It’s difficult describing something that no one has ever seen before…
And nothing like Aethertopia has ever been seen in the 21st century… or even in the 20th century, for that matter.
Aethertopia, in short, is a celebration of the pure genius of Steampunk makers. It is a two day, immersive event, held within one building, in one room. One VERY large room. The city of Aethertopia is divided into seven districts, each one featuring the works of different kinds of Steampunk makers. They are:
- The Hatters Guild
- The Inventors Guild
- The Artists Guild
- The Storytellers Guild
- The Seamsters Guild
- The Explorers Guild
- …and yes, even the Assassins Guild.
All seven Maker Guilds were gathered together and transported through the aether so they could preserve their outstanding efforts for posterity’s sake. This map shows what Aethertopia looked like when we first took flight across time and space. Things have changed since then, so we’ll have a more accurate map for you when we materialize in Tampa, in the Entertainment Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds on July 7th and 8th.
But Aethertopia is about more than just LOOKING at these amazing creations. You will have the opportunity to engage these makers in one-on-one discussions, gaining first-hand Maker insights and advice. Imagine what you can learn from talking to a man who built a time machine! What would you ask the woman who created an airship that travels at 500 miles per hour?
Aethertopia is about Inspiration
I believe there’s too much emphasis in your 21st century on “entertainment”. When you come to visit Aethertopia, you should leave with an overwhelming desire to rush back to your own workshop, (even if it’s just your dining room table!), and begin creating your own amazing devices! Imagine what Aethertopia can do for children who only see things in the virtual world? What would happen if they discovered that they were actually capable of making these things themselves? At Aethertopia, both you and your young companions will be enticed and entranced by the actual concept of creating your own outfits, gear, and devices, rather than clicking a mouse and generally being disappointed in the quality of what arrives.
The Benefactors of Aethertopia
They go by many names like Sellers, Vendors, Dealers, and the like, but in Aethertopia we call them our Benefactors. They are the people who keep Steampunk alive all year round, traveling from city to city, time to time, making wares and selling them to people just like you. These Benefactors are coming from across the nation to show you the latest in Steampunk fashion, devices, gear and weaponry, with the hopes that you will decide to take some of it home with you!
Aethertopia is about Education
In addition to the dozens and dozens of makers who will be there displaying their creations, you will also have the chance to take part in two different kinds of learning environments.
- Symposiums: There are two classrooms set up specifically for groups of our guests to listen and learn from the more famous, and even some of the unsung heroes of the Steampunk world. Attendance at Symposiums (or “Theodore Talks”, as some have come to call them) is free of charge and included in your one-day or two-day admission price. However, we will be taking early reservations on line, so be sure you sign up on our email list so you don’t miss the opportunity to get into the symposium of your dreams!
- Workshops: We have two areas dedicated to hands-on making, under the guidance of experienced Steampunk makers. If you want to come without a hat, you will be able to leave wearing one of your own making! Need your Nerf gun Steampunked? No worries! You can not only learn from the best, but you will receive hands-on training from some of the most experienced makers in the Steampunk world! Workshops will provide both instruction and materials, so there will be a Workshop Fee, which will vary from workshop to workshop. Again, make sure you are on the mailing list so you can sign up as soon as spots become available.
But that’s just the beginning…
Remember, there is a contest brewing between the Seven Maker Guilds, and you will be a part of deciding the outcome of that battle! You will vote for your favorite creation within each of the seven Guilds, investigating and deciding for yourself which creation deserves your ballot. That seems quite straightforward when it comes to deciding which corset or sculpture bests its peers in the district, but how do you vote for things in the Storytellers Guild? We’ve worked that out, too.
The Storytellers Guild – Two Days of Performances
The stage in the Storytellers District will be utilized for both days as people competing in that Guild take the stage to give you the opportunity to experience their works as they perform them.
- Authors: Some amazing authors have already submitted their works, and will be reading from their novels, comics, or short stories all throughout the day.
- Musicians: Music is a HUGE element of Steampunk, and these Music Makers are set to impress you with their creations, some of which will be performed live, on stage.
- Digital Media: Whether it’s an independent Steampunk movie, or an ongoing Steampunk podcast, these makers will be impressing you with their flair for your senses!
The Aether Pavillion
In the center of the Nomadic City of Makers is the Aether Pavillion. This tent houses the semi-permanent collection of rare and wondrous Steampunk creations, many on loan from our illustrious group of Guild Masters themselves! It wouldn’t be fair to put these items into the contest, but it would be even less equitable if we didn’t give you the chance to see just what kind of creations these Guild Masters can come up with on their own!
The Steampunk Banquet
For those who choose to attend, Saturday evening will feature a fine dining experience, served in classic Victorian style. From the white table cloths to the delightful tink of crystal, you will enjoy a meal fit for a Maker!
The Steampunk Ball
No Steampunk event is complete without attending a Steampunk musical ball, with dancing and merriment for all. Starting at 7:00 PM on Saturday, the floor of the Storytellers Guild will be cleared of chairs and tables, and we will have dancing the likes of which span a century of modern history. We even hear there will be those teaching some Swing Dance during the evening, but this is only a rumor as of right now!
This is a battle for the bragging rights of the Steampunk Makers Guilds, all of whom wish to claim the title of The Supreme Element of Steampunk! You can be assured that there will be excitement, adventure, and perhaps even some skullduggery, as the Guild Masters and their members try to convince you to support them in their quest to become the best. We may even need the help of some of our guests in setting things to right as the two-day event carries on. Don’t be surprised if you find you are becoming part of the Aethertopia community!
And there will be more, as we button down details. Our list of judges is almost complete, and you will want to be there, if for no other reason than to have a chance to trade ideas with these amazing, and sincerely dedicated, Steampunk makers. So sign up on the mailing list, and get your admission tickets now. Premier Pass holders will receive first access to Workshops and Symposium registrations, so use the coupon code “Premier10” to save $10 off each Premier Pass at checkout when you buy your passes before March 17th!