Recap – Motor City Steam Con 2016


tl;dr The inaugural Motor City Steam Con was fantastic, you should have been there, and you should sign up right away for next year’s event on July 14-16, 2017.

If you missed the inaugural Motor City Steam Con just outside of Detroit, Michigan, on July 22-24, and sadly, that means most of you, you missed a fantastic event!


Organizer Salathiel Palland watching the fashion show.

Photo by Heather Kenya Cushing


Just under seven hundred people gathered at the Holiday Inn for an amazing assemblage of guests, entertainers, vendors, panels, and events.

Things officially kicked off with a rousing and very energetic opening ceremony. Con organizer Salathiel Palland sang “Let the River Run” by Carly Simon while automatons from the Dance Centre studio danced around her. The Detroit Mass Choir accompanied her.


Gabriel Brass Band, photo by Ofeibea Loveless


Next came the Gabriel Brass Band playing Second Line immediately followed by 30-some airship groups.

Sal introduced the guests and entertainers, and the ceremony wrapped up with a medley of songs by the band, which got people out of their seats and dancing. It was a high energy performance which set a great tone for the whole weekend.


Diana Pho, photo by Ofeibea Loveless


James Neathery and Ofeibea Loveless, photo by Ofeibea Loveless

The weekend continued with a who’s who of steampunk creators – here’s just a few of the people who were there:

Myke Amend

Eli August

Bethalynne Bajema

Philippa (Pip) Ballantine

R.S. Belcher

Steampunk Eddie

Frenchy and the Punk

Karianne Gottschalk

Sarah Hans

Leanna Renee Hieber

Tee Morris

James Neathery

Diana M. Pho

Ashley Rodgers

Kevin Steil

DJ Vorteque

Arlow Xan

Eric Larson, Teslacon

Aloysius Fox, International Steampunk Symposium

Mike Zawacki and Scott Norman, Wars of Other Men


Samantha Stephenson and Scott Helland, photo by MIGeekScene


Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, photo by MIGeekScene

There was continual musical entertainment in the main room, author readings, a tea room, vendors, parties, and of course, plenty of panels.

Among the many remarks attendees made by attendees was the pleased amazement at how well and smoothly everything ran, especially for a first year convention. Registration had badges for everyone and VIP bags waiting. Rooms were well marked with schedules, security and badge checkers were on hand but unobtrusive, and the hotel staff was wonderful and helpful at every moment. Aside from the inferno raging outside the hotel, I didn’t hear one negative comment about the convention itself.


Sara Neathery and Azriel le Fey, photo by MIGeekScene


Karianne Gottschalk (2nd from left), photo by MIGeekScene


The Friday night party, sponsored. by Rusted Crow Distillery, and hosted by the Crew and Captains, Bret Daly And Courtney ‘Splintercat’ Stoll, of the Corsair Iniquitous, was great fun. Great drinks and jello shots for those who imbibe, music for those who dance, and an accommodating hotel which let people take their drinks and dancing out into the much cooler lobby area.

The Sunday closing ceremony not only had a great shout-out to the guests,  the con staff and volunteers, but also had a touching tribute to Michael Wiggins, a valued and much missed member of the community.


Lindsay Dowd, photo by MIGeekScene


Fashion Show, photo by Heather Kenya Cushing

The weather may have been desiccatingly hot around the country during the entire weekend but this a was cool convention to attend.

If you like an opening ceremony that makes you want to jump up and dance,  a wide variety of music and panel discussions,  along with great venue staff and the ever friendly fellow attendees, Motor City Steam Con should be added to your convention list.


Eunice, handling the Green Room, photo by MIGeekScene

Special thanks to Sal for inviting me as a guest, Eunice for the airport transportation and green room noms, and the Ops and Security team for such a low stress and fun filled weekend.


Published in: on July 31, 2016 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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