Steampunk Road Trip – The International Steampunk Symposium

 

Steampunk is international in scale and community, and Steampunk Hands Around the World celebrates that global nature each year, bringing all of us a little closer together, sharing that even though we may live different lives, we’re similar in many ways.

With that in mind, our next stop is The International Steampunk Symposium. Where we are talking with Aloysius Fox, the Show Director (aka Con Chair).

 

Hello Aloysius! Thanks for greeting us on our road trip. Would you share where the Symposium is located, and when is it being held this year?

Aloysius Fox: Greetings to all of you! The Symposium is held in Cincinnati, Ohio and will be April 27th to 29th, 2018.

 

The Symposium has been around quite awhile, compared to many other conventions. How did it all start?

Aloysius Fox: The Symposium evolved from a combination of the local Cincinnati Steampunk scene and the social media site Steampunk Empire, both of which were cofounded by myself. In 2012, the first Symposium was actually called the Steampunk Empire Symposium, but in 2015 underwent a name change to become the International Steampunk Symposium. Each year the Symposium has grown in numbers and scope, but it still manages to retain that intimate feel from which attendees leave with many new friends.

 

One of the best aspects of any steampunk event is meeting new people and making new friends. What is on the schedule to keep those new friends entertained and educated?

Aloysius Fox: The convention has many of the usual panels, workshops, bands, and session that you would typically associate with a Steampunk convention, but since its inception, the show’s signature event has been the Steampunk Olympiad. As part of the weekend’s charity fundraiser for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health), the Olympiad is a series of challenges that pit regional airships against each other in gentlemanly and eccentric sports such as RC Dirigible Races, Umbrella Fencing, Nerf Dueling, and various others. Attendees can enter the Olympiad as individuals, or as part of a team to collect points for their airships and see who wins the trophy at closing ceremonies.

 

Good fun for a good cause. Who have been some of the notable guests attending the Symposium over the years?

Aloysius Fox: The Symposium was thrilled to have KW Jeter as a guest of honor in 2017 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of him coining the term “Steampunk,” and share his experiences as prolific science fiction and fantasy writer. Over the past six Symposiums, there have been many great authors, artists, makers, and performers to join the show. Some have become part of the Symposium family, such as author Leanna Renee Hieber being the show’s Author in Residence, and author Emilie P Bush becoming the main MC of the Symposium last year.

 

They are definitely notable people! What can a fellow steampunk expect as a first time attendee?

Aloysius Fox: Many new friends! The Symposium is one of the most welcoming and friendly Steampunk conventions you can find. A popular event on Friday afternoon is the Tea Stroll for which different airships and groups run tea tables and give out all sorts of tea, cookies, cakes, and other delights. People mingle, meet old friends, meet new friends, and the whole thing sets the tone for the rest of the weekend. The weekend’s program is packed full of workshops, panels, dances, music, parties, gaming, and more . . . it can be rather overwhelming for a newcomer, but all is laid out clearly in the program book, on posters, and on the website www.SteampunkSymposium.com 

 

Excellent! What is the best way to stay up to date on news and pending shenanigans?

Aloysius Fox: Each Friday on www.SteampunkSymposium.com , the Symposium publishes its weekly countdown to the upcoming show with a summary of all that was added that week. Links to these updates appear on social media, but mostly on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/steampunksymposium/

 

Get your dirigibles and umbrellas ready, travelers, and make your road trip plans now to attend the International Steampunk Symposium.

Until our next stop, follow the whole steampunk road trip on the Master Link List

Published in: on February 26, 2018 at 8:11 pm  Comments (2)  

Steampunk Road Trip – Cog County Faire

 

We’re back in Wisconsin, travelers, speaking with Sarah Lash, resort owner, and convention organizer for Cog County Faire.

 

Hello, Sarah! Let’s start with the particulars, where and when will the Faire be held this year?

Sarah Lash: Hello! It will be held at the White Lake Beach Resort, Montello WI, on June 1-3 2018.

You’ve been holding this event for awhile now. How did the it get started?

Sarah Lash:The convention started as a Day at the Beach steampunk outing in conjunction with Milwaukee Steam. Since then it has grown every year, but has kept the original feeling of relaxed intimacy of that first year’s cozy gathering.

A Day at the Beach is often fun, in the right weather. Sun, sand, water, games. What are some convention programming activities? Keeping any of the beach themes?

Sarah Lash: Plenty to keep people busy! Friday Night Beach Party, Saturday Night Dance Party, Midway with carnival games, Mermaids, Boat Cruises, Wetplate photography, a Steamboat Regatta, Tea Room, Music, Variety Shows, Swimsuit Competition, Black Powder Shooting Range, Fencing and Dueling lessons, Shopping, and MORE

There’s still more? That already sounds like a full schedule to keep people entertained. Who has attended in previous years?

Sarah Lash: Vorteque, Samantha Siren, Pinch and Squeal, Sons of Temperance…its hard to keep track of all the fabulous people we’ve seen. We’ve seen vow renewals, and whole families of steampunks, young and old.

Lots of great performers in that lineup. What can a first time attendee find when they arrive?

Sarah Lash:A relaxed, intimate event at an idyllic setting. We like to call it accidental immersion. There’s no plot, but you can’t help but get involved in the people around you. It really feels like being at a Victorian Faire…with the flare that only the Steampunk community can bring to things!

Sounds like a great time, and being steampunk, how could it not? Where can travelrs go for news and information?

Sarah Lash:Check out our website, http://www.cogcountyfaire.com/, or the Cog County Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/cogcountyfaire/

Thanks so much, Sarah!

Put on your best outfits, travelers, and head to the Faire!

Until our next stop, follow the whole steampunk road trip on the Master Link List

Published in: on February 25, 2018 at 11:53 am  Comments (1)  

Steampunk Road Trip – Aethercircus Steampunk Festival

 

Prepare for arrival, travelers, we’re coming into Buxtehude, Germany! Located on the Este River, this thousand year old town started as a farming colony, advanced to a trading location, and is now a medium growing, visitor friendly city which preserves its heritage and culture while looking to the future. Buxtehude is often called The Friendly Fairy Tale Capital Of The World, due to it’s being the setting of several tales, including “The Hare and the Hedgehog” by the Brothers Grimm. Here’s a short video with a look around town.

Let’s talk now with Michael about the local steampunk event, Aethercircus Steampunk Festival V.

Schöne Grüße, Michael! Can you share with a bit about your event and how it got started?

Michael : We are the steampunk band Drachenflug (listen to their album here), and in 2012 we held the first Aethercircus Steampunk Festival (and the first steampunk convention in Germany) in Fort Grauerort with the help of many of our friends. It was a great time, and great fun, so we did it again in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

Last year we tried to find opportunities to make the Aethercircus bigger, easier to attend, and tried to find a way to make our convention more interesting for people who never heard about steampunk, too. We know they will love it, but they just don’t know about it now.

We found Buxtehude, a Hanseatic town next to Hamburg, and made a conceptual presentation in the capital hall.

The Altstadtverein Buxtehude is the local promotion association and was interested in the Steampunk Festival.

Now they hold the festival, and we do the booking, program planning and event management.

Your growth over the years is encouraging, and even more so when the town and shops support you, too. When is the festival being held this year?

Michael : Our Event takes place in the whole inner city of Buxtehude on the 28th an 29th April. Entrance is free on every location of the festival.

What a great location in town! Being free and open to the public will definitely bring in many new visitors. As you’ve moved around a few times, how has the festival changed over time?

Michael : We started in a capital hall of Stade town, then we went to an old Fort, now we are in the inner town of Buxtehude.

In the last year, we had just a little bit of money to work with because we did the festival planning with the money our band earned for our shows, hoping to get it back after the visitors buy their tickets.

It worked really well, but we couldn’t grow into a bigger event due to lack of money, local restrictions and the traffic congestion. In the end, we had to take about 25€ for the tickets.

Now the event is free for everybody and it has become a town festival for everyone.

We are very exited to see what will happen this year.

Money is always a bit of an obstacle in creating events. What’s in the lineup for this year?

Michael : We will have a really big music program, historic steam vehicles, a fashion show, many authors, workshops, and a market.

Today I’m not able to tell you all of the news, but we will start to promote the shows and artists in the next weeks.

I’m looking forward to hear about it! Any highlights from the previous festivals?

Michael : Everything was a highlight! We are very proud about the big Steampunk community starting to grow here after our festival.

You’ve clearly won some people over! Fora first time attendee, what could they expect to find?

Michael : A little old German hanseatic harbor town full of Steampunk action and shows in many different location on sea and land.

It sounds so charming and picturesque! How can people stay up to date?

Michael : On the festival there is an app called “Buxtuell“. Here you can get the information about when and where an event starts on our festival.

Beginning in March, you will get all of the information on Facebook, and the homepage of the Altstadtverein  https://www.altstadtverein-buxtehude.de

 

Thanks so much, Michael!

Here’s a little video of Aethercircus 2016 to keep everyone entertained as they make their road trip plans for this year.

Until our next stop, follow the whole steampunk road trip on the Master Link List

Published in: on February 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm  Comments (1)