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‘5th Annual Steampunk: Visions of Futures Past’ Event and Exhibit Returns to Hampton History Museum

May 09, 2017 |

Experience the work of artists and craftspeople whose attire, weaponry, and gadgets conjure up a time when airships were commonplace and steam power ruled the world; an alternative Victorian era and an imagined Wild West frontier as presented in “Steampunk: Visions of Futures Past” at the Hampton History Museum during Blackbeard Festival Weekend, with an opening event on Friday, June 2, and exhibit Saturday, June 3 & Sunday, June 4, 2017.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that focuses on a romanticized notion of futurism, typically taking place either during the Victorian era (1851-1901) or maintaining similar fashion and aesthetic of the era but set in an alternate time, place, or even world. Machinery abounds and one's imagination is fueled by fantastic steam engines and limitless possibilities. For the 5th incarnation of this popular event and exhibit, artists and entertainers are emphasizing the frontier style and sensibilities of the American West.

On Friday, June 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., celebrate the opening of this fantastical exposition with the “Grunge Grass” music of alt-country band Tornado Bait and the steampunk bluegrass sound of the Magic Holler Boys, thrill to the feats of strength and daring-do of PM Richard Knowles and enjoy other side-show amusements, as well as the steampunk-western themed dance performance by Aela Badiana and Wicked Hips. Event admission is $5.00. Beer and wine will be available for purchase from La Bodega Hampton. Museum doors open at 5:30 pm. Event begins at 6:00 p.m. This is not a seated event. Capacity is limited.

Throughout the weekend, be dazzled by the work of a variety of Steampunk artists highlighted by the inventions and vehicles of award-winning artisan David Lee of Hatton Cross Steampunk; a steampunk TARDIS and R2D2 by Alexander the Grand (Alexander Phillip Baker) creator and leader of the Steampunk Alliance of Eastern Virginia, as well as other creators of fanciful contraptions, conveyances and devices. A Steampunked Life will be purveying their original jewelry, handbags, watches, accessories and other retro-futurist accoutrements. 

In addition to the display of marvels and Steampunk creations to peruse and purchase, on Saturday there will be live music from the School Board Quartet and their barbershop quartet stylings of contemporary pop hits and other unexpected songs, and the indie acoustic folk of Gypsea Horselords.

Spectators can involve themselves in the competitive spirit of Splendid Teapot Racing. Splendid Teapot Racing involves radio-controlled teapots negotiating an obstacle course within a set time.

Visitors can also watch and join in demonstrations of Tephra and other role-playing games created by Charlie Stayton developer for Cracked Monocle Gaming, as well as try their hand at the strategy game Karo.

Also planned are reading of steampunk literature by authors including Travis Sivart, JM Lee, Charlie Stayton, David Lee and others.

Weekend hours are Saturday, June 3, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, June 4, 1:00 p.m. –
5:00 p.m. Admission to the museum and steampunk display are free and open to the public.

The Hampton History Museum and Steampunk exhibit are open free of charge during Blackbeard Festival Weekend, Saturday, June 3, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, June 4, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.