If you've ever found yourself reading a Charles Dickens novel and thought, "This is pretty good, but time travel and zeppelins would make it 1000% better" then you are probably a Steampunk aficionado. A combination of science fiction technology and Victorian era imagery, Steampunk has been embraced the world over as one of the most awesome genres in entertainment. Steampunk shows up everywhere from Sherlock Holmes to Cirque Du Soleil, proving that the movement has a huge audience and near-universal appeal.
If you need more evidence of just how amazing Steampunk can be you can simply look at the sheer number of Steampunk-themed festivals and conventions coming up this year. Even without including the ones that have already happened, like the Watch City Steampunk Festival in Massachusetts or AnachroCon in Georgia, there are still more than a dozen festivals coming up across the nation just waiting for you to lace up your corset or put on your monocle and come celebrate the genre.
Clearly one of the best parts about Steampunk is the cosplay - top hats, gears, cogs, and goggles are just a few of the things that show up in typical Steampunk costumes at conventions and festivals around the country, so if you just can't get enough Steampunk you'll want to check out one of these awesome festivals.
GEAR Con in Portland, OR - July 7-8th
People on the west coast will want to check out GEAR Con this year. With a focus on the subgenre of Dieselpunk Retrofuturism, this particular convention will be focused on Steampunk set during World War I. There will be military historians, a conjurer of lightning, musical acts of all kinds, and much more, giving the audience plenty to keep them busy for the weekend.
This will be especially fun for people who want to see a slightly different approach to Steampunk. For people who want to create historically accurate cosplay outfits there will be plenty to choose from, including military uniforms and the fashions made popular by the lovely Lillian Gish and Irene Castle.
Looking to do something a little different? A Steampunk Snoopy-as-the-Red-Baron or a sexy, Steampunk Mata Hari certainly wouldn't be out of place at this particular convention.
Motor City Steam Con in Romulus, MI - July 13-15th
The 2017 Motor City Steam Con had some pretty epic entertainment. Belly dancing lessons, leatherworking for beginners, writing courses, a history of snake oil culture, discussions of Victorian erotic literature, Steampunk environmentalism, cooking demonstrations, and so much more were available to the festivalgoers last year. The 2018 schedule is sure to hold just as much fun and excitement for attendees this year as well.
If you want to learn about funeral customs of the Victorian era or dig deep into a discussion about Victorian social attitudes and mores about women's sexuality this is the place to be. If none of that seems interesting and you would rather learn stage combat and taste test a variety of Victorian era cocktails you will be able to do that too.
No matter what kind of entertainment you're looking for you are sure to find something worth your while on your visit to Motor City.
Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA - August 30th - September 3rd
Dragon Con casts a slightly wider net than just Steampunk, but that isn't a bad thing! With burlesque shows, late night puppet slams, and robot battles, this convention offers a wide variety of ways to entertain your group, including science fiction discussions, the Alternate History Track, and other Steampunk focused events.
Here you will be able to participate in multiple costume contests, a comic book quick sketch contest, and the Miss Star Trek Universe Contest, giving you plenty of opportunities to walk away a winner. You can also choose to venture outside of the festival to explore some of the awesome sights around Atlanta, such as the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and a tour of the CNN studios.
Gaslight Steampunk Expo in San Diego, CA - October 5-7th
Billing themselves as a weekend of steamy shenanigans, Gaslight Steampunk Expo offers some of the best traditional Steampunk activities around. Teapot Racing, workshops of all kinds, movies, and more all await you at the festival. Dig deep into the science behind the genre or make fun Steampunk themed crafts, the choice is up to you.
Here you will be able to meet Scott Brodeen, the man who created and/or restored most of the submarine models from Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. You will also be able to meet author James P.
Blaylock and Steampunk prop builder John Harrington, so if you want a chance to meet and interact with some of the people whose work has been a large part of the growing Steampunk movement you'll want to make a point of getting out to the Gaslight Steampunk Expo this year.
There are some truly fantastic Steampunk festivals coming up this year. Which festival or convention do you want to attend the most?