- City Guides
Magic & Mystery at WWWC
Another big line-up of special guests at the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention in Tucson
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
“Magic & Mystery” is the theme as the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention (WWWC) returns March 5-8 to Tucson, Arizona. One of the larger steampunk events in the U.S., it’s known for its Old West ambiance thanks to its unique location, the Old Tucson movie studio and theme park.
Once again, the organizers have lined up an impressive roster of entertainers and presenters. Italian steampunk band Poison Garden will headline a Saturday night concert that will also feature performances by Marquis of Vaudeville and John Sprocket of the Cog is Dead. The headliners describe their music as “a modern and aggressive sound sunk into the noise of a century that never was.” All three acts will also participate in a Saturday afternoon panel entitled “Magic and Mystery behind the Melodies.”
Other guests include:
• Author/illustrator Brian Kesinger, best known in the steampunk world for his illustrated books featuring Victoria and her pet octopus Otto;
• Makers Thomas Willeford, Tobias McCurry, James Neathery, Doc Stone, Michael Parodi, and Lord & Lady Towers;
• Authors Leanna Renee Hieber and Thom Truelove; and
• Costumers Paige Gardner, Tony Ballard-Smoot, Tayliss Forge, and John Strangeway, aka Steampunk Boba Fett.
They’ll participate in an extensive program of panels covering topics such as leathermaking, costuming, Victorian history, art cars, and steampunk literature.
Willeford, Strangeway, and Gardner will also serve as judges for a costume contest on Sunday afternoon. Hieber and Stone will judge a kids’ costume contest on Saturday.
Madame Askew and The Grand Arbiter, fixtures at the event since it launched in 2011, will preside over daily bouts of tea dueling as well as Splendid Teapot Racing on Saturday at 5 p.m.
WWWC will also kick off the second year of The Great World Suitcase Challenge, a competition in which makers submit projects packaged in a suitcase or similar enclosure. The competitions are held at selected steampunk events in the U.S. and Europe, with an overall winner named at TeslaCon in November. This year, the organizers will have two categories: “The Personal Suitcase” for smaller projects and “The Steamer Trunk” for larger ones. The challenge is sponsored by Hatton Cross Steampunk in Virginia. Parodi, a member of Hatton Cross Steampunk, will serve as the judge at WWWC.
Most activities take place at Old Tucson Studios, including the daytime events and Saturday night’s concert. The latter requires a separate ticket. The program also includes an opening reception on Thursday night and a series of events on Friday night at the Westward Look Hotel.
The organizers encourage attendees to purchase passes online prior to the convention. The adult “Maverick Pass” for all three days costs $75. A single-day “Explorer Pass,” valid for Friday, Saturday or Sunday, costs $47.50. Kids’ passes are also available. Admission is free for kids age 6 and under. Tickets to Saturday night’s concert cost $34.
The “Aristocrat” VIP passes ($249) include a 3-day pass and the concert as well as first access to seating, a VIP-only Aristocrat’s Lounge, a gift bag, and other perks. They usually sell out prior to the convention.
Some activities, including make-and-take workshops, require additional tickets.
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