Lincoln Steampunk Asylum 2019

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Steampunk Asylum is the largest Steampunk festival in the Solar System!

I’m sure most Steampunks already know that Lincoln Steampunk Asylum is the largest Steampunk festival in the solar system (maybe even the Universe). My partner and I have been going there for the last 5 or 6 years and I can tell you it is brilliantly organised!

We arrived on Thursday and went to the Advance Guard party after popping in to see some of the early birds having photos taken outside the Asylum. The venue (The Engine Shed) allows plenty of room to mix and mingle – meeting old friends and making new. It was refreshing to see people interacting with each other rather than using their phones. The delicious bubble of SteampunkAsylum was already surrounding us and giving us some distance from the real world.

British skill shared by ALL Steampunks

On Friday evening we walked down the aptly named Steep Hill to once again go to The Engine Shed for The Major’s soiree. This music hall style entertainment lets us have a little taster of what fun is in store for us over the weekend. My friend Scarlet Butterfly performed a fabulous fire act and I’m hoping she will do a guest blog for me very soon.

During the break an awful lot of people went to the bar. My partner said he witnessed something he had never seen before. 6 bar staff were serving and my partner watched as 6 very orderly queues formed, one for each of the bar staff. I know the British are good at queuing but true Steampunks the world over are polite and considerate.

Of course that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to have fun! Victor and the Bully had most of us up out of our seats, singing and dancing. We laughed with and sang along with The Cogneys and with Captain Kuppa T and the Zeppelin Crew. The walk back up Steep Hill late at night made me realise just how much I’d been dancing!

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

On Saturday we attended one of the two Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties. (When we can afford it we like to go to one ticketed event per day.) This was held on the University campus and it was a real joy to be able to travel from our hotel to the venue on a vintage bus. These were available for wristband holders and really took me back in time. Steampunk Asylum offers so much to wristband holders. This year we also got entry to The Castle!

The Tea Party is an excellent way to meet new friends. Our gracious hostess Lady Elsie Tinker was on form and there was a good number of party ‘guests’. The idea is to meet new people by moving from one table to another under the direction of our hostess – e.g. the person who has been coming to Asylum the longest must move, or those wearing a certain item or colour of clothing. I think I had to move every time so I got to meet loads of new Steampunks. The food was yummy, as it always is and the company was splendid. I was very glad to have taken my fan as the weather was VERY hot. I noticed lots of people went to the exhibition hall – maybe because it was air conditioned, although there were some very fine exhibits there!

A tea break to escape the heat of the day. Image by Diana Clark

Folk singing? (It’s burlesque, but don’t tell the Major)

Sunday evening at the University campus had a rather more adult theme. The idea is that Major Tinker believes he has booked folk singers for the evening entertainment. He is the only one in blissful ignorance of the fact that the evening is in fact burlesque dancers whose performances were rather more racy than most folk singing. Fabulous costumes, excellent dancing and lots of fun, with an appreciative audience made for a great atmosphere. our compere ‘Natalia’/ Velma Von Bon Bon certainly knew how to work a crowd!

Image by Neal Rylatt

Last day and the ‘dead dog’ party

Monday of Steampunk Asylum sees the grand promenade/parade of any Steampunks who wish to join in. I chose to watch the wide ranging variety of sumptuous costumes and outfits rather than take part. I love that Steampunk is so inclusive and allows for creativity and self expression on a large scale! Seeing so many Steampunks together was great.

In the evening we joined the Dead Dog/ Abandoned Carrot part for those who find it difficult to tear themselves away on the last day. Most of us looked exhausted but had big smiles on our faces. The auction of donated goods from traders made a good amount of money for charity before we were treated to entertainment from Alice’s Night Circus . She opened by singing the aria performed by the Diva in the film The Fifth Element – it was FAB!

Packing to go home on Tuesday was a little sad, but accommodation for next year’s Steampunk Asylum is already booked when once more my partner and I escape to a different reality. On returning home I started work immediately on my zodiac gauges and intend to offer bespoke cabochon gauges very soon.

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