are massive fantasy buffs.

Some are old-school geeks.

Some like to drink and dance.

They’ve all got one thing in common: They’ve decided to throw a kickass party and shake the Midwinter Blues!

Will you join us?

Glimmerdark.com: The Misfit Faerie Festival!

~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.