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 across time and space so they could preserve their outstanding efforts for posterity’s sake. Things have changed since the denizens of this remarkable community fled their time, 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 June 29th and 30th
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
There’s too much emphasis in your 21st century on “entertainment”. There. I said it! 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 the 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 for your 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 best 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.
Click here to see the “currently accepted as generally accurate but entirely subject to minor changes” Event Schedule.
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 Verne Wells Library
Adjacent to the Storytellers Guild is a quiet space we have set up so people can read and review any of the written submissions to the Maker Exhibition. It’s also just a quiet place where people can go to sit and get out of the crowds for a little bit.
Enjoy. And Shhh….
The Town Square
Like every good city, we have a Village Green set up at the center of the event. Here you can pass through the center of the excitement and activity, or stop and take in a presentation on our main stage. This is also where the Steampunk Banquet will be held, as well as the Abney Park: Live from Aethertopia concert, with D.J. Vlad as the opening entertainment. What could be better?
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 Aether Tea Ball
This year’s Aether Ball is shaping up to be quite a bit different from what happened in 2018. Held on Sunday afternoon, this is an event for young and old to get down and get punky to some awesome Steampunk music, spun by none other than D.J. Vlad, the best Steampunk musical entertainer in Florida!
In 2019, you will experience the first arrival of the RFS Aethertopia in any other time except their own. You see, 2018 was actually ten years in the future for this crew, so they don’t know anything about it. They have a story to tell you, and if you keep your eyes open between now and then, you will hear (and see) it playing out.
And at the event, the story continues…