The Wicked Faire: A Steampunk Origin Story

Wicked Faire blue-haired Steampunk Rennaissance Faire attendee!

(Photo from The Wicked Faire 2013 – by Babs Who Takes Pictures)Our flagship event, The Wicked Winter Renassance Faire, was seminal to how we got into Steampunk.  We created an indoor Renaissance Faire which broke all the rules of Renfaires – so when Steampunk came along and broke all the rules of what a punk or geek culture could we, be embraced it with open arms.

This is the ethos behind doing an unbounded Faire; it was written eight years back, and I think you might see how it influenced the Steampunk we do.

“Hello! This is Jeff Mach, of the Wicked Winter Chocolate Factory Renaissance Faire. You may have heard of us; you may not. This is the part where it would be helpful for me to describe Wicked Faire in a single pithy sentence…but I’ve never been able to do that well, even though I strongly believe a promoter should be able to explain things that simply.

I’ll try this: If you took an event which changed rules of place and time, like a Renaissance Faire; had an insane amount of entertainment, like a festival; was social and full of rich interaction, like a convention; and worked its metaphorical ass off to give unusual people a place that felt like home–

Then you’d come as close to a good description as I can.”

We’ve gone through good times and bad time and most of all weird times, and we’ve learned this: the more we welcome and accept ever-greater weirdness and friendliness, the more we help create joy.

If we do it right, if we welcome you, then I feel, in the back of my mind and the center of my heart and the core of my gut, that we have succeeded in the thing I wanted most: We have put together something unspeakably, gloriously, wizardly unworldly great this year–and at the very damn core of my being, I want to share it with you.

That was my credo almost a decade back.  It’s my credo now.  And it’s my happiness and my delight to see that I’m not alone – to see that Steampunks all over the world feel the same way.

I live in the best of all possible worlds: the one right between the imaginary and the infinitely possible.

Yours in service to dreams,

Jeff Mach
Jeff Mach Events

Where did The Steampunk World’s Fair come from?

Did you know that whole “Lorem Ipsum” bit is generally translated as “But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing of a pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness”?




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!