- City Guides
With so many conventions and festivals being cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some organizers are planning virtual events through online channels such as Facebook, YouTube, and Zoom. These include replacements for cancelled events as well as new initiatives. On this page, you will find listings of upcoming events, plus archived, recurring, and ongoing events. This is in addition to our comprehensive listings of in-person gatherings.
If you’re aware of any online events that include substantial steampunk programming, let us know using the contact form. Please include a link and brief description, and indicate if you’re one of the organizers. We’re looking primarily for events with multiple participants, not presentations or chats by individuals. However, we will include solo musical or theatrical performances.
Necronomicon @ Home is an online version of a science fiction convention and fantasy held annually in Tampa, Florida. The program includes panels, games, costumes, and more. You should register via Evenbrite to receive a schedule.
When: Sept. 25-27.
Steampunk Picnic! is an online version of an annual gathering near Santa Cruz, California. Hosted on Zoom, it will include a steampunk mask contest, a martial arts video, and (perhaps) teapot racing. See the Facebook page for details.
When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Pacific time.
Metaverse is an online pop culture convention from ReedPOP, the company behind New York Comic Con and MCM Comic Con in the UK. It will feature virtual panels, a cosplay competition, an exhibitor area, and an Artist Alley. Panels will be hosted on YouTube, with other content presented on the website and Discord. It follows an earlier online event presented Aug. 13-16.
The STREAMpunk Virtual Convention is an online event presented by the volunteer organizers of the C.O.G.S. Steampunk Expo. The program includes gaming, maker panels, educational content, contests, and musical performances. The organizers also presented a virtual festival in June. The October edition will have a Halloween theme. Content will stream on Twitch and the website.
When: Oct. 16-18. In addition, the organizers will host gaming and contests on Thursday, Oct. 15.
MultiVirtual 2020 is an online version of Multiverse, a science fiction and fantasy convention held annually in Atlanta. The program will include panels, gaming, social spaces, a virtual art show, and virtual dealers’ room. Maurice Broaddus (Buffalo Soldier, Pimp My Airship) is Author Guest of Honor. Participation is free.
Capclave is an online version of a science fiction and fantasy convention that focuses on short fiction. It’s produced by the Washington Science Fiction Association and held in the Washington, D.C. area. Scheduled guests for the original in-person convention included Peter S. Beagle, Troy L. Wiggins, Tim Powers, Nancy Kress, Ken Liu, James Morrow, Carrie Vaughn, and Connie Willis.
Programming will include presentations, panels, author readings, and other activities, mostly on Zoom. It will also feature presentation of the WSFA Small Press Award for short fiction. The event will have a chat area on Discord.
Memberships cost $10, or you can purchase a full $55 membership that includes the virtual 2020 convention and next year’s real-world Capclave, which takes place Oct. 1-3.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be virtual this year. It was originally set for April and then rescheduled for Oct. 3-4 before it was cancelled. The online event will feature author panels, readings, and other programming over four weeks, beginning Sunday, Oct. 18. The organizers say they will announce the program in mid-September.
MileHiCon, the Denver-area science fiction and fantasy convention, will be virtual this year. The program will include panels, presentations, readings, a cosplay contest, art show, vendors room, and Authors Row. Scheduled guests include Cory Doctorow, Mur Lafferty, Alan Pollack, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Steve Rasnic Tem.
HalloWhedonCon 2020 is an online version of WhedonCon, a fan-run convention focusing on media properties created by Joss Whedon. Programming will include panels, Q&As, cosplay contests, games, and other activities related to works such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, and Firefly. It’s not yet clear if the event will include programming related to The Nevers, a forthcoming HBO science fiction series “about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.”
Tickets cost $20. Proceeds benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center.
AfroComicCon is a free online version of a pop culture convention held annually near Oakland, California. It aims to showcase “the talents of underrepresented groups such as professionals of color, and women.” Guests for the virtual event include actor Denzel Whitaker, TV producer Rodney Barnes, actor/comedian Godfrey, artist/songwriter Kwamé, and musician/composer Patrice Rushen. The organizers are planning a 12-hour event that will live-stream on multiple platforms include YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook.
When: Saturday, Oct. 24.
The World Fantasy Convention is joining other major conventions in going online this year. It was set to take place in Salt Lake City. The organizers promise readings, art demonstrations, interviews, online chats, art show, virtual exhibit hall, and a full schedule of panels. They will also present an online version of the World Fantasy Award ceremony. Registration costs US $125.
When: Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
The Texas Book Festival will be an online event this year. The program will include more than 125 authors.
When: Oct. 31-Nov. 15. The first two days will be devoted to books for teens. Nov. 2-6 will focus on books for children, followed by programming for adults through Nov. 15. Learn more on the website and Facebook page.
TeslaCon is an immersive steampunk convention that is going virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The online event will likely include videos, maker sessions, Q&As, and presentations about the convention. See the Facebook page for updates.
When: Nov. 5-8 (original dates for the in-person convention)
SFFCon is an online science fiction and fantasy convention. It will feature a Creative Track for writers, artists, and podcasters and a Genre Fan Track for fans of various sub-genres. The program also includes breakout sessions with cosplay, poetry readings, and more. The organizers have set up a public Facebook group as a hub. They also have a YouTube channel.
When: Nov. 7-8.
The Jewelry City Steampunk Festival, normally held each fall in Attleboro, Massachusetts, is going virtual in 2020. Programming will be presented on YouTube, WARA-AM radio, and DoubleACS, a local public-access cable channel. The organizers promise additional details as the event gets closer.
Philcon, the major science fiction and fantasy convention for the Philadelphia area, will be virtual this year. Special guests include author Max Gladstone and artist Romas Kukalis. The organizers say they will use Zoom for programming and Discord for social activities. There’s no charge for participation.
Chicago TARDIS Online is a virtual version of an annual Doctor Who convention. Programming will include panels, workshops, and gaming. Most content will be accessible for free via the convention’s social media channels and website. However, access to celebrity guest Q&As will most likely be accessible only to people who purchased tickets for the 2020 in-person event. “We are currently working on a small (but special) guest list for this year’s virtual event,” the website states.
British Steampunk Broadcasting Co-operation is a new Facebook group that provides info about streaming performances by artists in the UK.
COGS Market is a virtual marketplace on Facebook for artisans and other vendors set to appear at COGS Expo. The organizers are also planning COGS STREAMPunk Expo, an online event running May 15-17. The in-person COGS Expo was postponed to Oct. 16-18 in Iselin, New Jersey.
Con Online is a free online anime convention based open source software. It includes sections for dealers, artists, and cosplayers. The open source software is available on GitHub. The app was developed by AnimeCon.org, which produces anime conventions in Minneapolis, Chicago, and the Quad Cities area of Iowa.
Concellation 2020 is a virtual science fiction/fantasy convention in the form of a Facebook group. It includes event listings and three sub-groups: The Dealer’s Room, The Artist’s Gallery, and The Masquerade. It was created on March 12 and had more than 30,000 members as of mid-April.
Faire Relief 2020 is a new Facebook group for attendees, vendors, and entertainers at Renaissance festivals and similar events such as Celtic and pirate festivals. It serves as an online marketplace for vendors and entertainers who have lost business due to cancellation of these events. Rules are spelled out in this post by admin Bella Wilson.
Kindling is a project from the organizers of the Burning Man festival, which won’t be held this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It includes listings of online events from the Burning Man Project and Burning Man participants. The organization also launched Burning Man Live, a new podcast.
The Steampunk Online Shop is a virtual market created by Chantilly Grey, organizers of the Shrewsbury Steampunk Spectacular in the UK. It was established to support trades, entertainers, and associated businesses who were set to appear at the event, but is open to others as well.
Virtual Steam Con is an ongoing steampunk convention in the form of a private Facebook group. It launched April 22 and had grown to more than 400 members less than 24 hours later. Expected programming includes workshops, art galleries, and opportunities for discussions around steampunk topics. Members are invited to “post pics of yourself, ask questions, say things here that you would say at a con, and post maker videos.” It’s led by steampunk makers Wheeler Stone, Stephen Chapman, and Brian Fadrosh. Stone and Fadrosh also organize the Key City Steampunk Festival in Pennsylvania.
The Virtual Vendor Fair is a marketplace for artisan vendors and others who were slated to appear at events in Northern California. It was organized by the Northern California Black Hat Society and runs through April 30.
The WWW.Renaissance Faire (Wandering, Wonderous, Wireless Renaissance Faire) “aims to create a virtual Renaissance Faire experience in the wake of cancellations.”
The Clockwork Alchemy 2020 Streaming Concert featured performances by musical artists who were scheduled to appear at the San Francisco Bay Area steampunk convention. They included Strangely Doesburg, Crystal Bright, Unwoman, Sarah Shay, Dogwood, Aaron Shay, Lee Presson, and mystery guest Nathaniel Johnstone. Most of the performances (all but Lee Presson’s) have been archived as YouTube videos. Some include wait times before the musicians performed, but you can skip ahead in each video.
The convention organizers have also posted a list of vendors who were set to appear in the Artist’s Bazaar. In addition, you can view readings from Edgar Allan Poe by Lee Presson; Corona Story Time on YouTube with Drake & McTrowell; and a virtual Artist’s Gallery posted by Clara Blackheart.
C.O.G.S. STREAMpunk Expo was an online steampunk event from the organizers of the C.O.G.S. Expo. It included workshops, interviews, and presentations by steampunk artist Thomas Willeford and author Leanna Renee Hieber. Recordings are available on the Twitch channel.
Coldwater Steampunk Online was an online version of the Coldwater Steampunk Festival, one of the largest steampunk events in Canada. Online programming included live entertainment, artisan demonstrations, and workshops. It also featured a creative writing contest, photo contest, and costume contest. It was held Aug. 6-Sept. 2. Much of the programming can be viewed on YouTube.
[email protected] was an online version of Comic-Con International, the huge pop culture convention in San Diego. Held July 22-26, it included panels, a masquerade, an exhibit hall, and artists’ alley. Most panels can be viewed in the Comic-Con YouTube channel. Learn more on the website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.
Dragon Con, the huge geek culture convention in Atlanta, was held virtually this year over Labor Day Weekend. The program included costume contests, panels, workshops, and musical performances. Streaming content was presented on three channels on Dragon Con TV. You can view archived content by purchasing an annual $10 streaming membership. The Alternate and Historical Fiction Track presented additional programming, mostly on YouTube.
Ineluctable, Ultra-Telegraphic Virtual Brass Screw was an online event that replaced the Brass Screw Alliance steampunk festival in Port Townsend, Washington. The program featured the premiere of Percy and Reggie and the Great Parisian Airship Exposition, a new steampunk film. The program also included a fashion show, maker exhibitions, and performances by Professor Elemental, Nathaniel Johnstone, The Historical Conjurer, and Necrofessor. It's available for playback on Twitch.
The Gan Virtually Amazing Steampunk Festival was an online event that replaced a gathering planned this year in Gananoque, Ontario. It included a virtual costume parade, musical guests, a magic show, and the Fabulous Face Mask Challenge. A video of the event is available on the Facebook page.
LadiesCon Virtual Edition was an online pop culture convention presented in September by The Ladies of Comicazi alog with Comics in Color and Women in Comics Collective International. The organizers described it as a "celebration of comic books, science fiction, fantasy, cosplay, and many other realms of pop culture with a focus on creators who are women, non-binary, LGBTQ, and people of color, plus local artists." It replaced an in-person gathering held in the Boston area. Speakers included Heather Rockwood of the Jewelry City Steampunk Festival and Melissa Honig of the Watch City Steampunk Festival. Panels will be posted periodically on the Ladies of Comicazi YouTube channel.
The Newfangled Contraption (Digital) Steampunk Fair was a free online version of the Southern Maine Steampunk Fair, an annual gathering held at the Brick Store Museum in southern Maine. The program included a costume contest and video presentations. Speakers included author Leanna Renee Hieber. Vendors participated via Facebook and Instagram. It was held Saturday Aug. 8. Content can be viewed on the website.
ReedPOP Metaverse was an online pop culture convention produced by the company behind New York Comic Con, MCM Comic Con, Emerald City Comic Con, and other events. The program included virtual panels, a virtual cosplay competition, an exhibitor area, and an Artist Alley. Much of the content can be viewed on the New York Comic Con YouTube channel.
The Society for the Ethical Treatment of Kraken in Winnipeg, Manitoba, hosted “Tea in the Clouds,” a free virtual steampunk convention. Content is archived in the member section of the website. Registration is free and open to all steampunk fans. To register, visit the home page and follow the log-in link.
SteamPunk Over Ether was a virtual festival hosted by SteamPaper, a monthly steampunk newsletter from the UK. It livestreamed April 25-26 on Facebook and YouTube, and content is archived on those channels. It included musical performances, presentations, and interviews with steampunk luminaries.
Victorian Days was an online version of a festival held annually in Belvidere, New Jersey. Much of the programming had a steampunk focus. Performers included Karnevil, Frenchy and the Punk, The Eternal Frontier, and A Halo Called Fred. Recordings of the livestream are available in the Videos section of the Facebook page.
Virtucon 2020, held April 18, was an online event hosted on Facebook by Chris Ahrendt and the Atlanta Steampunk Expo. It featured video presentations by Ahrendt, Thomas Willeford, Dave Lee, Brett King, Jeff Church, Cedric Whittaker, John Strangeway, J. Michael Cobb, and Jason Merrill, plus a musical interlude by D.J. Spider. The videos can be viewed in the Atlanta Steampunk Expo Facebook group.
Wannacon was a virtual comic convention hosted by Wannabe Press, an independent publisher led by author and podcaster Russell Nohelty. It featured live discussions and presentations by authors and artists. They included Matt Knowles, creator of Heirs of Isildur, and Madeline Holly-Rosing, creator of Boston Metaphysical Society. Each day’s presentations can be viewed on YouTube.