Steampunks Set for Perilous Adventure
A Victorian seaport near Seattle will host the Brass Screw Confederacy steampunk festival
“Perilous Expeditions” will be the theme as the Brass Screw Confederacy steampunk festival returns June 8-10 to Port Townsend, Washington. It will be the seventh installment of the event, which takes place at multiple locations in the city. Port Townsend, described as one of three Victorian seaports in the U.S., is located on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, about 56 miles north-northwest of Seattle.
Activities include live entertainment, a maker exhibition, vendor bazaar, nerf dueling, tea dueling, lectures, and a Tactical Croquet Tournament that combines “all the best portions of miniature golf, croquet, and Alice in Wonderland.”
Attendees can also look forward to “the landing of the Ex Scientia Victoria, a 50-foot monster-hunting sea ship with a 70-foot wing span,” says Nathan Barnett, director of Olympic Peninsula Steam, which produces the festival.
Most activities are open to all ages, the primary exceptions being Friday night’s “Den of Iniquities” variety show and Saturday night’s Steampunk Hootenanny, which are limited to folks 21 and over.
The “Den of Iniquities” will be expanded this year to include “strongmen, magicians, and burlesque,” Barnett says, “along with two of our favorite local bands, Hot Damn Scandal and Shaky Barbers.”
The main acts for the Hootenanny are Jason Webley and the Nathaniel Johnstone Band. Barnett describes Webley as an “internationally acclaimed musician who mingles the gravelly charisma of Tom Waits with the boot-stomping energy of a steam-powered calliope.” Johnstone’s sound is described as a “blend of European, Middle Eastern, and South American music with Jazz, Rock, Surf, Folk, Gothic, and Steampunk influences.” Johnstone is a frequent performer at steampunk conventions.
The maker event, dubbed the Bodgers’ Grande Exhibition, will feature projects related to the “Perilous Expeditions” theme, including “gadgets any proper steam powered adventurer requires. Or not. Just come bring your mad science self.” Items must be original and fit within a 3 by 3-foot display area.
Prizes are $150 for the best novice entry and $250 for the best entry by an “adept” maker. Tobias McCurry and Lord Towers will serve as judges. Criteria include “artistry (make it pretty), function (make it work), documentation (make it a good story), [and] steampunk vision (make it bizarre),” according to the website. See the Bodgers’ Rules and Information for details.
The lectures, billed as “Chautauqua presentations,” include “The History of Conjuring,” “Tales of Monster Hunting,” and “Forgotten Adventurers.” On Sunday, McCurry will host “Props for Perilous Adventures: A Field Guide,” and historian Gordon Frye will preside over a live recording of “The History Files” podcast. These events will be held at the Key City Public Theatre at 419 Washington St. See the website for the full schedule.
Tickets for the festival cost $50, with a separate $20 admission required for the Saturday Night Hootenanny. A $150 Ambassador package includes Hootenanny admission and various VIP perks. Student passes (ages 13-18) cost $25. All tickets are sold on a will-call basis and will be available in the Cotton Building at 607 Water St.
Photos courtesy of Brass Screw Confederacy.
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