Steampunk World’s Fair (SPWF for short) is happening this weekend in Piscataway, New Jersey. This family friendly convention has consistently been one of my favorite conventions each year. The two venues are super welcoming, the vendors are awesome, there are always crazy talented musicians, interesting panels and speakers, and attendees always step up their costume game.
This year, there’s so much to be excited about! The convention is really changing and flourishing. Here are the most exciting things to see at the 2016 Steampunk World’s Fair:
5. Seeing Friends
One of the best things about SPWF is size: it draws people from all over. I have made so many friends from attending this event annually, and some of them, I only see at this specific event. I also get to spend time with local friends, who are also into the steampunk scene.
If you don’t yet have friends who go to SPWF, it is the perfect place to make friends! There are many events geared towards meeting people, either platonically or romantically. Many people show up solo to the dance lessons, and end up finding a friend in a random partner. There’s also gaming, a GLBT&F mixer, swaps, and workshops with plenty of time for chatting.
4. Tea Pot Racing
I’m not sure what this is, which is mostly why I’m excited about it. The description on the website reads:
Teapot Racing is a great new sport started by our New Zealand Steampunk friends to celebrate teatime. One takes a favorite teapot, adds a radio controlled chassis, and then runs it through a prescribed course of candlesticks, fine china, and of course, the Ramp of Doom. Mayhem then ensues.
Do people bring their own tea pots that they’ve modified? If not, who is providing tea pots? What do you win? Bragging rights for winning a Tea Pot Race sound awesome. I can’t wait to see what this entails.
SPWF favorites, Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings and This Way to the Egress, are both releasing new music at the Fair. The con is also going to have a Tim Burton’s Alice Through the Looking Glass booth, to advertise for the new movie. Con-goers can enter to win tickets to an early screening.
I’m also really excited about Leanna Renée Hieber’s booth where copies of Strangely Beautiful will be for sale. Hieber’s notable first book was previously out of print until a recent re-release.
Other merchants I’m excited to see are Tea and Absinthe, who always have wonderful teas to sniff and buy and Utopia Armory, who make beautiful chain mail.
2. The bands
As I mentioned above, Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings, This Way to the Egress, and many more bands including Frenchy and the Punk, Steam Powered Giraffe, and Psyche Corporation will all be in attendance. This is a great convention for music because there are so many wonderful acts you don’t even know you love yet. I am disappointed to see Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band is not playing this year, but I know the rest of the bands I love will make up for their absence.
1. Murder Ballads
Long-time Geekette readers may recall we’re huge fans of Terrance Zdunich and Saar Hendelman’s Devil’s Carnival project. For those unfamiliar with their work, Zdunich and Hendelman write dark/gothic/horror musical movies. Zdunich’s first project, Repo: The Genetic Opera, is a post apocalyptic society where organs are financed and repossessed. Devil’s Carnival and Devil’s Carnival: Alleluia! are Hell’s war with Heaven as told through Aesop’s Fables.