fbpx Steampunks Head for Port Townsend: The annual steampunk festival will host Prof. Elemental, a “Mad Science” exhibition, and more | The Steampunk Explorer

Steampunks Head for Port Townsend

The annual steampunk festival will host Prof. Elemental, a “Mad Science” exhibition, and more

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Professor Elemental

Steampunk enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest will take to the streets of Port Townsend, Washington, as the Brass Screw Confederacy steampunk festival returns June 7-9. The eighth edition of the event will feature a “Mad Science” maker exhibition, two performances by Professor Elemental, a vendor bazaar, and lots more.

Events take place in multiple locations in the city, which is described as one of three Victorian seaports in the U.S. It’s located on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, about 56 miles north-northwest of Seattle.

Program Highlights

Here’s a closer look at the weekend activities:

Hootenanny. Professor Elemental, the popular chap hop artist from the UK, will headline this Saturday night concert. Also taking the stage will be Hot Damn Scandal, which describes its sound as “Northwest Devil Swing.” This is a premium event that costs $25 in addition to the regular weekend ticket.

The Hootenanny is a 21+ event with cocktails and an absinthe bar. However, the Professor will also perform at a kids-only show at the Key City Public Theatre on Saturday at 4 p.m. It’s free to holders of Student Passes (ages 13-20) and kids under 13 accompanied by a membership-carrying adult. Adults without kids won’t be admitted.

Den of Iniquities. This Friday night variety show will feature performances by Ranger and the Re-Arrangers, The Shaky Barbers, and Vermicious Knid’s Delectable Burlesque. It’s another 21+ event with an absinthe bar.

Magic Lantern Shows. These screenings of short steampunk films will be hosted by the organizers of the Rose City Steampunk Film Festival in Portland. The event is scheduled for Friday from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Cotton Building.

Bodgers’ Grande Exhibition. The festival’s maker showcase will feature projects related to the “Mad Science” theme. Entries will be on display in the Pope Marine Building.

Prizes are $150 for the best novice entry and $250 for the best entry by an “adept” maker. Criteria include the concept, originality, construction quality, functionality, and the quality of the worklog, which describes how the work was created. Tobias McCurry and Liz Spain will serve as judges. See the Bodgers’ Rules and Information for details.

Tactical Croquet

Tactical Croquet. This tournament combines “all the best portions of miniature golf, croquet, and Alice in Wonderland,” the organizers say. Games are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday at Memorial Field. This location will also serve as the battleground for Nerf Wars on Saturday at noon.

Brass Screw Chautauqua. This lecture series will feature presentations on prop making, pirates, polar exploration, and women scientists of the Victorian era. The schedule also includes “Professor Elemental’s Mystery Hour,” a “Conjuring Show” by Professor DR Schreiber, and a sneak peek of Season 3 of BRASS: An Adventure Serial, a podcast from Battleground Productions. These will be held at the Key City Public Theatre.

In addition, the Tea Lounge at 431 Water St. will host “Seeing Everything, or, Miss Brambleflips and the Amazing Aeroship Teatime,” a presentation on tea history.

See the lecture schedule for details.

New This Year

Fashion Show. This event is open to any registered attendee over 13 with their own costume. Submission deadline was May 15. It’s scheduled for Saturday, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., at the American Legion Hall.

Magic Leap

Magic Leap. Participants will have a chance to play Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders, a steampunk-themed game for the new Magic Leap augmented reality system. Whereas virtual reality immerses you in a digital world, augmented reality adds digital imagery to the real world. In Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders, players contend with alien robots that stage an invasion of Earth through port holes in the room. This is a rare opportunity to test (for free) a hardware system that retails for $2,295.

The demos are scheduled for 2 p.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday on the lower level of the Bishop Victorian Hotel.

Factions. When they arrive, participants will have the option to join one of three factions: “The Aetherists” (the ruling class); “The Cogs” (makers); and “The Outcasts.” On the streets, they’ll engage in 2-second duels by means of a card game known as Sophisticuffs. “The rules, such as they are, are almost offensively simple and you’ll find yourself brawling in the streets in no time, meeting new friends and mocking them in their defeat,” the organizers say.


The $60 Brass Screw membership includes all weekend events except for the Hootenanny and Tea Lounge. Tickets to the Hootenanny cost $25. Tickets to the Tea Lounge are sold out.

The $30 Student pass provides admission to all events except the Hootenanny and Den of Iniquities variety show. It’s open to kids ages 13 to 18. Kids under 13 can attend for free.
All tickets are will-call and will be available in the Cotton Building at 607 Water St.

For more information, see the Brass Screw Confederacy website and Facebook page.

Stories by Category: 

Keep up with news in the world of steampunk. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter, Steampunk Digest, delivered to your inbox every Thursday. You’ll get it a day before it's posted on the website.

Support The Steampunk Explorer!

Patreon: Make a monthly pledge of $1 or more. Includes premium content.

Tip Jar: You can tip the editor in any amount via PayPal.me.

CafePress: Buy T-shirts, buttons, or tote bags with our logo.