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UK Steampunks Not Happy with Asylum Media Coverage

Friday, June 11, 2021

As we reported last week, the Asylum Steampunk Festival is moving from Lincoln to Newark-on-Trent and Kelham Hall this year, and some of the media coverage about the decision is raising hackles among steampunk enthusiasts.

One example is a BBC report that the move to Newark has not yet been approved by the local council due to ongoing concerns about the COVID pandemic. Similar concerns about crowding and public health caused authorities in Lincoln to balk at supporting the event.

In comments on Facebook, festival director John Naylor noted that the “heart” of the event will take place in Kelham Hall, where entry will be restricted to ticketholders. The issue in Newark relates to the public festival, which the organizers hope to locate at Newark Castle and the town marketplace.

“We must stress that the public festival is entirely subject to the COVID situation and safety planning,” he wrote. “It may NOT be able to go ahead whilst Kelham’s content is much more likely.” The locations are about 1.8 miles apart.

Naylor still expressed confidence that the festival can be held at both sites as planned, but stressed that much will depend on local conditions and the willingness of attendees to follow safety protocols.

“We have a proven track record of running covid safe events (in August last year and May this year) at Kelham,” he wrote. “We will run another this August with expansion into town as long as the prevailing conditions at the time are safe.”

As always, you can keep up with the latest developments on the Welcome to the Asylum Facebook page.

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