- City Guides
TeslaCon Turns 10
This year’s edition of the immersive steampunk event will conclude a long-running storyline
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Steampunks from the Midwest and points beyond will be headed to Madison, Wisconsin Nov. 14-17 for TeslaCon, which bills itself as North America’s “largest single immersion event for steampunk fans.” Themed “Murder on the Orient Express,” this year’s gathering will feature the 10th and final installment of a steampunk serial drama that began with the first TeslaCon in 2010.
Cast members, including professional actors, will perform skits from the story throughout the weekend. They will also interact with attendees between the skits.
TeslaCon will also feature an extensive program of panels, workshops, dinners, contests, games, and other activities. Special guests include TV personality Doc Phineas, musician Montague Jacques Fromage, makers David Lee and James Neathery, and creature designer Tom McLaughlin.
Panels will cover a wide range of topics related to history, costuming, maker techniques, steampunk culture, and more. They will include a Sunday afternoon panel discussion on “Where is Steampunk going?” with Lee, Neathery, Doc Phineas, Montague Jacques Fromage, and Airship Ambassador Kevin Steil.
McLaughlin will present a series of make-and-take workshops on prop and costume making with silicone. However, all but one are sold out. He will also offer a portfolio review. McLaughlin has worked on numerous films, including The Dark Crystal, Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, The Muppet Movie, Return to Oz, and Babe. He was part of a team that won a visual effects Oscar for the latter film.
Lee and other artists from Hatton Cross Steampunk in Virginia will preside over the final Great World Suitcase Challenge of 2019. Held at selected steampunk events in the U.S. and Europe, the competition was open to maker projects that incorporated a suitcase or steamer trunk. One winner was chosen at each event. Next week, the judges will select a TeslaCon champion as well as a World Champion from all the winning entries.
Other highlights include a fashion show, teapot racing, nerf gun competition, and Saturday night’s Villains Ball.
Online ticket sales are closed, but tickets can be purchased at the door. Weekend passes will be available on Thursday. Afterwards, only day tickets will be available.
Organizer Eric Jon Larson has already announced plans for next year’s edition, dubbed “War of the Worlds.”
“We will pay homage to H.G. Wells and his greatest story, set in the Victorian era and, also in our version, various European countries,” he announced on the TeslaCon Facebook page. Scheduled for Nov. 5-8, 2020, it will be capped at 750 general admission tickets, plus VIP tickets, which will also be limited. Attendees at this year’s event will be able to purchase tickets for 2020.
Larson also wrote that he will reveal plans for new TeslaCons. He previously announced a West Coast version of TeslaCon to be held in Seattle as early as next April, though that time frame appears to be doubtful at this point.
Photos courtesy of TeslaCon
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