Gaslight Steampunk Expo Returns In Person
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Tonight Gaslight steam punk expo returns to an in-person convention at the mission valley Marriott hotel, KPBS arts reporter, Beth Huck. Amando previews the event with its chair and director of programming and a station hunter who also explains what steam punk is.
Speaker 2: (00:18)
Anastasia. First of all, explain what steam punk is.
Speaker 3: (00:22)
The easiest way to define steam punk. I find is using Victorian science fiction. A lot of people are familiar with H G Wells and Jules Verne. And as much as in the time period, steam punk, as a word didn't exist, they wrote what were called scientific romances. You know, steam punk is really a sub genre of science fiction. And we have a long tradition of science fiction conventions here in San Diego. And once it was discovered that we could dress up and have all of our fun and make things, it really took off locally. So we've been doing it for a number of years now.
Speaker 2: (00:56)
And what is the Gaslight steam punk
Speaker 3: (00:58)
Expo? So we're going to be hosting a three and a half day convention. We're going to have a lot of programming. A lot of it themed to our theme this year, which is the 1889. World's fair in Paris, where they built the Eiffel tower. So since we have a bunch of makers that are part of our community, we also do post a bunch of workshops. We have a vendor hall. So a lot of things that you would normally do at separate events, we decided to kind of gather all together and lots of costuming as well. So don't be surprised if you show up in street clothes and you're like, wow, a lot of people are in costumes. It's totally okay. We everyone's welcome. You don't have to have a costume.
Speaker 2: (01:36)
And what people can expect from the expo in terms of panels or vendors or what they're going to get. If they come on any particular day,
Speaker 3: (01:43)
Our entire programming schedule is online right now. So if you go to our website, you can check it out. Some of the fun things that are unique to a steam punk convention is we have some silly competitions where we have, like, for example, teapot racing. So on Saturday you would get an RC car that has to fit like certain specific lengths and Heights. And we have an obstacle course and it's whoever has the best time. Um, two of our judges who have long been with NSF, Madam miscue in the grand arbitrary, make it a very spectator sport. Even if you're not competing just to listen to them, describe how the racing is going. There'll be special obstacles, that'll be themed for the event. They also host T tooling, which is the only sport where you're guaranteed a cup of tea and a biscuit for every participant.
Speaker 2: (02:29)
So one thing about steam punk is it seems that people enjoy creating their own props and costumes. So will there be any kind of do it yourself, workshops or seminars about how to make costumes?
Speaker 3: (02:41)
A number of our workshops actually discussed different aspects of ways that you can integrate certain technology into your costume. Um, it's unfortunately already sold out, but we actually have a leather plague mask class that we are offering actually on Friday, which of course, this is a huge hit. They're going to bring kits along with them. They also have a tea cup holster where you can travel around with your tea cup in case you, somebody suddenly challenges you to a duel can whip your tea cup out and you have it with you, but you can always stop in and see what they're doing. And a lot of these people are also in the community. So they're always happy to share what they're doing. Something else that we're going to be doing is, uh, how to make your own fairy light bottle. And the technology is available online so you can order it.
Speaker 3: (03:28)
But sometimes it helps to see how somebody puts something together to really make sense of what you're doing. And then we offer, you know, we call them make takes. So they're free for everyone. You don't have to pay to anything extra. You know, once you come to the event and you buy your ticket, we have something where you can make, you know, decorate your own little Eiffel tower since that's part of our theme this year and the first one's free. And if you want to do more than one, it's like a dollar for each additional one. And we provide all the supplies, our teachers, and, you know, bring all of their supplies for the workshops. And then we have free time in the evening. And you want to sit with other crafty people and work on your projects. You didn't finish. We've got time set aside in the evening. Although we have a lot of evening activities as well, including a live music. I know the vintage dance people are very excited to come be part of the community and have actively, always encouraged us to dance properly. But steam punks tend to be more rebellious than that. So there's a lot of freestyling out on the dance floor.
Speaker 2: (04:25)
Well, since you brought up plague masks, I might as well ask, are there any kind of COVID restrictions or safety guidelines going on?
Speaker 3: (04:32)
Thank you for asking him back. Someone sent me a beautiful Brocade plague mask for myself. Yes, we are instituting that. There's a mandatory mask policy while inside all of the indoor spaces in the event, we're going to be less than a thousand people. So we don't need to necessarily check people's vaccination cards, but we want everyone to be safe and, and we will have masks onsite if you don't, you know, remember to bring one or, but we just need you to just make sure it's a mask that covers your nose and your mouth and leave it on while you're endorsed. If you need to go outside the San Diego mission valley Marriott has a beautiful grounds and you can go outside and air out as needed.
Speaker 2: (05:10)
And if people are interested, where can they find more information?
Speaker 3: (05:14)
Um, please visit our website. We've got all kinds of information online. It's at www Gaslight expo.org, and that's where you can buy tickets. And you can find information if you're it's your first time and information about teapot racing and our dances and the live music. There's lots of great information online.
Speaker 2: (05:34)
All right. Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about the gas light steam punk expo.
Speaker 3: (05:38)
Speaker 1: (05:40)
That was Beth Armando speaking with Anastasia hunter Gaslight steam punk expo runs tonight through Sunday at the mission valley Marriott hotel.
Event features panels, costumes, teapot racing
Thursday, Gaslight Steampunk Expo returns to an in-person convention at the Mission Valley Marriott Hotel.
Steampunk, in case you are not familiar, is a literary and aesthetic movement that takes inspiration from Victorian science fiction. Think H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, explained Anastasia Hunter, chair and director of programming for Gaslight Steampunk Expo.
"In the time period, 'steampunk' as a word didn't exist. They wrote what were called scientific romances," she said. "Steampunk is really a sub-genre of science fiction."
The Expo allows fans of steampunk to gather in their most elaborate costumes and then enjoy music, panels, workshops, and unique competitions.
"For example, teapot racing," Hunter said. "On Saturday, you would get a radio controlled car that has to fit certain specific lengths and heights, and we have an obstacle course and it's whoever has the best time (wins). Two of our judges who have long been with us make it a very spectator sport, so even if you're not competing, just to listen to them describe how the racing is going is entertaining. They also host Tea Dueling, which is the only sport where you're guaranteed a cup of tea and a biscuit for every participant."
Hunter added that everyone — even first timers without costumes — are welcome. There is even a special section on the website for first-timers.
With a return to an in-person convention Hunter is particularly excited about Saturday’s swap meet.
"So if you have things that you do not want to have in your closet anymore because they need to go on to someone else, this is your opportunity for the entire community to come swap, trade, barter, buy, sell, for a couple hours on Saturday morning," Hunter added. "It's a great place for you to get started in getting your own steampunk ensemble put together for the future."
Gaslight Steampunk Expo runs Thursday through Sunday at the Mission Valley Marriott Hotel. And while elaborate plague masks may be part of steampunk costuming, COVID-19 face masks are required for all in door activities.