For fans of Steampunk, there are two conventions that are capping off the month of May. In Hampton, Virginia there is the upcoming Blackbeard Festival from May 30 to 31. Then there is the Brass Screw Confederacy Steampunk Festival of 2015 in Port Townsend, Washington from May 29 to 31. Each event will offer its own unique take on the idea of what Steampunk actually is.
For those individuals who are interested in learning more, Steampunk, according to the ministry of peculiar occurrences, is a creative movement devoted to the imagination and creativity. There are two distinct backdrops to this movement, either the American Wild West or Victorian-era England. Then modern technologies are blended with these two eras to make fashion, art or some other mechanics. This movement has evolved from being an aspect of literature, a sub-genre of Fantasy and Science Fiction, into everything from music and fashion to engineering and even for some a lifestyle.
For those involved in Steampunk, taking what some might consider to be junk and turning it into useable “art” is a major aspect of the movement. This can be taking a modern item and modifying it, or even creating something entirely original. It is all about combining the modern with the old.
Capping May off with two unique Steampunk Conventions, allows anyone interested to take part and experience some of the grittiness and edge that can be found within the movement. Each of these conventions or festivals will offer attendants something unique and varied.
Although the Blackbeard Festival falls under the category of Steampunk conventions, this festival gives the Hampton’s waterfront an overwhelming takeover of pirates. At the festival, people get a chance to witness the 18th Century with pirates and individuals who are dressed in historically accurate garments. This particular event is a lot more of a cosplay type event, rather than a true take on the artistic movement.
Then there is the Brass Screw Confederacy Steampunk Festival of 2015. The Brass Screw does not consider itself to be a con, instead it is a transformative and immersive experience. This three day festival offers attendants a weekend of extraordinary entertainers and artists. There will be panels, artists, authors, music, whimsy, fantasy and the gritty history. For this event, there is an entire schedule of things to take part in and a number of special events as well.
This particular festival offers such events as the Bazaar of the Bizarre, Steampunk Den of Iniquities, Red Queen’s Challenge, The Brass Screw Tactical Croquet Tournament, The Steampunk Hootenanny and even a Naval Landing Party. This is just a very small number of the offered events that this festival has to offer. There are readings and workshops galore for anyone interested in delving deeper into the finer details of this particular movement.
For anyone interested in Steampunk or even Fantasy and Science Fiction, these conventions are really a unique way to cap off the month of May. These are not the only conventions and festivals to touch on this movement, and in fact there are many more in the coming months, with a number of them coming up in the month of July. A number of different states offer their own conventions and festivals that bring to life varying aspects of the movement.
By Kimberley Spinney
UpcomingCons: Steampunk Conventions
The Brass Screw Confederacy: Schedule for Brass Screw 2015
Hampton VA: Blackbeard Festival
The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: What is Steampunk?
Photo Courtesy of Matt Mechtley – Creative Commons License