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Notable steampunk events around the world

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Steampunk Events Around the World | Steampunk Blog | Steampunk FashionNotable steampunk events around the world

First and foremost, there are a lot of steampunk events, and as with any other part of the wildly inventive and totally non-prescriptive steampunk alternative universe, there will be something for everyone. Here we’re just picking out a few of the events that we consider notable and giving our reasons … we don’t intend to slight any event and would love to hear your views on steampunk events you’ve experienced.

Most immersive steampunk festival
Our vote goes to Steampunk NZ. Why? Because it’s not often a whole town gets behind steampunk but Oamaru in New Zealand has done just that.

Not only does it host a three day steampunk festival (2016 dates are 2-6 June) but it has Steampunk HQ a three story Victorian sandstone building filled to the brim with all things steampunkery from a steam-powered art gallery through to various showrooms featuring every kind of steampunkery from gadgets to art installations. Also the festival has a steampunk playground with a Victorian age rocket slide and penny-farthing swings, and perhaps one of the best fashion contests going, with a catwalk show that makes delicate women swoon and strong men perspire!

Most eclectic steampunk event
Steam Garden festival Tokyo is something quite different. Running as a pop-up event under the auspices of the Tokyo Inventors Society, there are three occasions a year to experience steampunk Tokyo style.

It’s been around since 2011 and is organised by a consortium of dancers and actors, stunt people, circus performers, musicians and photographers who come together to create truly unusual and eccentric versions of the steampunk ethos. We particularly like their eclectic approach to themes which have included: Pirates of Persia, Celtic Fantasy, Alice in Steamland and Future Western - something for everyone, for sure. We also appreciate their Wild Eastern approach to Steampunk which breaks down the sometimes a little overpowering neo-Victoriana approach to steampunkery - what they call Meiji East meets West is a really refreshing version of alternative history/future which is what steampunk is essentially all about.

Wildest steampunk event
Well it has to be the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention which is held in the USA. Like many things American it claims to be the largest Western style steampunk convention in the USA. What is certain is that it takes place in the wildest Western location - Old Tucson is a film studio (and now an amusement park) which was built in 1939, giving it a venerable air all its own. For the Wild Wild West Steampunk convention the whole area becomes a steampunk theme park with open air concerts, street acts, special events, steam-rides and lots of games and panels for the dedicated retro-future enthusiast.

As you might expect this is one of the wilder events, with robust costuming, lots of bar girls and sharp shooters and a large amount of kit for sale. It’s pretty commercial and as slick as a card sharp, and that in itself is part of the fun. if you like it wild, but also very structured, this is the event for you.

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