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Chicago Steampunk Expo Set to Debut
This new steampunk event from Aloysius Fox is aiming for a festive World’s Fair atmosphere
Thursday, September 19, 2019
The producer of the International Steampunk Symposium is preparing to debut a new event, the Chicago Steampunk Exposition, set for Sept. 27-29 at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. Attendees can expect a packed schedule of panels, banquets, games, musical performances, and more.
In contrast to the Symposium, held annually in springtime in Cincinnati, the Chicago event will have a larger venue, and producer Aloysius Fox says he’s aiming for an experience that will have more of a festival or World’s Fair atmosphere. Instead of following a single theme, the expo will have multiple tracks, including “Around the World,” “Dieselpunk Vault,” “Gothic Parlour,” “Time & Space,” “Maker Space,” “Steampunk 101,” “Steampunk (Advanced),” and “Writer’s Conference.”
Musical guests include Aurelio Voltaire, Unwoman, DJ Vourteque, and chap hop artist Sir Reginald Pikedevant Esquire. Speakers include actor Bishop Stevens, celebrity maker Thomas Willeford, blogger Diana Pho, filmmaker John Borowski, and authors Leanna Renee Hieber and Michael Coorlim.
Some of the programming is related to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a seminal event that introduced the Ferris Wheel, phosphorescent lamps, a moving walkway, and other never-before-seen technologies.
Borowski will discuss notorious serial killer H.H. Holmes, who murdered many of his victims during the World’s Fair. Borowski’s documentary, H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer, aired on PBS and has won several awards. Other presentations will explore the expo’s Women’s Building and the intrigue around electrical power at the event.
The “Around the World” track will include panels on “Steampunk Beyond Victoriana,” “Steampunk in Latin America,” “Steampunk in Anime,” “Japan’s Influence in The Victorian Era,” and “Distopia Argentia,” about a steampunk web series set in South America.
Stevens, a former pro wrestler turned actor, will discuss his current film project, The Steampunk Adventures of Salem Tusk.
Other highlights include:
• An Inventions Contest, with Stevens and Willeford serving as judges. The winning prop will be featured in The Steampunk Adventures of Salem Tusk, and the maker’s name will be included in the credits.
• The “Missing Waters” Case, an interactive storytelling mystery game that will happen over the course of the weekend. The story is set during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
• A staged audio performance of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, presented by Moebius Theatre.
• A series of workshops and tournament events led by Convention Foam Fighting.
• “Why Can’t They Make A Really Good Steampunk Movie??!!,” a presentation by Karen Dezoma.
• High teas on Saturday and Sunday. These require separate $28 tickets that must be purchased in advance of the expo.
• Two dinner events: the Burnham Banquet on Friday, featuring a performance by Sir Reginald Pike Devant Esquire, and a British Banquet on Saturday, with a performance by Unwoman. These, too, are separately ticketed events, priced at $45 each.
A complete schedule is posted on the website.
Tickets and Venue
Weekend tickets and day tickets are available. A weekend adult ticket (age 21+) costs $65, with discounts for young adults and children. Adult day tickets are $25 for Friday, $40 for Saturday, and $15 for Sunday.
The $300 Premium Gold ticket includes the teas, banquets, priority seating, and an exclusive VIP party. The $600 Lifetime Member ticket includes the Gold ticket for 2019 and discounts on Gold tickets for future years.
See the website for all ticket options.
The Westin O’Hare Hotel is located at 6100 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018, near Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
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