A festival that on its webpage describes itself as 'the greatest steampunk festival in the world' either has its tongue firmly in its cheek or some fairly (no pun intended) big ideas. It is, reportedly, the largest steampunk festival in the USA (Somerset, New Jersey, just FYI) and its makers are also held responsible for their annual Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire and Kinky Geek Event. And technically, most of the other steampunk events are technically conventions, not festivals, so they're probably right anyway.
If you've ever fancied any of the following:
- an absinthe tasting hosted by Voltaire
- a band who write about pirates and metaphorical hats and use Tupperware for their percussion section
- partying, 'not simply like it's 1899, but like it's 1899 and it's extra awesome because we've got steam-powered laser weapons'
Incidentally, I was forwarded the following by a very charming intern at the company responsible for such shenanigans:
"Spreading the steampunk love
"With the Steampunk genre’s infiltration of mainstream media, many artists of the movement are seeing their work lost in the explosion of new Steampunk art. The Lost Treasures of Steampunk, the newest program initiated by the Steampunk World’s Fair, is designed to prevent these works from being overlooked by sharing them with the greater Steampunk community. Steampunk creators are seeking to gain legitimacy as artists and the Lost Treasures will work to prove that legitimacy. Selected applicants will have their work featured at the Steampunk World’s Fair this coming May, and more will be awarded scholarships to further their artistic endeavors.
"Event organizers are devoted to bringing this program to life by utilizing fundraising and a portion of the fair’s budget for its success. Event creator Jeff Mach explains, "We’d like to prove that Steampunk is not only a legitimate artistic genre, but an intensely creative one, as well." As head of an event that attracts the attention of Steampunks nationwide, he has witnessed innumerable creative endeavors that don’t get the attention they deserve. This inspired Mach to put together the Lost Treasures of Steampunk, for which creators of all steampunk art, from fashion to literature, are urged to apply.
"Besides the Lost Treasures of Steampunk to look forward to, this year’s Steampunk World’s Fair will be packed with pleasures. Steampunk is a genre best described by author K.W. Jeter as "mad Victorian fantasy". Over 3,000 Steampunk enthusiasts are brought together at the World’s Fair each year along with hundreds of performers, artisans, writers, and creators from across the country. But the fair is not solely reserved for the loudest fans; anyone with the least bit of interest in Steampunk is invited to pop on a top hat and join the masses in celebration of steampunk and its artistic culture."