Steampunk in the Motor City
Musicians, makers and cosplayers will be on hand at the Motor City Steam Con near Detroit
A concert featuring Frenchy and the Punk and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing (TMTWNBBFN) will be among the highlights as the third Motor City Steam Con takes place July 13-15 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel in Novi, Michigan. The performance on Saturday night, July 14 will kick off a joint six-city July tour for the bands.
Other guests at the convention include DJ Vourteque, David Lee and Aela Badiana of Hatton Cross Steampunk; Wheeler Stone of Doc Stone Studios; author R.S. Belcher; and costume design expert Richard Harper. Two originally scheduled guests, Doctor Q and steampunk chef Aaron Egan, will not be appearing.
This year’s theme, “the darker side of Victoriana,” will be reflected mostly in the panels, says con chair Salathiel Palland. These include “Perfecting the dark glance,” featuring makeup tips from Harper; “Cults, communes, & secret societies,” examining “some of the strangest groups in the Victorian Era”; and “Die like a Victorian,” looking at “a multitude of common ways to die that we don’t see in modern obituaries.” A four-hour “Dark Side of Detroit” bus tour is scheduled for Thursday night, July 12.
Also on Thursday, Harper will present three costume-related workshops: “Welt Pockets,” “Altering Commercial Patterns,” and “Tailoring Vent Coats.”
Other panels and workshops over the weekend will inform attendees about podcasting, cosplay, filmmaking, metalworking, historic cemeteries, Victorian medicine, Victorian hairstyles, gothic novels, bellydancing, Brazilian folk dancing, monster hunting, and more.
Members of Cincinnati-based multicultural cosplay group Airship Ashanti will serve as judges for a costume contest on Saturday afternoon.
Palland posted a preliminary schedule (PDF) on May 27. She says the final schedule will be “pretty close” to the earlier version.
About 25 vendors will be selling various steampunk works. Admission to the vending area is free.
Online registration is over, but passes will be available each day at the door: $35 on Friday, July 13; $50 on Saturday, July 14; and $30 on Sunday, July 15. A pass for Thursday's costume workshops costs $25.
The festivities begin at 1 p.m. on Friday. Doors open at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Thursday's costume workshops begin at 1 p.m. The hotel is located at 21111 Haggerty Rd, Novi, MI 48375.
Frenchy and the Punk is a duo consisting of Scott Heiland and Samantha Stephenson. Heiland will also present a solo performance on Sunday afternoon.
After the convention, the duo will head to the Sirius Rising Festival in Brushwood, NY on July 17 while TMTWNBBFN plays that same night at the Melody Inn, Indianapolis. Then the bands will join up for additional shows in Pittsburgh (July 18); Dunellen, NJ (July 19); New York City (July 20); Somerville, MA (July 21); and New Haven, CT (July 22).
This story was updated to reflect that originally scheduled guests Doctor Q and steampunk chef Aaron Egan will not be appearing.
Photo credits: The photos of Salathiel Palland (top) and Richard Harper (middle) are used by permission of Motor City Steam Con. The photo of TMTWNBBFN (bottom) is by Paul Hudson [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.
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