Steampunk events around the UK
There’s a strange fact about the world of steampunk - given that Great Britain (let us use the correct neo-Victorian parlance here, rather than the modern U.K.) has been the home of so much wonderful steampunkery, from H.G. Wells to Philip Reeve, via Dr Who (definitely steampunk in intent) there are a rather surprisingly limited number of steampunk events in this country. Partly this is because we have the habit of tagging steampunk onto the end of a more general Victorian event, like the steampunk weekend that finishes the Llandrindrod Wells Victorian week, and partly it’s because unlike the USA, British steampunks tend to congregate in small enthusiastic groups and operate small not nationally publicised events.
So … bearing all that in mind, and accepting that there are as many complexions of steampunk as there are flavours of ice cream, we’ve carefully collated a few selected events to bring you the most notable flavours of British steampunk, according to your humble servants. In 2016 we urge you to consider …
The biggest and … the biggest - The Asylum Steampunk Festival
For many people it’s the biggest and the best, for some it’s just the biggest, for us it’s The Asylum Steampunk Festival at Lincoln. Taking place this year between 26 - 29 August it claims to be both the biggest and the longest-running steampunk festival in the world. We couldn’t possibly confirm (or deny) those assertions. What we can say is that it takes place over a Bank Holiday weekend, which is when all the clerks in Christendom throw their hats in the air and jubilate, meaning the crowds are immense (and occasionally irksome) and that it takes place in Lincoln, a very history city that for 4 days, becomes neo-Victorian in food, art, literature, costuming and comedy.
We like it. We don’t mind a throng, we enjoy a spectacle, we thrive on the presence of our steampunk kindred. For those who aren’t so keen on large gatherings, it may be … oppressive, but in that case just loosen the stays, apply the sal volatile or maintain the stiff upper lip.
Small but beautifully formed - Surrey Steampunk Convivial
Between 20 and 21 February 2016, you can experience the best that steampunk has to offer, at the Surrey Steampunk Convivial (#VI). It’s in New Malden. This is important as a lot of the literature suggests it’s in Bromley. It’s not. Famous for its teapot racing, it also offers snail racing (both real snails and the clockwork variety) and has attempted several “Genius Book of Steampunk” World Records and has held one mightily popular, if somewhat diminutive miniature battle re-enactment.
For a gentler introduction to all things steampunk, this Convivial is exactly as its name states - friendly, welcoming and fun.
Best venue ever - Leeds Steampunk Market
March 5/6th 2016 is the date for an event that we adore. It’s a curated event, held at the Armley Mills, which is Leeds Industrial Museum in Armley, Leeds. What makes it so special? The fact that it’s based in a Museum, which means that although you need to pay admission to the museum itself, there’s a wonderful blend of traders and interactive steampunk actors and players, and actual museum exhibits.
Why do we enjoy it so much? It’s a wonderful blend of veracity, high jinx and opportunities to buy excellent steampunk accoutrements.
Steampunk events around the UK
Posted by Felicity Fizzle | January 16, 2016 | No Comments