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Steampunks Go to Virtual Dragon Con

Organizers plan multiple channels of streaming content, including music, panels, and more

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Mechanical Masquerade
Scene from the Mechanical Masquerade, a party held as part of Dragon Con's Alternate and Historical Fiction Track. Photo: JC Barger.

This year’s Dragon Con is happening online, and though it’s no replacement for the real-world event, steampunk fans will find lots of programming for their entertainment and edification. The schedule includes performances by Abney Park, Aurelio Voltaire, and Frenchy and the Punk, as well as steampunk-themed panels and workshops. The best part is that you don’t have to book a flight or hotel, and content will stream for free.

The convention, which runs over Labor Day Weekend, will also feature costume contests, a virtual parade, and more. Most programming will stream from three channels:

• The Main Channel, with celebrity guests, panels, performances, costume contests, and the virtual parade.

• Content from the Dragon Con fan tracks, including the Alternate & Historical Fiction Track (AHFT), which is home to most of the convention’s steampunk content. However, the AHFT organizers plan additional programming on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook (details below). Other areas that might be of interest include the Brit, Costuming, and Writers’ tracks.

• DCTVLand/Classics, with content from past conventions.

Each channel will be viewable from the Dragon Con TV streaming site, the Vimeo mobile app, and a Roku channel. Some content will also stream on YouTube.

Full schedules for all three channels are listed in the Quick Start Guide, which you can download from the Dragon Con website. The guide also includes other details about the event.

In addition to these channels, virtual Dragon Con will have a Vendor Hall, Artist Alley, Art Show, and gaming area. The organizers also have a Discord server that will serve as a digital watering hole. If you want to watch archived content afterward, you’ll need a $10 streaming membership, which is good for one year.

Musical Line-Up

Musical performances will stream from the Main Channel. These names will be familiar to many steampunk fans. Note that it’s a 24-hour program. All times are EDT.

Abney Park - Saturday, 12:15 a.m. (that’s Saturday morning)

Aurelio Voltaire - Sunday, 12:15 a.m. (Sunday morning)

Crystal Bright - Saturday, 1 a.m.

Frenchy and the Punk - Sunday, 11:30 p.m.

Guitarmy of One (a solo project by Frenchy and the Punk’s Scott Helland) - Friday, 2:30 a.m.

Marquis of Vaudeville - Monday, 12:15 a.m.

Valentine Wolfe - Saturday, 1:45 a.m.

AHFT Programming

The Alternate and Historical Fiction Track will present three panels in the Fan Tracks channel: “Fearless Fans of Miss Phryne Fisher” (Friday at 3 a.m.); “Victorian Death Customs” (Saturday at 11 p.m.); and “Pin-Up Makeup” (Sunday at 5 p.m.).

Most other AHFT programming will be viewable on YouTube, but Saturday night’s “Socially Distanced Drunk History” will stream on Facebook Live, and Sunday night’s Tin Ear Salon will stream on Twitch. All times are Eastern Daylight time. See the AHFT Facebook page, website and YouTube channel for updates.

Here’s the schedule:

How To Make A Teapot Racer. You’re invited to “join our crew of professional and amateur makers as they fire up their glue guns and soldering irons to turn ordinary toys into race-ready teapot racers.” When: Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Her-Storically Speaking: Suffragists and Suffragettes. Described as “a frank discussion about the ways women and POC fought for their right to vote, and the extremes some went to in order to secure that right.” The panelists are Dr. Melissa Walker, Dr. Omi Richardson, Jan L Levinson, and Leanna Renee Hieber, with Liz Carpenter and Alison Helfferich as moderators. When: Friday, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on YouTube.

Through the Stones: An Outlander Series Fan Panel. A discussion of the popular STARZ series. Participants are advised that “there is mature and potentially upsetting topics and events discussed during the panel from the most current season.” When: Friday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on YouTube.

The Splendid Teapot Race 2020 at the Makerstation. A socially distanced mini-race hosted by the Marietta Makerspace. When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Fact or Fiction, AHFT Edition. Writers on this panel will discuss major historical events and whether they were fact or fiction. Liz Carpenter, Alison Helfferich, and Brett Gordon will moderate a panel with guests Tony Ballard-Smoot, AJ Hartley, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Michael Martinez, Tamsin Silver, and Jean Marie Ward. When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Socially Distanced Drunk History. “Join us in a completely live, unscripted and unfiltered recreation of the hit Comedy Central series, and remember to keep at least six feet away from anyone with a sword.” When: Saturday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Facebook Live.

Gentlemen’s Accessories: Watch Chains. Jason Merrill discusses watch chains to wear with Victorian or Edwardian garb. When: Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to noon, on YouTube.

Quarantine Reads & 2021 Recommendations. Literary recommendations from panelists L. Jagi Lamplighter, Tamsin Silver, and Jean Marie Ward, with Liz Carpenter and Alison Helfferich serving as moderators. When: Sunday, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on YouTube.

Tin Ear Salon. Four hours of steampunk and anachronistic music with DJ Emmett Davenport. It will stream live on Twitch. When: Sunday, 8 p.m. to midnight.

Also of Interest

Bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson will participate in several panels, including “Wagons, Trains, Planes, Dirigibles, and Rockets,” in which he’ll join Rebecca Moesta in sharing advice for other writers. Anderson is best known for his Dune books with Brian Herbert, but he’s also penned steampunk novels including Captain Nemo: The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius and the novelization of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The panel is set for Saturday at 7 a.m. as part of the Writers’ Track in the Fan Tracks channel.

In addition, Anderson will join authors Jim Butcher and Jonathan Maberry for a panel on “Mighty Men of SF and Fantasy,” Friday at 4 p.m.

Event info: 

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